Worst To Best: Sylvester Stallone

Cop Land (1997)

The Film: Stallone piles on the weight to play Freddy Heflin, a small-town sheriff investigating a case involving the NYPD and dirty cops.

Stallone Strength: Sly piled on 40 pounds for the role, which makes this one of his most interesting parts – without his usually honed physicality, he relies on other skills and gives one of the best performances of his career.

Rocky II (1979)

The Film: Rocky (Stallone) struggles with his marriage while Apollo Creed demands a rematch.

Stallone Strength: Sly’s such a trooper that he shot a fight scene even though he was badly injured after a 220lb weight fell on him during training. This guy’s the real deal.

Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

The Film: A loyal adaptation of Raymond Chandlers’ novel, with Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) attempting to track down a missing dancer.

Stallone Strength: Sly works with what God (and the gym) gave him, appearing in a cameo role as a beefy thug. Not much material to work with, then, but when the jaw’s doing the acting, a script’s not really necessary.

Bananas (1971)

The Film: Woody Allen’s third feature film, in which a nervous New Yorker visits a little Latin American nation after being dumped by his beau, and discovers a rebellion is taking place.

Stallone Strength: Another early cameo in which Stallone wasn’t expected to do much more than look menacing. He pulls it off with aplomb, playing a hoodlum in a subway scene.

Klute (1971)

The Film: Jane Fonda’s New York prostitute helps out Donald Sutherland’s struggling detective as he searches for a missing man.

Stallone Strength: Alright it’s not exactly a starring role. It’s not even a minor role, you probably couldn’t even call it a role at all. Sly appears here in a disco scene as a music-loving dancer – that’s him in the distance by the organ. Still, the film’s ace, so it’s a nice credit to have.

Rambo (2008)

The Film: Fourth and most recent Rambo film, with John Rambo (Stallone) joining a group of mercenaries on a rescue mission in Burma.

Stallone Strength: You want brutal demonstrations of Stallone’s strength? Look no further than Rambo, in which he kills a group of pirates, a squad of Burmese soldiers and a load of army soldiers using a machine gun. Phwoar.

The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Film: Follow-up to Sly’s first big action team-up – and this time Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis’ roles have been considerably, uh, beefed up.

Stallone Strength: Let’s talk about Stallone’s strength of conviction – he was already planning the sequel before they’d finished shooting the first Expendables .

Rocky Balboa (2006)

The Film: Stallone reprises the role of Rocky for the sixth time in this belated sequel, in which Rocky emerges from retirement for one last fight – against heavyweight champion Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Antonio Tarver).

Stallone Strength: The fact that Stallone managed to get six films out of that first Rocky is testament enough to the actor's determination and drive.

First Blood (1982)

The Film: Stallone brings the muscle to his second most iconic screen role as John Rambo, a Vietnam war vet who wages a one-man war against a small-town police force.

Stallone Strength: That guy wearing a plaster over his nose in the film? That’s the stuntman whose bonce Sly accidentally broke during the prison escape scene…

Rocky (1976)

The Film: Stallone’s best film, finest performance and best script – all in one film! Sly plays Rocky Balboa, who endeavours to earn himself some respect by fighting boxing champ Apollo Creed.

Stallone Strength: As legend has it, Stallone beat the slabs of beef so hard and long in one scene that he managed to flatten out his knuckles – get him to make a fist today and you can see the damage is still there.