Rocky II (1979)

PG | 119 mins | Drama | 15 June 1979

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HISTORY

       John Avildsen, who received the Academy Award for directing Rocky, stated in a 29 Mar 1977 DV brief that he was interested in directing the sequel and indicated he had already been approached. However, Rocky II would mark the second directorial effort for actor and writer Sylvester Stallone, following Paradise Alley (1978, see entry). Near the start of production, a 23 Sep 1978 LAT article stated that the picture would be co-directed by Stallone and Tom Wright. Later, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) denied the filmmakers’ request for co-director credits, as noted in the 10 Oct 1978 DV. Instead, Wright appears as technical consultant in onscreen credits.
       In the story, “Rocky Balboa” must learn to fight right-handed to protect his damaged eye. Stallone mentioned in a 12 Jun 1979 LAT item that allowing Rocky to box with a right cross was a practical solution to compensate for a muscle injury Stallone suffered while training for the film. Actor Carl Weathers noted in the 23 Sep 1978 LAT that he modeled “Apollo Creed’s” showmanship and boxing style on heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Prior to filming, Stallone and Weathers trained for two and a half months at a boxing gym built in the Barrymore building on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) lot in Culver City, CA, under the supervision of boxing technical adviser, Al Silvani, who had worked with professional fighters such as Floyd Patterson, Rocky Graziano, and Jake LaMotta.
       According to an 18 Oct 1978 Var production chart, principal photography began on 2 Oct 1978, under ... More Less

