The movie "Rocky" is drawing rave notices from film critics.
Some boxing types, however, aren't as uncritical, although most are pleased a film about their ilk is prompting so much response. Others, such as trainer Angelo Durdee, think the movie is on target.
The ghastly instant surgery by a not-quite-antiseptic-looling "cut man" on the eye of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) brings gasps in the movie houses.But rocky Grazino was stirred only to professinal jealously, as an actor.
"They copied that from my movie," he said.
Muhammad Ale, nearly always the punisher and only rarely the punished, similarly was unmoved by the occupational hazards. Only his ego was contused, by Apollo Creed, his ego was confused, by Apollo Creed, his alter ego.
"He stole my script," Ali complained.
Ali's trainer, Dundee, grew up in Rocky's south Philadelphia neighborhood. He lived at 829 Morris St., near Palumbo's restaurant, where he will be inducted into the Pennyslvania Hall of Fame May 8.
"The credibility of the Rocky movie was perfect. You remember Pat's Steakhouse in the movie? I worked there - Pat Olivieri's - as a kid. I made sandwitches. The gym scene was perfect. I liked the way they showed the attention given to the star of the gym, Big Dipper, the boxer thery gave Rocky's locker. You don't take a boxer's locker away from him; that hurts."
Dundee took delight in a scene, after Balboa gets an illogical shot at a little bout, when the old trainer, Mickey, comes to the fighter to beg to become his manager.
In a fury exceeded only in the championship bout, Balboa excoriates the old man.
Mickey has Balboa on the ropes for a moment when he remarks," . . . You got heart, kinda remind me of Rocky Marciano, ya do. Ya move like him."
Balboa points to a prized photo of Marciano and comments, "Nobody ever said that."
But Balboa snaps back to reality and snubs the trainer until he leaves. But remorse sets in and Balboa catches up with the hunched 76-year-old and tenderly places his arm around his shoulder.
"There was a lot of warmth in that scene," Dundee recalled, then rambled into a little "con" himself. "Listen, I've got an Italian Stallion (Balboa's nickname), Lee Canalito, 23, he was a defensive tackle at the University of Houston before he had knee trouble. He won his only bout so far with a kayo in the second . . ."
"It was a typical gym," Ali says, "I liked the way Rocky was building up for the fight to make his big dream come true. I liked his determination.He didn't win but he did everything he could. It was a good movie, till near the end."
What didn't he like about the ending?
"That Apollo Creed stole my script. I'm so great he had to learn from me," said the champion.
Ali has been making his own movie and was reminded that his film might not similarly be nominated for an Oscar.
In a flash of modesty, Ali said, "If my movie is as good as that one, it will be all right."
Graziano, 55, syas, "The movie? It's pretty good, but it's a love movie not a good fight movie. I know he (author Stallone) stole from me. He copied the cut-eye bit.
"The movie is not too much like me. He copied some from my movie. 'Somebody Up there Likes Me,' with Paul Newman playing it.
"I can't knock Stallone's movie, but the kid's no boxer. His movie has a different slant. All the kids of today think his movie is me. It ain't me .
"I worked out in Philadelphia gyms: I know them. I met the kid at a producer's office; he wrote the whole thing himself. But there is only one Rocky - me.
"The whole fight scene is not real. BUrgess Meredith (Mickey) is a great actor. He told me when we were on the Mike Douglas show, 'You should take action against the movie.'
Nobody ever took my locker. I took from other lockers. You lose your locker if you ain't got no money for gym dues. If you were in a four-round bout in my time you got maybe $20. The manager would take 10. Then he would say you owe for bandages and food and you would wind up with $2.
"The training for such a big fight was too short in 'Rocky,' He came up tofast; I had 121 fights."