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Trivia / Rocky III

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  • B-Team Sequel: John G. Avildsen was approached to direct, but turned it down. Despite the fiasco of Stallone's Paradise Alley, Alvidsen encouraged Stallone to direct it
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.
  • Cast the Expert:
    • Pro wrestler Thunderlips is played by actual pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.
    • The referee of the bout between Rocky and Thunderlips was played by Johnny "Red Shoes" Dugan, a real life wrestling referee.
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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: This is Carl Weathers' favourite entry in the series because of how well Apollo Creed is humanised in it.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Played with; while a "Rocky" pinball machine does exist, it's not the one that Paulie smashes.
    • The famous Rocky statue in Philadelphia. It's still there today! Although, not at the top of the steps like in the films.
  • Directed by Cast Member: It was directed by Sylvester Stallone.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: In preparation for film, Sylvester Stallone claims to have got his body fat percentage down to his all-time low of 2.8% and weighed 155 lbs. He stated that he ate only ten egg whites and a piece of toast a day, having a fruit every third day. His training consisted of a two-mile jog in the morning followed by a two-hour weight training, a nap during the afternoon followed by 18 rounds of sparring, another weight training and finishing the day with a swim.
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  • Enforced Method Acting: During the rematch with Lang, you can see Rocky inadvertently spit on Paulie. His reaction is genuine.
  • 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.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • As he had done with the first two films, writer Sylvester Stallone incorporated biographical elements from his own life into Rocky's story. In particular, he chose to focus on the 'unreal' aspects of Rocky's life, and how out of touch he has become with 'normality'. When making this film, Stallone was at the height of his fame, and much of the over-the-top celebrity exposure experienced by Rocky was based on experiences Stallone had had himself.
    • Much of the merchandise shown in the opening montage was in fact available in real life, most notably the pinball machine bearing Rocky's name.
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  • Real-Life Relative: Sylvester Stallone's first wife Sasha was the blonde groupie who asked for and got a kiss from Rocky during his public training session for his first fight with Clubber Lang.
  • Scully Box: While already a tall man in real life (especially then, as he's shrunken several inches in his old age), Hulk Hogan is obviously using this in his scenes in order for Thunderlips to tower over Rocky.
  • Star-Making Role: Prior to this film, Hulk Hogan wasn't very well-known outside of the pro wrestling fandom. This film gave him the exposure needed for Hulkamania to kick off.
  • Trilogy Creep: This was intended to be the last Rocky film. However, due to the film's success, Sylvester Stallone decided to keep the series going.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Morgan Freeman auditioned for the role of Clubber Lang's trainer.
    • Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to use "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, 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.
    • "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito was supposed to be the theme song, but it wasn't used. It was the theme song for The Karate Kid (1984).
  • Word of God: According to Sylvester Stallone, Clubber Lang later became a born-again Christian and a ringside announcer, paralleling the life of George Foreman, the boxer who was a partial inspiration for Lang (as well as Lang's own actor, as Mr. T himself is also a born-again Christian).
  • Written by Cast Member: Sylvester Stallone wrote the script.


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