       John Avildsen, who received the Academy Award for directing Rocky, stated in a 29 Mar 1977 DV brief that he was interested in directing the sequel and indicated he had already been approached. However, Rocky II would mark the second directorial effort for actor and writer Sylvester Stallone, following Paradise Alley (1978, see entry). Near the start of production, a 23 Sep 1978 LAT article stated that the picture would be co-directed by Stallone and Tom Wright. Later, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) denied the filmmakers’ request for co-director credits, as noted in the 10 Oct 1978 DV. Instead, Wright appears as technical consultant in onscreen credits.
       In the story, “Rocky Balboa” must learn to fight right-handed to protect his damaged eye. Stallone mentioned in a 12 Jun 1979 LAT item that allowing Rocky to box with a right cross was a practical solution to compensate for a muscle injury Stallone suffered while training for the film. Actor Carl Weathers noted in the 23 Sep 1978 LAT that he modeled “Apollo Creed’s” showmanship and boxing style on heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Prior to filming, Stallone and Weathers trained for two and a half months at a boxing gym built in the Barrymore building on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) lot in Culver City, CA, under the supervision of boxing technical adviser, Al Silvani, who had worked with professional fighters such as Floyd Patterson, Rocky Graziano, and Jake LaMotta.
       According to an 18 Oct 1978 Var production chart, principal photography began on 2 Oct 1978, under the working title, Rocky II: Redemption. The 31 Mar 1977 LAHExam noted Rocky Returns as another tentative title. Location work took place in Los Angeles, CA, and Philadelphia, PA, and filming was also scheduled at MGM soundstages, as indicated in the 25 Sep 1978 DV. The 11 Oct 1978 DV reported that the final fight sequence between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed was shot at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, which stood in for the Philadelphia Spectrum. According to a 14 Feb 1978 DV item, Stallone originally planned to set the rematch at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. A 29 Nov 1978 Var brief announced that the production relocated to Philadelphia on 22 Nov 1978.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Sylvester Stallone cast his own dog, a Bullmastiff, to play Rocky’s dog, and used his real name, “Butkus.”
       The budget was said to be $7.6 million in a 20 Jan 1991 Parade magazine item.
       As announced in a United Artists (UA) press release, the world premiere was scheduled for 14 Jun 1979 at Philadelphia’s Midtown Theatre as a benefit screening for the local Police Athletic League.
       Rocky II brought in $8.1 million during its first four days in 788 theaters, according to the 20 Jun 1979 Var, establishing it as one of the highest grossing openings for UA, to date. The picture continued to dominate the summer box-office, in close competition with Alien (1979, see entry), and earned over $53 million by the end of Aug 1979, as noted in the 20 Aug 1979 HR. In a 27 Apr 1980 LAT article, domestic film rentals were reported at $43 million, making Rocky II one of the top five moneymakers of 1979.
       A 4 Jul 1979 Var article announced that the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) had acquired network television rights for an estimated $20 million.
       Following the release of Rocky II, the franchise continued with Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), and Rocky Balboa (2006, see entries), all of which were written by Stallone and feature principal cast members from the first two Rocky films. In the 2015 sequel, Creed (see entry), written by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington, and directed by Coogler, Stallone reprises his role as Rocky Balboa and actor Michael B. Jordan appears as Apollo Creed’s son, “Adonis Johnson.”
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Excerpts taken from the novel, “The Deputy Sheriff of Commanche County,” Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.”; and “Special thanks to the City of Philadelphia, its mayor, administration and citizens for their courtesies and cooperation during the Philadelphia filming.”
      The opening of Rocky II replays the final fight sequence from the original Rocky (1976, see entry). End credits state: "This film is dedicated to the loving memory of Jane Oliver." According to a 7 Jun 1977 NYT obituary and a 8 May 1978 People magazine article, Jane Oliver, also known as Jane Oliver Sherry, was Sylvester Stallone’s first manager, who died in Jun 1977.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Mar 1977.
---
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1978.
---
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1978.
---
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1978.
---
Daily Variety
11 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 1979
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1979
p. 1, 3.
LAHExam
31 Mar 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Sep 1978
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jun 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1979
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
27 Apr 1980
Section O, p. 6.
New York Times
7 Jun 1977
p. 38.
New York Times
15 Jun 1979
p. 14.
Parade
20 Jan 1991.
---
People
8 May 1978.
---
Variety
18 Oct 1978.
---
Variety
29 Nov 1978.
---
Variety
13 Jun 1979
p. 14.
Variety
20 Jun 1979.
---
Variety
4 Jul 1979.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Chartoff-Irwin Winkler Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
D.G.A. trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Steadicam photog by
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Key grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
Still photog
Still photog
Addl photog credit
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Fight seq ed by
Fight seq ed by
Fight and training montages ed by
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus rec at
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd eff supv ed
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Sd eff ed staff
Loop ed
Vocal eff adv
Re-rec eng
Re-rec eng
Re-rec eng
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cableman
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles by
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod exec
Tech consultant
Fight and training montages supv by
Fight and training montages supv by
Post prod coord
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Craft service
Boxing choreog
Boxing tech adv
Loc mgr
Loc coord
Prods asst
Prods asst
Mr. Stallone's asst
Prod accountant
Paymaster
Prod office coord
Promotional arr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Casting (Philadelphia)
Company representative
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Street Scat," words and music by Frank Stallone
"Two Kinds Of Love," words and music by Frank Stallone.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Rocky II: Redemption
Rocky - Part II: Redemption
Rocky Returns
Release Date:
15 June 1979
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Philadelphia: 14 June 1979
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 June 1979
Production Date:
began 2 October 1978
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
9 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA38139
Physical Properties:
Sound
Re-Recorded in Dolby Stereo®
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
119
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25396
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1976 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed, and his dogged challenger, Rocky Balboa, are both taken to the emergency room after their grueling fifteen-round title match, in which Creed was declared the winner in a split decision. As the press swarms around the two fighters in the hospital lobby, Apollo insists he is ready for a rematch to squash any doubts about his victory, but Rocky announces he is retiring. While recuperating from eye surgery, Rocky stops by Apollo’s hospital room to ask if he gave his “best” during the match, and Apollo confirms he did. As soon as Rocky is released, he is badgered about signing an endorsement contract worth $300,000. Instead of dealing with the matter, he walks his girl friend, Adrian, to the zoo on a snowy day and proposes to her. After she accepts, the two are married in a small ceremony attended by a handful of family and friends. With earnings from the title match and upcoming commercials, Rocky goes on a shopping spree and buys a new car, house, and expensive gifts for Adrian and his dog, Butkus. Soon, the newlyweds learn they are going to have a baby. Rocky faces financial trouble after he struggles to deliver his lines while filming a commercial, and loses his endorsement contract. In search of a steady income, he attempts to get an office job, but with no high school diploma or qualifications, he is turned away and encouraged to apply for manual labor positions. Brother-in-law Paulie helps Rocky get hired at a meatpacking plant, but the boxer is laid off as a ... +


