Originally published December 4, 2016

We have arrived at the fortieth anniversary of the premiere of Rocky, the first installment in a franchise that would spawn six films over the span of four decades. In this video, we wanted to look at the film series in a slightly different way. We argue that the Rocky films can be seen through a singular item: the red, white, and blue shorts worn by Rocky’s friend and rival Apollo Creed. The shorts feature in almost every film, taking on extra significance in the latest revisiting of the franchise, Ryan Coogler’s Creed. These shorts define the relationships and journeys of a film series that has become “short”-hand for the American Dream.