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Old 08-30-2006, 12:43 AM   #1
Mansun
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Question Heroes: LOTR vs Rocky Balboa

Much may be made of Frodo, Sam, Gandalf etc as heroes of the LOTR in the movies. But how do you think they compare in standing to heroes in other big movies? For me, there never was, nor ever will be, a greater hero than Rocky Balboa.

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Old 08-30-2006, 02:31 AM   #2
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Rocky fought for personal glory and profit. He fought only for himself and his immediate family.

In my opinion, a hero is someone who fights for some greater good.
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:40 AM   #3
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Yes but can you just hear Aragorn shouting at his coronation: YO ARWEN I DONE IT.

Love the Rocky films.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:16 AM   #4
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Well, this is a case where knowledge from outside the story now influences my reading of Rocky. I'm not sure in this case if davem would agree it should ruin the story.

I've heard that in his first film Stallone was the kind of superhero that our Lord of the Rings heroes are not and that makes any kind of comparison between the ring and the Ring just fall flat for me.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:28 AM   #5
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Don't superheroes all wear tight-fitting masks and lycra unitards and wear their underpants over their kecks? Sounds a bit dodgy to me.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:21 AM   #6
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Aren't they those Wrestlers from WWE.con. I am sorry for seeing the fun element here Mansun, but the Rocky films are hardly the ones to use when speaking of an Hero, there are many war films, where groups of soldiers set of in Fellowship to fight the enemy, maybe that is what you are asking, can we see the Lord of the Rings type Hero in other places.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:30 PM   #7
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Aren't they those Wrestlers from WWE.con. I am sorry for seeing the fun element here Mansun, but the Rocky films are hardly the ones to use when speaking of an Hero, there are many war films, where groups of soldiers set of in Fellowship to fight the enemy, maybe that is what you are asking, can we see the Lord of the Rings type Hero in other places.

I thought the point of this particular forum was for fun &/or to be obscure? Or are you still upset over the fact I ridiculed your post about how a video game links with the scene between Gandalf & the Witch-King?

Balboa is just an example, since he was rated the 7th most popular hero of all time in a poll - can you scratch your head & think of others? By that, I don't mean Hulk Hogan, but rather characters such as Hercules, Conan, James Bond?

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Old 08-30-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Selmo
Rocky fought for personal glory and profit. He fought only for himself and his immediate family.

In my opinion, a hero is someone who fights for some greater good.
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Do you not forget the good behind the theme of Rocky IV? It is an indirect battle between USA & Russia over the Cold War, only in the ring.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:51 PM   #9
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Yes but can you just hear Aragorn shouting at his coronation: YO ARWEN I DONE IT.

Why not? Though I would think he would say WE did it.

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Old 08-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #10
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I believe that this is the first time someone has double/triple posted here.

Overall, the LOTR characters are more heroic than Rocky. Rocky was a great man, but he just doesn't compare to the likes of Aragorn.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:22 PM   #11
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Don't superheroes all wear tight-fitting masks and lycra unitards and wear their underpants over their kecks? Sounds a bit dodgy to me.

I can just imagine Gandalf the White in his tights?!?

Or maybe The Saucepan Man?
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:55 AM   #12
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I am not still upset Mansun, that was then this is now, your ridiculing of my post has no relevence here (unless it is a feeble attempt to goad me). I am unaware of this poll you talk of, unless it was in America, which then would not suprise me to learn that Rocky is a big hero. For myself I have fought in real wars and have served with real heroes, both British and American, so my view on this is rather tainted by realism. To add further, I also boxed, winning army titles at three weights, so I even know how hard that can be. I have real boxers who I idolised, Marvin Hagler and Rocky Marciano, both I believe from Brockton. I just cannot look at an actor who is acting out a role in the relative safety of a studio and think of him as a hero. The idea of Rocky isn't even original, it is based on the life of Chuck Wepner the Bayonne Bleeder, who never won anything, but he did serve as a marine, something Stallone ran away from.

Maybe it would be a good idea to publish the results of the poll, and see whether any of them would fit the image of any hero from LotR
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mansun
Do you not forget the good behind the theme of Rocky IV? It is an indirect battle between USA & Russia over the Cold War, only in the ring.
That wouldn't make a very good comparison with Tolkien's work at all I'm afraid. His work is about a definite good/evil fight - though he does invest this with many shades of grey and is not morally absolute (e.g. Gollum, baddies being 'forgiven' etc). Rocky IV though, presented the Cold War as a straight good/evil fight when it was not; it was more about two extreme political systems posturing against each other and putting the world in peril.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:59 AM   #14
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I saw a different side to Rocky IV than the political one, and that was old school training versus new technology/drug abuse in sport, now that is far more good vs evil than the political views portrayed in the film, one could see comparisons to some themes in LotR ie: The true grit of the west vs the techno filth of Saruman, the overwhelming odds for the Russian superman to destroy the smaller Rocky, are similar to those faced at Helms Deep, Rocky fought with the desire to avenge the death of Apollo Creed, and the Rohirrim had lost Theodred.
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narfforc
I saw a different side to Rocky IV than the political one, and that was old school training versus new technology/drug abuse in sport, now that is far more good vs evil than the political views portrayed in the film, one could see comparisons to some themes in LotR ie: The true grit of the west vs the techno filth of Saruman, the overwhelming odds for the Russian superman to destroy the smaller Rocky, are similar to those faced at Helms Deep, Rocky fought with the desire to avenge the death of Apollo Creed, and the Rohirrim had lost Theodred.
I can see those comparisons working. But the political angle wouldn't work, mostly as its seen now that both sides were wrong in the Cold War! And in any case, if that one was to work in terms of size and technology available to the two powers facing each other, then we'd have to say that Gondor = USSR and Mordor = USA, and I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't be happy with that.
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:26 AM   #16
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I was comparing the methods of training the fighters Lal, not the political situation, maybe I wrote it wrong..................
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by narfforc

Maybe it would be a good idea to publish the results of the poll, and see whether any of them would fit the image of any hero from LotR

American Film Institute's list of top screen heroes and villians:-

Rounding out the top 10 list of heroes, in order: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca; Will Kane (Gary Cooper), High Noon; Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), The Silence of the Lambs; ROCKY BALBOA (Sylvester Stallone), Rocky; Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Aliens; George Bailey (James Stewart), It's a Wonderful Life; and TE Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), Lawrence of Arabia.

The rest of the top 10 villains, in order: the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz; Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), It's a Wonderful Life; Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction; Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), Double Indemnity; Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), The Exorcist; and the Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:51 AM   #18
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What, no mention of Scooby Doo?
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:52 AM   #19
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The Rocky films were not good after the first one. We only thought the one with Ivan Drago was good was because a Russian got beat in the ring during the Red Scare. If you watch it today... god, it is terrible.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:56 AM   #20
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Thanks Mansun, the villians are interesting. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939) is killed by Dorothy, The parallel between this and Eowyn killing The Witch-king is quite striking. In The Oz film The Witch says: I'm melting, I'm melting, who would have thought a little girl could do this to me, she then disappears and all that is left is her raggy clothes. The Witch-king shares a similar fate, leaving behind nothing but rags. I wonder if The Witch-king thought along the same lines, that a girl could kill him, when he believed none of the great warriors could.

P.S Ninja91 is that why Rocky has come out of retirement now, the red scare is over, will he be fighting Osama bin Laden next.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:25 AM   #21
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What, no mention of Scooby Doo?
He probably makes the list later on. What suprised me is that James Bond is not in there (Sean Connery). If The Hobbit was ever made into a film, young Bilbo probably could have got into the top 10.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:12 PM   #22
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American Film Institute's list of top screen heroes and villians:-

Rounding out the top 10 list of heroes, in order: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca; Will Kane (Gary Cooper), High Noon; Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), The Silence of the Lambs; ROCKY BALBOA (Sylvester Stallone), Rocky; Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Aliens; George Bailey (James Stewart), It's a Wonderful Life; and TE Lawrence (Peter O'Toole), Lawrence of Arabia.

The rest of the top 10 villains, in order: the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz; Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), It's a Wonderful Life; Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction; Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), Double Indemnity; Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), The Exorcist; and the Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
That's an interesting list! Hmm, two female heroes and six female villains?

I wonder what it might have brought up in the UK? It's a fair bet it would have included characters from The Great Escape and Dambusters! I'm sure that Frodo would have made it into that list too, and possibly Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, and maybe my own fave superhero, Doctor Who.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:40 PM   #23
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Rocky is a hero. After all, there's a statue of him. And half the city was very recently shut down for filming the latest installment to his life story.

But in all seriousness, Rocky is a different type of hero from Frodo or Sam. Rocky is a wish-fulfillment symbol - the underdog who gets his shot and against all odds, gaining self-respect in the process. I think most people have dreamt about their big chance. Rocky is the one who is given that chance. That idea has a powerful allure for 'escapist' movie audiences who have the chance to vicariously live out their fantasies through Rocky.