In 1976 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed, and his dogged challenger, Rocky Balboa, are both taken to the emergency room after their grueling fifteen-round title match, in which Creed was declared the winner in a split decision. As the press swarms around the two fighters in the hospital lobby, Apollo insists he is ready for a rematch to squash any doubts about his victory, but Rocky announces he is retiring. While recuperating from eye surgery, Rocky stops by Apollo’s hospital room to ask if he gave his “best” during the match, and Apollo confirms he did. As soon as Rocky is released, he is badgered about signing an endorsement contract worth $300,000. Instead of dealing with the matter, he walks his girl friend, Adrian, to the zoo on a snowy day and proposes to her. After she accepts, the two are married in a small ceremony attended by a handful of family and friends. With earnings from the title match and upcoming commercials, Rocky goes on a shopping spree and buys a new car, house, and expensive gifts for Adrian and his dog, Butkus. Soon, the newlyweds learn they are going to have a baby. Rocky faces financial trouble after he struggles to deliver his lines while filming a commercial, and loses his endorsement contract. In search of a steady income, he attempts to get an office job, but with no high school diploma or qualifications, he is turned away and encouraged to apply for manual labor positions. Brother-in-law Paulie helps Rocky get hired at a meatpacking plant, but the boxer is laid off as a result of an economic cutback, and sells his car to Paulie. When Rocky tells Adrian he wants to box again, she reminds him of the doctor’s recommendation to give up fighting. Otherwise, he risks damaging his right eye and going blind. Rocky’s former trainer, Mickey, agrees and slaps him on the right side of the face, demonstrating the weakness in his peripheral vision. However, Mickey realizes that Rocky is also desperate to be around boxing again and gives him a job working at the gym. Meanwhile, Apollo Creed is furious after receiving hate mail accusing him of fixing the Balboa fight and of not being the true champion. He yells at his associates, “I won, but I didn’t beat him,” and is determined to pursue a rematch, disregarding his trainer’s advice to forget Rocky. Creed and his team begin a campaign to humiliate Rocky out of retirement, with ads calling him the “Italian Chicken,” instead of the “Italian Stallion.” The boxers at Mickey’s gym even tease Rocky as he hauls water buckets. After watching Creed challenge him to a rematch on television, Rocky tells Adrian that his only career is boxing. She remains adamantly opposed to her husband returning to the ring. However, Creed’s bravado has changed Mickey’s mind, and the crusty trainer is now keen to seek a rematch. During a press conference, Creed boasts that he will defeat his opponent in two rounds. In contrast, Rocky appears nonchalant in front of reporters. While reviewing footage of the previous match, Mickey advises “southpaw” Rocky that he must learn to box with his right hand in order to protect his bad eye and to surprise his opponent. The trainer also works on Rocky’s speed by making him chase a chicken. Rocky appears sluggish and unmotivated, while Creed trains relentlessly. Mickey calls Rocky a “bum” and refuses to waste time training a half-hearted boxer. Meanwhile, Adrian works part-time at the pet store, despite her advanced pregnancy, and goes into early labor after overexerting herself. The premature baby boy is born healthy, but she loses too much blood during delivery and slips into a coma. Rocky remains at Adrian’s bedside and refuses to see his son until he and his wife are able to greet him together. Mickey approaches Rocky in the hospital chapel and gives him a pep talk about the rematch, but realizes that the fighter is only able to concentrate on Adrian’s recovery. Mickey keeps vigil with Rocky. When Adrian awakens, she and her husband name their son, Rocky Jr. In a change of heart, Adrian tells Rocky that she wants him to “win,” and the boxer begins to train with determination. During a morning run, a crowd of enthusiastic children follows Rocky through the city streets and up the familiar steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On the night of “Superfight II,” Rocky is greeted by cheering fans outside his house as he leaves for the arena. Per doctor’s orders, Adrian must remain at home. Entering the ring, Rocky is a five-to-one underdog, but the crowd favorite. Mickey reminds him to protect his right eye and wait for the signal before fighting left-handed. In the first two rounds, Rocky takes too many punches and is knocked down twice. However, by the third round, he rallies and finds a way to withstand Creed’s assault. Although Rocky has moments when he goes on the offensive, he loses most of the rounds on points. Before the fifteenth and final round, Creed’s trainer advises the champion to forget winning by a knockout, since he has enough points to retain the title. Pushed into the corner, Rocky takes Mickey’s advice and begins using his left to jab. He knocks Creed down, but the momentum of his punch also causes Rocky to fall. The two exhausted fighters both struggle to stand. Just before the referee reaches the ten count, Creed falters against the ropes. Rocky manages to get up, winning by a knockout, to become the heavyweight champion. Speaking into the microphone, he lifts the title belt above his head and yells, “Yo, Adrian, I did it!” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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