Trivia / Rocky


  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Rocky's signature colors are black and gold, not red, white, and blue. Apollo lent him the American flag trunks for his rematch with Clubber, and Rocky wore them against Drago because he was representing his country. This led to some people being confused when Rocky showed up at the fight in Balboa wearing black and gold instead of "his normal colors."
  • Cast the Expert: Both Tommy Gunn and Mason Dixon are played by real life boxers: Tommy Morrison and Antonio Tarver, respectively. Morrison's back story is even similar to his character's.
  • The Danza: Tommy Morrison as Tommy Gun in Rocky V.
    • Also, through the first six movies, Tony Burton played trainer Tony "Duke" Evers.
  • Defictionalization: Played with; while a "Rocky" pinball machine does exist, it's not the one that Paulie smashes in Rocky III.
    • The fight scene in Rocky Balboa? According to an interview, it happened right after an actual boxing event, so people who were there for a pay-per-view match got to see the ending scene to Rocky Balboa, original ending and all! It helps that this was Stallone's choice so he can make the fight as realistic as possible by actually taking and giving hits.
    • The famous Rocky statue in Philadelphia. It's still there today! Although, not at the top of the steps like in the films.
    • Rocky himself is treated as one of the icons of Philadelphia sports, to the point of building statues of him (the same statue from the movies). This may have something to do with real-life Philadelphia sports being the collective Butt Monkey of professional athletics, at least up till the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. Also, Stallone has all but been adopted as a native son of Philly.note 
    • Adrian Balboa has a real grave in Philly.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Burt Young is a successful painter in his spare time, which is why Paulie is shown painting while on break in the meat-packing plant in the sixth movie.
    • Thunderlips is played an actual fighter. Not by a boxer, but a wrestler, Hulk Hogan.
  • Creative Differences: Sources reported that Sylvester Stallone and John G. Avildsen nearly came to blows over the film's ending. Stallone wanted Creed to be the clear winner of the fight as a way of showing there are other victories for Rocky, but Avildsen cut the conclusion in such a way that preview audiences were not sure who had actually been declared the champ. They did agree, however, on the resolution to the Rocky-Adrian story. On viewing the rough cut, it was clear there was something missing. Adrian had more or less faded from the movie as the focus switched to the big fight with Apollo Creed. So a re-shoot was scheduled, and this time she comes into the arena to watch the last rounds of the match. When it's over, they call out to each other over the noise of the crowd, and Rocky walks away from the ringside frenzy to find her and take her hand. This was the upbeat ending Stallone wanted for his hero.
  • Deleted Scene / Missing Episode: Two things that were cut were a scene where Rocky visits his gym with Apollo Creed as a photo op and Rocky beats up Dipper, the fighter who took his locker earlier in the story and a scene the night of the big fight in the locker room between Rocky and Adrian. The locker room scene was at least filmed because production stills from it exist. Neither exist.
  • Doing It for the Art: John G. Avildsen was so excited about the film, he reduced his usual salary to about $50,000 and a percentage of the profits.
  • Enforced Method Acting: One of the reasons for Talia Shire's shy and reserved performance in the first film is due to the fact that she was suffering from the flu at the time of filming.
  • Image Source: For Victory Pose and International Showdown by Proxy
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Clubber Lang in III is a relentless, trash-talking bastard who'll start fights for his own amusement and try to steal your wife. Mr. T? He's one of the nicest guys around who encourages kids to stay in school and not do drugs.
  • No Budget: The budget was so low that Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith had to share a dressing room.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Slimy, self-aggrandizing fight promoter G.W. Duke is basically Don King with a haircut, at one point even dropping King's Catch Phrase "Only in America!"
  • Playing Against Type: Mr. T as Clubber Lang. Having him as an antagonist seems a bit weird, considering his more benevolent roles in The A-Team and Mister T during the same decade.
    • Averted with Hulk Hogan (at the time). Most people know The Hulkster as an All American Face, but when he got his start in wrestling, he was actually a heel. Rocky III was filmed right at the start of Hulkamania, when Hogan would go through his Heel–Face Turn (he'd go through the most infamous Face–Heel Turn in wrestling 13 years later...)
  • Real-Life Relative: Sage Stallone plays Rocky's son in V. His father Frank has a cameo playing the man who rings the opening bell of the Creed vs. Balboa fight and his younger brother, Frank Stallone, also has a cameo playing the lead singer of the street band.
  • Revised Ending: The original ending would have had Rocky and Apollo's fans carrying them out of the ring on their shoulders after Apollo's narrow victory. Rocky then goes backstage looking for Adrian. He finds her behind the curtain at the back of the arena, and the two walk off hand in hand towards the dressing room. Ultimately, Sylvester Stallone found this scene unsatisfying, and so reshoots were done a week or so later with the now memorable ending. Despite this, the portrait of Rocky and Adrian walking off together was the widely used poster shot.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Milo Ventimiglia commented that the sole reason he was cast as Rocky Jr. in Balboa was that he bore a strong resemblance to Stallone and shared the same crooked lip.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: The ice rink scene was originally written to feature 300 extras, but the production couldn't afford so many people. When Sylvester Stallone turned up to shoot the scene, to his horror, there was only one extra. So, Stallone hastily threw together the scene as it exists in the completed film. Ironically, this scene has become one of the most popular in the entire Rocky saga.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: When production on Rocky III was being planned in late 1980 and early 1981, a brash, arrogant, hated muscleman and rising WWF star Hulk Hogan began bragging on the WWF's television programs that he had (supposed) connections with Sylvester Stallone and was going to get a key part in the then-under development film. Hogan bragged that the movie would make him a huge international star and it would mean bigger and better things. Surprising thing is … Hogan was right! (Of course, it helped that, by the time Rocky III opened in the late spring of 1982, he was a face and the most popular wrestler in the American Wrestling Association.)