The heroes of the LoTR are in an entirely different category. Fighting for the greater good, as Selmo puts it, and at great personal cost. Obviously the more noble effort, but maybe not quite as mass appealing as the fantasy of going from rags to riches or from obscurity to fame as Rocky did. Given the choice, how would we choose to act? I would hope I would be Frodo, but if the question were to move from the theoretical and abstract safety of an Internet discussion forum to a concrete decision, I honestly don't know with certainty.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:57 PM   #24
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Sting A kind of confusing thread

I have never seen a Rocky movie to the end, so I could not say wether he is a hero or not.

I normaly define a hero from the old mythology/legend standarts. A hero is a person who is endowed with great courage and strength and celebrated for his bold exploits. (yes I borrowed the wording) For me I think Hector is the greatest Hero ever. . .

Although being a Hero is often connected with fighting and such, I don't necesarily think it has to be so. . . In my view you can "run away" from military service and still be a hero no problem.
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:06 AM   #25
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From the list of heroes, I'd rather be Rocky Balboa personally. Though I can see a lot of comparisons between him & Aragorn - the biggest one being that they both fought for what they believed in with heart.

Aragorn could have easily stayed at Rivendell & lived a peaceful life without long journeys into great peril & back, but his heart was to take on the evil in Mordor to undo the wrongs in the world & avenge the deaths of his kinsmen. I do see this also in Rocky IV when Balboa decides to give up his title & go into the unknown in Russia to fight a deadly enemy (albeit on a much smaller scale to that of the threat from Mordor!) to avenge the death of his friend.

They both did what they had to do, for the right reasons, & with heart.

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Old 09-01-2006, 04:40 AM   #26
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Quote:
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But in all seriousness, Rocky is a different type of hero from Frodo or Sam. Rocky is a wish-fulfillment symbol - the underdog who gets his shot and against all odds, gaining self-respect in the process.
But isn't the ennoblement of the humble (in the form of the Hobbits) one of Tolkien's major themes? The substance might be different (in that they are "fighting" for different things) but there is similarity in the process, is there not?
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:28 AM   #27
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Well, I had thought the genres at least were different. Rocky the First was realism, not fantasy, grounded in specific, particular, exact details like the historical city of Philadelphia and those famous steps at the art gallery. (Celuien, I wouldn't call that figure a statue. I'd agree it is a prop, and a form of Stallone's self-promotion. ) At least, it operated in the realm of realism which most American movies imply. Except for Alien, those top movie heroes operate in the literary genre of realism. (Interestingly, more of the villains come from non-realism--The Wizard of Oz, The Exorcist, Snow White.)

LotR is fairie, is fantasy, is it not? It has its eucatastrophe. I don't think Rocky does because the outcome (at least as I can remember the first movie) was ever seriously in doubt, just made tense and dramatic.

Does this difference of genre change our concept of hero?
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:42 AM   #28
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Celuien, I wouldn't call that figure a statue. I'd agree it is a prop, and a form of Stallone's self-promotion.
Agreed, and if they ever move it to the Art Museum, I'll be very unhappy. That thing is an ugly prop.

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But isn't the ennoblement of the humble (in the form of the Hobbits) one of Tolkien's major themes? The substance might be different (in that they are "fighting" for different things) but there is similarity in the process, is there not?
Yes...but I would suggest that the main focus in the movie was not the process of ennoblement as much as the fulfillment of the characters' external goals. For Rocky, getting to the big fight (though I haven't seen the movie for a while, so I may need a refresher). For the LotR, destroying the ring. I'm not sure that the majority of movie audiences were focusing on character growth as the reason for making the characters heroes. And, honestly, I'm not sure of how well character growth was portrayed in the movies, other than in Boromir.
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Does this difference of genre change our concept of hero?
Maybe. Rocky is more accessible in that there's a chance, however slim, that someone who admires Rocky will have a similar type of chance. In fantasy, that's not a possibility.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:49 AM   #29
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Why, by all that is heroic, is Atticus Finch not on that list? (A far more Tolkienish figure, at any rate...)

Oh, and I am with Lalwende on this. Why are all the heroes men and all the villains female?
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:56 AM   #30
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I've just gone on the AFI site and I see Mansun did not mention the top three heroes or top three villains.
Atticus does indeed top the list. Phew. I thought the world had gone mad.

