Around this time back in 2006, MGM released (or re-released) a box set of all five Rocky movies, to piggy-back/cash in on the release of Rocky Balboa. I promptly picked it up and watched all five – precisely one each night, after which my first priority was hitting the theater. Every year since, I find myself re-watching at least a couple of the movies (Rocky II and V tend to get passed over the most), but when possible I try to watch all six between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The way I see it, the Rocky series always had a strong connection to the holiday season. Why that is I’m not really sure, but for some reason every movie (except Rocky III) seems to take place at least partially over the holidays. In Rocky, his first date with Adrian is on Thanksgiving, and his fight with Apollo is on New Year’s Day. Rocky II‘s big fight is on Thanksgiving, and in Rocky IV he fights Ivan Drago in Russia on Christmas. As for Rocky V and Rocky Balboa, they both partially occur over the holidays as well. In addition, every movie with the exception of parts II and III were released to theaters in either November or December, and you can usually find them on TV in these months more than any other time of year.
Above all else, Rocky is the ultimate feel-good movie – the classic underdog story that virtually anyone can get behind. And like some of the best holiday movies, there’s an inherent level of corniness to it that’s somehow more acceptable and even a little infectious during this time of year. So crack a few eggs into a glass (or just crack open a beer) and get some Rocky going this year: