PHILADELPHIA — Oscar-winning director John Avildsen was in town recently — his first time here since 1990, when he reteamed with Sylvester Stallone for "Rocky V." The occasion was a screening of the first "Rocky," the 1977 Academy Award-winning best picture, unspooling inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

PHILADELPHIA — Oscar-winning director John Avildsen was in town recently — his first time here since 1990, when he reteamed with Sylvester Stallone for "Rocky V." The occasion was a screening of the first "Rocky," the 1977 Academy Award-winning best picture, unspooling inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


There’s a newly restored Blu-ray version — the colors vibrant, the snowflakes falling on the pugilist’s street corner vivid and clear — and Avildsen was happy to talk up his low-budget, big-success endeavor.


"I’ve never seen it look so good," he said about "Rocky’s" digital upgrade — part of the "Rocky Heavyweight collection" Blu-ray DVD set, which includes all six "Rocky" installments and more bells and whistles than you’d hear in a boxing match that goes the distance.


Alvidsen said that unlike many of the titles in his filmography (an impressive one, boasting such hits as "Save the Tiger," "The Karate Kid" trilogy, and "Lean On Me"), there’s hardly a moment from the original "Rocky" that he’d go back and change. Just one scene at the end, really, when Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) have finished their epic slugfest, with Rocky’s gal, Adrian (Talia Shire) and her wheedling butcher brother, Paulie (Burt Young), looking on.


"Usually the movie is never finished, they (the studio) take it away at a certain point," Avildsen said. "But there’s only one shot that I didn’t get that I wish I had gotten, and that’s at the very end when Adrian’s coming into the ring and she calls Paulie’s name. And the last time we saw them together they were yelling at each other. So, we see her looking up at him.


"And I would liked to have gotten a shot of him looking back at her, so that we see that they’d buried the hatchet. But otherwise, I am very pleased."


As for the new Broadway musical adaptation, Avildsen hasn’t seen it yet, but he probably will. And the idea makes sense.


"Why not?" he said. "It’s a love story, and love stories make terrific musicals."


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