Sylvester Stallone has grumbled, muscled, and sweat his way into cinema history as one of our more prolific creators. To trumpet the release of Rambo: Last Blood in theaters this week, we tied on our own red bandanna (which has way more dried blood on it than you’d expect) and dug through Stallone’s filmography to determine which movie jobs Stallone has done the most.
And a shout to the job he did the least and pulled off the most, which was be a lion in ‘Zookeeper’ (2011).
A handful of times, Stallone got behind the wheel to race straight into our hearts. Special attention should be paid to the often-forgotten-sometimes-on-purpose gem ‘Rhinestone’ (1984). Early in his career, he also starred in the original version of ‘Death Race 2000’ (1975) which could be useful viewing for how to maneuver the inevitable crash of monetary currency and apocalyptic conditions we all face in real life.
LAW ENFORCEMENT: 9
Stallone embodies the kind of person we want keeping us safe: strong neck muscles who looks good in aviator shades. Don’t forget that ‘Cobra’ (1986) features a climax in the “flaming hook and chain” factory. Plus, a challenge to people who strut around wearing ironic ‘Golden Girls’ merch: ’Stop or My Mom Will Shoot’ (1992) features Estelle Getty from the show. You could buy a tee shirt and pretend to love Sophia from Sicily, or you could watch this film and embody true love. C’mon. We dare you.
PROFESSIONAL CRIMINAL: 10
You can’t expect a guy with street smarts and bedroom eyes to uphold the law all the time. Stallone goes from being deep in the game in ‘Capone’ (1975), to promising to get out of the game in ‘Oscar’ (1991).
Of all his roles, one could argue he’s made the most impact over generations with his roles as an athlete (sometimes turned coach). ‘Rocky’ (1976) has spawned six sequels and the ire of everyone named Adrian because their name gets hollered so much. You get bonus points if you read this and exclaimed “Rocky could ALSO be on the criminal list!” You’re not wrong, but it’s our list, so what we say goes, and it's the punching that's important in that film.
SOLDIER & MERCENARY: 12
Normally when Sly takes on a role, it's been as a character with military skills. Almost half of these movies star Rambo, which, when combined with Rocky, has to be some kind of record, but that's another list for when the next James Bond movie comes out. This list contains the most animated movies, which seems like a weird coincidence and a statement about the military-industrial complex and indoctrination that we're not prepared to make on a Friday when we have to go see Rambo: Last Blood and count how many buckets of blood are spilled.