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Trivia / Rocky Balboa

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  • The Cast Showoff:
    • The paintings made by Paulie in the film were actually done by Burt Young, himself an avid painter.
    • Sylvester Stallone took real punches from a real (light) heavyweight champion and kept going. The same guy that knocked out Roy Jones Junior, at that.
  • Cast the Expert: Mason Dixon is played by real life light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver.
  • Defictionalization:
    • According to an interview, the fight scene happened right after an actual boxing event, so people who were there for a pay-per-view match got to see the shooting of the film's climax. It helps that this was Stallone's choice so he can make the fight as realistic as possible by actually taking and giving hits.
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    • Adrian Balboa has a real grave in Philly.
  • Deleted Scene: Sylvester Stallone's original cut of the film ran near 2 1/2 hours. This cut of the film played to sneak preview audiences on May 15th, 2006. This was before MGM demanded Stallone cut the film down to an hour and forty-five minutes (the release print eventually ran an hour and forty-two minutes). Scenes cut out that are not included on the DVD release include:
    • There were many more visits to Adrian's grave in the original cut.
    • A scene in which Rocky sees a woman that looks like Adrian in the building where Robert Jr. works. He follows her for a while before he realizes it is not Adrian. Stallone decided to cut the scene because he felt that Rocky's loneliness had already been established enough, and that this scene was overkill.
    • Rocky's brain damage being shown to have not been brain damage at all was trimmed from the license scene.
    • Two training sequences: one of Rocky doing weight training as well as Mason Dixon doing his training to the tune of Survivor's "Fire Makes Steel" and afterward was a Rocky-only training sequence scored with "Gonna Fly Now". These two sequences were squished together for the final print.
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    • Before the fight, Marie and Rocky share a hug.
    • Rocky says hi to Mike Tyson before the fight.
    • There is a subplot about Paulie having a girlfriend that did not make the final cut. Unlike the rest, these deleted scenes can be seen on the DVD.
  • Directed By Castmember: A staple of Stallone's recent films.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Overlaps with Cast the Expert. Real-life Light Heavyweight fighter Antonio Tarver plays Rocky's opponent, Mason "The Line" Dixon, a much younger boxer who take on a near-elderly Rocky. In Boxing, Tarver was considered over-the-hill already (by fighter's standards) due to the fact he was in his late-30s during the time of filming. In fact, Tarver famously didn't "go Pro" until he was 31 years old and was said to be inspired by the film to continue fighting after considering retirement. He went on to have a decorated career well into his 40s (though his level of competition did start to drop off by the time he was 44) and retired at the ripe old age of 46.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Geraldine Hughes replaces Jodi Letizia as Maria.
    • Milo Ventimiglia replaces Sage Stallone as Rocky Jr.
  • Real-Life Relative: In the end credits where everyone is reenacting Rocky's iconic run up the steps, Sylvester Stallone's wife, Jennifer Flavin, is shown doing it as well.
  • Reality Subtext: As he had done with the previous five films, Sylvester Stallone incorporated a great deal of biographical material into this film. As Stallone himself explains on the DVD Commentary, to a certain extent, Mason Dixon is based on himself; a man who has made some bad decisions after taking advice from people who didn't really have his best interests at heart.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Milo Ventimiglia commented that the sole reason he was cast as Rocky Jr. was that he bore a strong resemblance to Stallone and shared the same crooked lip.
  • Throw It In!:
    • In his DVD Commentary, Sylvester Stallone explains that some of Rocky's dialog with Marie (Geraldine Hughes) was improvised on-set. For example, for the scene where he installs the light bulb, Stallone had no idea the bulb would be so bright, and his reaction to the glare is completely genuine. The line to Marie about meetings Steps' father on a cruise ship was another improvised line, as was his observation that he's a better dancer than the average bear. Stallone was so surprised with himself for coming up with this comparison, that his next line, "Where that came from, I don't know", was also improvised.
    • According to Stallone, the shot of Rocky standing alone on the museum steps before the second set of end credits was actually filmed without him even knowing.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Adrian Balboa was in the first few drafts of the script, then titled Rocky VI: Puncher's Chance. At this point, the story revolved around Rocky running a local gym for youths. However, Sylvester Stallone felt that the film lacked the necessary emotional impact it needed. So, he and Talia Shire came to an agreement that her character would be best left out of the film, as this would create an emotional chasm for Rocky from the very first moment of the film. To ensure that fans did not think she had been written out of the film because of a dispute with Stallone or because she refused to be in it, Shire made a public statement supporting Stallone's decision to kill off the character.
    • In earlier drafts of the screenplay, Rocky's former opponents Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago had cameo appearances. Clubber would have been a ringside commentator for the bout with Dixon and made disparaging remarks about Rocky. The scene with Drago had Rocky visiting him in a hospital where he is dying of AIDS from steroid abuse. Supposedly Rocky would have told a nurse, "If he dies, he dies" - the same line Drago said about Apollo Creed in the fourth movie. Both of these scenes were eventually removed from the script.
    • Carl Weathers wanted to have a cameo 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.
  • Written By Castmember
  • You Look Familiar: James Binns, who plays a boxing commissioner in this film, previously played Rocky's attorney in Rocky V.


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