Rocky IV (1985)

PG | 91 mins | Drama | 1985

Director:

Sylvester Stallone

Cinematographer:

Bill Butler

Production Designer:

Bill Kenney

Production Company:

United Artists Corp.
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HISTORY

       A 27 Mar 1983 LAHExam article stated that Sylvester Stallone would forego a salary on Rocky IV in exchange for a 50 percent share of the gross from film rentals after MGM/UA recouped its negative cost.
       To cast the ferocious Russian boxer in the film, Stallone scoured the globe and considered 8,000 applicants before choosing Swedish-born Dolph Lundgren, 26. The 6-foot-6 Lundgren was a former European kickboxing champion and a first-degree black belt in karate.
       A 14 Jun 1985 LAT article noted that to build momentum for Rocky IV, executives at MGM/UA released a 90-second trailer, which screened during the summer when crowds went to see Rambo: First Blood Part II, six months before the film’s release. In the same article it was noted that the National Screen Service had 3,707 Rocky IV trailers currently being shown in the U.S. and Canada, setting a new industry record. The previous record belonged to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
       On 12 Mar 1985 HR reported that Rocky IV would begin principal photography on 18 Mar 1985, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The snowy location served as a secluded Russian town where Rocky trains for his fight with the Soviet Union’s champion boxer.
       A Feb 1986 AmCin article reported that night temperatures dipped to 10 degrees below zero when the winter training sequences were filmed. Stallone was filmed running up a frozen mountain at the 11,000-foot altitude with heaters on the cameras, while the crew filmed in a helicopter ... More Less

       A 27 Mar 1983 LAHExam article stated that Sylvester Stallone would forego a salary on Rocky IV in exchange for a 50 percent share of the gross from film rentals after MGM/UA recouped its negative cost.
       To cast the ferocious Russian boxer in the film, Stallone scoured the globe and considered 8,000 applicants before choosing Swedish-born Dolph Lundgren, 26. The 6-foot-6 Lundgren was a former European kickboxing champion and a first-degree black belt in karate.
       A 14 Jun 1985 LAT article noted that to build momentum for Rocky IV, executives at MGM/UA released a 90-second trailer, which screened during the summer when crowds went to see Rambo: First Blood Part II, six months before the film’s release. In the same article it was noted that the National Screen Service had 3,707 Rocky IV trailers currently being shown in the U.S. and Canada, setting a new industry record. The previous record belonged to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
       On 12 Mar 1985 HR reported that Rocky IV would begin principal photography on 18 Mar 1985, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The snowy location served as a secluded Russian town where Rocky trains for his fight with the Soviet Union’s champion boxer.
       A Feb 1986 AmCin article reported that night temperatures dipped to 10 degrees below zero when the winter training sequences were filmed. Stallone was filmed running up a frozen mountain at the 11,000-foot altitude with heaters on the cameras, while the crew filmed in a helicopter above.
       A 1 May 1985 column in DV stated that the Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, was the site for a Russian fight arena for the film. Filming started 30 Apr 1985, for the final fight between Stallone and Dolph Lundgren. Producer Irwin Winkler noted that Stallone always filmed his grand finale fight first. For the eight-day shoot, locals wore dark clothes to look Russian.
       On 7 Oct 1985 Newsweek reported that the production shut down for several days when Stallone had to be hospitalized after taking a particularly rough Lundgren punch during filming.
       In Feb 1986, AmCin reported that the Apollo Creed fight was filmed in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel.
       A 8 Jun 1985 Screen International article reported that after two weeks of filming in Vancouver, the production resumed filming on MGM/UA’s Culver City studio sound stages and locations in the LA area for five weeks under the direction of writer and star Stallone.
       MGM/UA’s 1985 marketing kit in 1985 announced that the company had agreed to partner in two strategies with Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream stores. In and around the time the movie was in theaters, local branch stores throughout America would feature Rocky Road IV with chunks of chocolate, marshmallow and nuts, as its Flavor-of-the-Month. Once in the store for the flavor, moviegoers would also have a chance to enter a special sweepstakes to win free movie passes.
       On 5 Dec 1985, a trade ad in the HR stated that Rocky IV opened to the biggest Christmas season gross in motion picture history: $ 31,770,107.
       On 23 Dec 1985 DV reported that Rocky IV played on a record 2,232 screens in the U.S. and Canada, expanding from 1,333 screens. This was the widest distribution of any film in history to the time.
       A 5 Nov 1986 LAHExam article reported a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by screenwriter Tim Anderson in which he claimed he first pitched the idea of the Cold War bout to MGM board member Art Linkletter, giving him access to MGM executive Freddie Fields, and leading to a meeting in 1983 with MGM Vice President Dean Stolber and Stallone. The pitch stalled when Anderson met with then studio chief Frank Yablans, who was noncommittal. The studio returned Anderson’s script without making an offer. Anderson claimed $5 million in general damages and $100 million in punitive damages, according to his attorney, James Pagliuso. In addition to Stallone, Fields, Stolber and Yablans were all named as defendants in the suit.
       On 18 Jun 1986, a trade ad in DV announced that the total worldwide box office for Rocky IV passed $252,000,000 on June 15, 1986.
       In a 28 Dec 1987 LAT article, Rocky IV came in fifth place with $19,991,537 as one of the top opening weekend box office grosses in film history.
       A 20 Jan 1991 Parade magazine article stated that Rocky IV was budgeted at $34 million and had brought in revenues of $278 million worldwide so far.

