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Trivia / Rocky

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Entries in this franchise with their own Trivia pages:
Trivia applying to the first film:
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
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  • Approval of God: Muhammad Ali, the basis for Apollo Creed, loved the film, even regretting not giving himself the moniker "The Master of Disaster".
  • 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. Even in the first film, for the final fight, while Rocky wore American themed shorts, they were white with red stripes. 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." As it happens, the American flag trunks weren't even Apollo's regular colors. While he wore them for the Bicentennial in the first film and the Drago fight in the fourth, his regular color's were red with white stripes, as shown in the fight in the second film.
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  • 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.
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  • The Danza: Through the first six movies, Tony Burton played trainer Tony "Duke" Evers.
  • Defictionalization: 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, and the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 (against, to make it even more of a Rocky-style underdog story, the heavily-favored New England Patriots). Also, Stallone has all but been adopted as a native son of Philly.note 
  • Deleted Scene: 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 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
  • Inspiration for the Work: Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for Rocky in three and a half days, shortly after watching the championship match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner that took place at Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio on March 24, 1975. Wepner was TKO'd in the 15th round of the match by Ali, with few expecting him to last as long as he did. Despite the fact that the match motivated Stallone to begin work on Rocky, he has subsequently denied that Wepner provided any inspiration for the script.
  • No Budget: The budget was so low that Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith had to share a dressing room.
  • One-Take Wonder: With the film running behind schedule, Sylvester Stallone was allowed only one shot at Rocky's most vulnerable moment, confessing his insecurities to his girlfriend, Adrian. Thankfully, that was all he needed, and the character's pivotal moment was kept.
  • Real-Life Relative: Stallone's father Frank Sr. has a cameo playing the man who rings the opening bell of the Creed vs. Balboa fight and his younger brother, Frank Stallone Jr., also has a cameo playing the lead singer of the street band.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: After the film was released, Citytv in Toronto, Canada began using "Gonna Fly Now" as the theme for their ground-breaking local newscast CityPulse; rearrangements and themes based on the original were used by the station well into the 2000s.
  • Reality Subtext: Comparing the Rocky films and Sylvester Stallone's career is pretty fascinating with how the former progressively reflected the other.
  • 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.
  • Star-Making Role: For Sylvester Stallone.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Several genuine prop mistakes, 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, 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.
      • Another specific instance was the famous stairs scene. Stallone and some of the crew were simply driving by, saw the stairs and thought they looked cool.
    • The monologue which Rocky delivers after turning down Mickey's 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.
  • The Wiki Rule: It exists, but its not as colourful as other wikis. Needs more love.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 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, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds were all considered for Rocky.
    • Susan Sarandon auditioned for Adrian, but she was deemed too attractive for the part. Cher was also considered.
  • Written by Cast Member: Sylvester Stallone wrote the first six movies.
  • 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.


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