American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Rocky Balboa" (2006)


Rocky Pleads His Case Before The Pennsylvania Athletic Commission

Audio mp3 delivered by Sylvester Stallone


  Commission Chair: This plenary session of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission is convened in order to consider the application of Rocky Balboa for the issuance of a discretionary professional boxing license, due to his ineligibility to be licensed as a matter of right. Mr. Balboa, you're welcome here. Since you're representing yourself, we invite you to make an opening statement if you'd like to.

Rocky Balboa: Naw, I was just curious how I did. That's all.

Commission Chair: Alright, well, the medical advisory board has informed us that the battery of tests to which youíve been subjected -- youíve passed these tests with flying colors and we congratulate you for that.

Rocky Balboa: Thanks.

Commission Chair: However, this commission, in good conscience, cannot recommend you for a license, and we therefore deny your application.

  Rocky Balboa: Didnít I do what you asked?

  Commission Rep: Yes, you did.

Rocky Balboa: So I should get a license, right?

Commission Rep: Not exactly.

Rocky Balboa: So whyíd you give me all them tests if you was never passing me?

Commission Chair: Weíve got to stand by our decision here and we have to deny your request for a license at this time.


[Rocky gets up to leave, gets halfway out the chamber door, turns and comes back in]


Rocky Balboa: Yo, donít I got some rights?

Commission Chair: What rights do you think youíre referring to?

  Rocky Balboa: "Rights," like in that official paper that they wrote down the street there.

Commission Chair: Thatís the Bill of Rights.

Rocky Balboa: Yeah, yeah, the Bill of Rights. Donít it say something about going after what makes you happy.

Commission Chair: No, thatís the pursuit of happiness, but whatís your point?

Rocky Balboa: My point is, Iím pursuing somethin' and nobody looks too happy about it.

Commission Chair: But, weíre just looking out for your interests.

  Rocky Balboa: I appreciate that, but maybe youíre looking out for your interests just a little bit more. I mean you shouldnít be asking people to come down here and pay the freight on something they paid that still ainít good enough. I mean you think thatís right? I mean maybe youíre doing your job, but why you gotta stop me from doing mine? 'Cause if youíre willing to go through all the battling you gotta go through to get where you wanna get -- Whoís got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really wanna do, something you never said to somebody -- somethin'! -- and youíre told "No," even after you pay your dues? Whoís got the right to tell you that? Who? Nobody. Itís your right to listen to your gut. It ainít nobodyís right to say "No" after you earned the right to be where you wanna be and do what you wanna do.

  Rocky Balboa: You know, the older I get, the more things I gotta leave behind. Thatís life. The only thing Iím asking you guys to leave on the table is whatís right....

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HTML transcription by Darvy Mann & Michael E. Eidenmuller.