             The following thanks appeared at the end of Rocky IV : "Sincere appreciation to the camera assistants from the Western District of I.A.T.S.E. Local 667, Vancouver, British Columbia;" "Special thanks to: Tony Papa and Casey Young;" "Special thanks to: Diane Neufield of The British Columbia Film Promotion Office, State of Nevada Motion Picture Division, Richard H. Bryan, Governor; Yamaha, Telex Communications, Ricoh Cameras, Rabena Belts and Wallets, T.W.A., Quinton Instrument Co., Baskin-Robbins, NEC Cellular Phone, Izod, Ltd., Pepsi-Cola Company, Duofold, Cybex Fitness Equipment, Biocycle, USA Cable Network, Bvlgari, York Barbell, Huffy Bicycles, Sweaters by Jhane Barnes, Tumi Luggage, Clothing & Sportswear by Hugo Boss, Tomy Corporation, Stroh Brewery Company, Inc., Breco's Leathers, Church's Fried Chicken,Inc., Knudsen Corporation, Sony Digital Compact Disc, Adidas USA, Tuf-Wear Mfg. Co., Inc., Professional Video Division, JVC Company of America, Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A., Versaclimber by Heart Rate, Inc., Diamonds on Rodeo of Beverly Hills, California; Reference to Sports Illustrated cover used with permission of Time Incorporated; Associated Film Promotions, Robert H. Kovoloff, Product placement by Lee Faulkner;" "This film is dedicated to the enduring memory of Jane Oliver."
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Feb 1986.
p. 29
Daily Variety
1 May 1985.
---
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1985.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jun 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 1985
p. 3, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 1985.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
27 Mar 1983.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
5 Nov 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Nov 1985.
p. 1, 12.
New York Times
27 Nov 1985.
p. 18.
Newsweek
7 Oct 1985.
---
Parade
20 Jan 1991.
---
Screen International
8 Jun 1985.
---
Variety
27 Nov 1985.
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Chartoff-Irwin Winkler production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Prod mgr, Vancouver crew
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2nd asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst lighting tech
Key grip
Best boy
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Cam op, Vancouver crew
Gaffer, Vancouver crew
Key grip, Vancouver crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Montage ed
Addl film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Set dec, Vancouver crew
Prop master, Vancouver crew
Const coord, Vancouver crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
Ward head, Vancouver crew
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus supv
Score arr and prod
Score arr and prod
Orch arr and cond
Addl orch
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Supv rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Title des
Spec eff coord, Vancouver crew
DANCE
Dance choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
Makeup artist, Vancouver crew
Hairstylist, Vancouver crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Casting
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst to Sylvester Stallone
Asst to exec prods
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod consultant
Video eng
Video eng
Promotional coord
Voice casting
Prod's asst
Prod's asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Amanda Mackey
Extra casting
Scr supv, Vancouver crew
First aid/Craft service, Vancouver crew
Transportation coord, Vancouver crew
Prod coord, Vancouver crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Original themes from 'Rocky'," composed by Bill Conti.
SONGS
"Eye of the Tiger," performed by Survivor, written by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, produced by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, Survivor appears courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
"One Way Street," performed by Go West, written by Peter Cox and Richard Drummie, produced by Gary Stevenson, Go West appears courtesy of Chrysalis Records
"Double or Nothing," performed by Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight, written by Paul Williams and Steve Dorff, produced by Bernard Edwards, Kenny Loggins appears courtesy of Columbia Records
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SONGS
"Eye of the Tiger," performed by Survivor, written by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, produced by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, Survivor appears courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
"One Way Street," performed by Go West, written by Peter Cox and Richard Drummie, produced by Gary Stevenson, Go West appears courtesy of Chrysalis Records
"Double or Nothing," performed by Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight, written by Paul Williams and Steve Dorff, produced by Bernard Edwards, Kenny Loggins appears courtesy of Columbia Records
"Living in America," performed by James Brown, written by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight, produced by Dan Hartman
"No Easy Way Out," performed by Robert Tepper, written by Robert Tepper, produced by Joe Chicccarelli, Robert Tepper appears courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
"Burning Heart," performed by Survivor, written by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, produced by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, Survivor appears courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
"The Chipmunk Song," written by Ross Bagdasarian, courtesy of EMI America Records
"Heart's on Fire," performed by John Cafferty, written by Vince DiCola, Ed Frugé and Joe "Bean" Esposito, produced by Vince DiCola and Ed Frugé, John Cafferty appears courtesy of Scotti Brothers Records
"Sweetest Victory," performed by Mark Torien, written by Jake Hooker and Duane Hitchings, produced by Jimmy Iovine, Jake Hooker and Duane Hitchings.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 November 1985
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
12 December 1985
Copyright Number:
PA276052
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Metrocolor®
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27957
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

