Green Brook, NJ
The Bronze Stallion - Rocky Balboa - Philadelphia - Pennsylvania - Rocky Steps
Lee Dos Santos
The 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have become known as the "Rocky Steps" as a result of their appearance in the triple-Oscar-winning film Rocky and four of its sequels, Rocky II, III, V and Rocky Balboa, in which the eponymous character runs up the steps to the song "Gonna Fly Now". Tourists often mimic Rocky's famous climb, a metaphor for an underdog or an everyman rising to a challenge. A bronze statue of Rocky was briefly situated at the top of the steps for the filming of Rocky III. This statue, now located at the bottom right of the steps, is a popular photo opportunity for visitors. The top of the steps offers a commanding view of Eakins Oval, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and Philadelphia City Hall.
In 2006, Rocky creator Sylvester Stallone recounted the genesis of the iconic scene: (while filming the 1976 movie) the film crew, bound by a tight budget, identified the steps one night while searching for filming locations around the city. Stallone first thought Rocky should carry his dog Butkus up the steps, but the big bull mastiff proved too heavy for the scene to work. Still, the view from the top of the stairs inspired him to reshoot the scene without the dog. In Rocky Balboa, Rocky lifts his dog Punchy when he reaches the top of the steps.
This scene was one of the first uses in a major film of the Steadicam, a stabilized camera mount that allows its operator to walk and even climb steps while smoothly filming.
July 27th, 2012
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