  • Star-Making Role: For Sylvester Stallone.
  • Throw It In:
    • Several genuine prop mistakes in the first movie, such as Rocky's robe being too big and the colours of his shorts being inverted on a poster were referenced in the dialogue to look like intentional mistakes. The former is even mentioned in the second movie.
    • The scenes where Rocky runs through Philadelphia weren't staged or rehearsed in the first film, creating a genuine live background. A literal example happens when a fruit vendor throws him an orange, which Rocky picks up gracefully and then thanks the man for the unexpected gesture.
    • The monologue which Rocky delivers after turning down Mickey's (Burgess Meredith) offer to manage him was completely improvised on-set by Sylvester Stallone. He has since explained that he was heavily influenced by the fact that the bathroom of the tiny apartment in which they were shooting really did stink.
    • During the scene where Gazzo is talking to Rocky about not breaking the dock worker's thumbs, Gazzo pulls out an inhaler mid-sentence and uses it. That wasn't written into the script; Joe Spinell actually had an asthma attack and really had to use his inhaler right on-camera on the spur of the moment. Director John G. Avildsen liked the authenticity it brought to the scene, so he decided to leave it in the film.
    • While preparing for Rocky II Stallone tore his right pectoral muscle which had to be operated on. This necessitated a change in the script where Rocky switched from fighting "southpaw" to fighting right-handed through most of the fight and using his left hand to jab.
  • The Wiki Rule: It exists, but its not as colourful as other wikis. Needs more love.
  • What Could Have Been: A handful of these ahead.
    • Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to use "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen for Rocky III', but couldn't get the rights. Instead, he contacted the band Survivor to write a new song, which became "Eye Of The Tiger". It's safe to say it turned out better than Stallone could have hoped.
    • One version of the script for Rocky Balboa had Mr. T reprising his role as Clubber Lang as a commentator for the Balboa/Dixon fight.
    • Carl Weathers wanted to have a cameo in Rocky Balboa as Apollo Creed. This would have removed his death in Rocky IV from continuity. Stallone didn't agree, and Weathers refused permission to use any footage of him in the opening montage.
    • There was also the alternate endings for both Rocky and Rocky Balboa. Both intend to have Rocky win the fight. The original ending of Rocky Balboa even had an extended ending sequence with Mason elaborating on his respect towards Rocky. The latter was filmed and is on all releases of the movie as a deleted scene.
    • Ivan Drago's characterization. Instead of being a 1 dimensional evil Russian cold war character, Drago could have been portrayed as a Max Schmeling (a decent man in real life), or including some of Dolph Lundgren's real life accomplishments like a degree in Chemical Engineering. Of course, this could have also been applied to Clubber Lang, instead of making them cardboard cutouts. Thankfully, Mason Dixon is much more humanized.
    • At one point, they were gonna have Rocky as a trainer for the G.I. Joe team; they got as far as making an action figure sculpt and printing a profile in a Marvel comic; however, Stallone instead decided to license his image to Hasbro's rival Coleco for Rambo: The Force of Freedom, so they had to print a retraction about Rocky in the comic and canceled the figure; however his intended "rival" in the forces of Cobra, "Big Boa" was still released.
    • Stallone's first draft for the first film was much darker. Mickey was a bitter old racist and it ended with Rocky deciding that he doesn't want to be part of professional boxing and deliberately throws the fight.
    • Stallone wanted Harvey Keitel for Paulie.
    • Paulie was originally going to be Adrian's Jewish mother, but was later changed to being her Italian brother.
    • The original script featured a pretzel vendor named Andy who was a boxer back in his day, who Rocky frequently talked to outside Mickey's gym.
    • Rocky's employer, Gazzo was originally also intended to be Rocky's older brother, but John G. Avildsen rejected the idea, as he thought it was too similar to On the Waterfront.
    • John Boorman turned down the opportunity to direct.
    • Warren Beatty, James Caan, Ryan O'Neal, Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds were all considered for Rocky.
    • Cher was oonisdered for Adrian.
    • Susan Sarandon auditioned for Adrian, but she was deemed too attractive for the part.
  • Written by Cast Member: Sylvester Stallone wrote all six movies.
    • Creed, a spin-off focusing on a new character in a new generation, is the first movie in the franchise not written by Stallone, but by its director Ryan Coogler.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Rocky's old injury to his finger which enables him to pretend he had broken it, is a real injury Sylvester Stallone suffered whilst playing college football.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Rocky