The 72 stone steps leading up to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have become known as the "Rocky Steps" as a result of a scene from the 1976 film Rocky. Tourists often mimic Rocky's famous climb, a metaphor for an underdog or an everyman rising to a challenge. A bronze Rocky statue was briefly situated at the top of the steps for the filming of Rocky III. This statue, now located at the bottom right of the steps, is a popular photo opportunity for visitors. The top of the steps offers a commanding view of Eakins Oval, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and Philadelphia City Hall.
In 2006, Rocky creator Sylvester Stallone recounted that the genesis of the iconic scene occurred when the 1976 film crew, bound by a tight budget, identified the steps one night while searching for filming locations around the city. Stallone first thought Rocky should carry his dog Butkus up the steps, but the big bull mastiff proved too heavy for the scene to work. Still, the view from the top of the stairs inspired him to reshoot the scene without the dog. In the 2006 film Rocky Balboa, Rocky lifts his dog Punchy when he reaches the top of the steps. The closing credits of Rocky Balboa show a montage of dozens of people running up the steps.
This scene was one of the first uses in a major film of the Steadicam, a stabilized camera mount that allows its operator to walk and even climb steps while smoothly filming.
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rocky Steps", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.