Show Business: Italian Stallion

How's this for a plot: a street-wise Italian kid, who thinks of himself as "an intellectual caveman," grows up dreaming about being a tough fighter, a writer and a famous actor. He stumbles from job to job, then weaves his daydreams together: he writes a boxing movie, stars in it himself, and—even before the film is released—Hollywood hails him as the next Mitchum, Brando and Pacino rolled into one.

The plot is coming true for Sylvester ("Sly") Stallone, 30, a brash, genial bit-actor who wrote the script Rocky in three days, and held...

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