The acting is simply tremendous - Stallone is quality and convincing as the tough, simple and vulnerable Rocky, but for me Talia Shire is the standout in her role as Adrian, SHe captures the character perfectly and uses silence more effectively that words, it really is incredible.
Rocky and his story is obviously the centrepiece of the film, but he is surrounded by characters with just as much depth as he has.
Reading my good friend Citizen's review motivated my 6th re-watch of Rocky, the feel good movie of 1976 that struck such an emotional chord with moviegoers, not to mention winning the Oscar for Best Picture of 1976 and making an official movie star out of a struggling actor named Sylvester Stallone.
Our minds are influenced by other people, and Rocky makes an example of that out of most of the characters, such as the once-shy but now confrontational and strong-minded Adrian, Rocky's girlfriend; Adrian's brother Paulie, who was once sleaze but is now getting a grip on his drinking; Mickey who realizes he was wrong about Rocky being a bum, etc.
by Citizen Rules
I wish her character had been developed more, because to me the story of Rocky getting his own life together, was more interesting than the boxing.
Whilst this works in the context of the film to suggest they're looking at Rocky, in reality, they had no idea why this man was running up and down the road being filmed from a van.
by The Rodent
Adriennes development and Rockys maturity growing over the film together is brilliantly conceived with the love story between Rocky and Adrienne, with Adrienne coming out of her shell through Rockys outgoing nature and eventually becoming a rock for him in return when he doubts his fighting ability.
by Frightened Inmate No. 2
All of the characters were basically just lazy archetypes, with the possible exception of Rocky himself, I suppose.
i think one of my favorite scenes is when Mick shows up at Rocky's door offering to train him after he turned him down before, and the way Rocky shouts him down the street after.
The first Rocky is without a doubt the best film of the series, although that doesn't mean it's my favourite.