(Top three in each case: Atticus Finch, Indiana Jones and James Bond; Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates and Darth Vader)

Of these,(trying to keep this a Downs-type discussion! ) I would only call Atticus and Darth Vader Tolkienesque characters. James Bond is the least Tolkienesque hero I can imagine.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:34 AM   #31
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Why, by all that is heroic, is Atticus Finch not on that list? (A far more Tolkienish figure, at any rate...)

Oh, and I am with Lalwende on this. Why are all the heroes men and all the villains female?
Well I wasn't at all surprised to see the woman from Fatal Attraction on the list. But to save me veering off into an enormous rant about it, I'd refer anyone to Susan Faludi's Backlash to read her explanation of why that film is deeply offensive.

I'm intrigued though. Where could we find a Darth Vader character in Tolkien's work?
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:49 AM   #32
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Darth Vader=Awesome warrior dressed in black.

Nazgul(Witch-King)=Awesome warrior(s) dressed in black.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:14 AM   #33
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I can see some comparisons between Balboa & Frodo (other than their height!) in each of the films, particulary in Rocky V where Rocky is meant to have been inflicted with permanent brain trauma & Frodo has been left to recover from his Morgul Knife wound & scarred memories for the rest of his life at the end of the LOTR. Both bow out of each film leaving an unforgotten legacy as heroes for the free people.

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Old 09-08-2006, 08:43 AM   #34
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Perhaps of some interest here: Today (Sep., 8th) the
Rocky statue is being put back at the Philadelphia
Art Museum (permanently) at the bottom of the
steps. And the anti-Soviet Rocky film is rather
embarassing to watch now---with the blatant
propaganda.
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:00 PM   #35
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Yes Mansun, there is a similarity in the height, Rocky as an heavyweight was a non-starter, he would have been lucky to fight at Light-heavy 3 weights down. As for retiring, Tolkien got it right, there is no The Return of Frodo, at 150yrs old to fight of a new menace, I wish they had done the same for Rocky. I think if he had died, after fighting Tommy Gun, and gone to The Big Gym in the Sky, then the parallel would have been a little closer.

P.S Rocky/Stallone may have made Heavywieght around the 1900s, the smallest Champion was Tommy Burns a Canadian, real name Noah Brusso who stood at 5ft 7inches and weighed around 180pounds. He is famous for being the smallest and losing his title to the great Jack Johnson, the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:49 PM   #36
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Yes Mansun, there is a similarity in the height, Rocky as an heavyweight was a non-starter, he would have been lucky to fight at Light-heavy 3 weights down. As for retiring, Tolkien got it right, there is no The Return of Frodo, at 150yrs old to fight of a new menace, I wish they had done the same for Rocky. I think if he had died, after fighting Tommy Gun, and gone to The Big Gym in the Sky, then the parallel would have been a little closer.

P.S Rocky/Stallone may have made Heavywieght around the 1900s, the smallest Champion was Tommy Burns a Canadian, real name Noah Brusso who stood at 5ft 7inches and weighed around 180pounds. He is famous for being the smallest and losing his title to the great Jack Johnson, the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World.
I think Rocky V was a disaster personally, although I can see what Stallone was trying to do by going back to how the Rocky character was in the beginning. What is the point of devalueing a character by killing him off? Tolkein did not exactly do this with Frodo, rather he ended his time in ME peacefully & happily, & probably getting his dream wish in sailing towards the undying lands with the Elves. With Rocky, he just ends up back to square one after fighting so hard to get where he was & then blowing it through Paulie signing a piece of paper on his behalf that ruined them financially - pathetic quite frankly. A good ending would have been for Rocky to have fought Gunn for the title again, so as to get back what he deserved & go out as a winner & back in the $$$s.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:06 AM   #37
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The Rocky films were not good after the first one. We only thought the one with Ivan Drago was good was because a Russian got beat in the ring during the Red Scare. If you watch it today... god, it is terrible.
The Rocky films will probably be remembered for longer than the LOTR films. Even the earliest film is still going strong.
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:32 AM   #38
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Well often terrible films get rememberd longer than good ones. . .
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:32 PM   #39
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Well often terrible films get rememberd longer than good ones. . .
Rocky I & II were not terrible, they were classics. All three of the LOTR films were good, but not great & certainly not classics.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:43 PM   #40
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Mansun, you sure can make me laugh

Should we not leave it as a difference of opinions?
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