       In a flashback, Rocky Balboa defeats opponent Clubber Lang and regains his underdog champion status. At the boxing club where Balboa currently trains, Apollo Creed and Rocky kid about who is the better fighter when Apollo coerces Rocky to spar without TV cameras or reporters present. The “friendly” fight makes Rocky late for a birthday party for his brother-in-law, Paulie Pennino. A robot carrying a sheet cake is Paulie’s special present but he doesn’t like it. He wanted a new sports car. At night, Rocky romances his wife Adrian with another cake topped with a battling bride and groom in a boxing ring to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary. She is surprised and touched because his celebration is a week early. A news item alerts Apollo to the arrival of Ivan Drago, an imposing Soviet boxer, looking to turn professional by fighting Rocky in an exhibition match. Drago and his entourage invite the sports press to their high tech training center to create a lasting impression. When reporters ask if Drago uses steroids, the denials are glib and swift. Apollo wants one last chance at boxing glory and lays out his plan for an exhibition bout with Drago around Rocky’s dining room table. Adrian believes that Apollo is taking on more than he can handle. He and Rocky watch a video of the two fighting each other in the ring. Although Apollo is five years past his last fight, he is not ready to give up his identity as a professional boxer and a celebrity. Apollo hypes his boxing talents at a press conference, announcing the exhibition match with Drago. Drago’s wife Ludmilla, and Nicoli ... +


       In a flashback, Rocky Balboa defeats opponent Clubber Lang and regains his underdog champion status. At the boxing club where Balboa currently trains, Apollo Creed and Rocky kid about who is the better fighter when Apollo coerces Rocky to spar without TV cameras or reporters present. The “friendly” fight makes Rocky late for a birthday party for his brother-in-law, Paulie Pennino. A robot carrying a sheet cake is Paulie’s special present but he doesn’t like it. He wanted a new sports car. At night, Rocky romances his wife Adrian with another cake topped with a battling bride and groom in a boxing ring to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary. She is surprised and touched because his celebration is a week early. A news item alerts Apollo to the arrival of Ivan Drago, an imposing Soviet boxer, looking to turn professional by fighting Rocky in an exhibition match. Drago and his entourage invite the sports press to their high tech training center to create a lasting impression. When reporters ask if Drago uses steroids, the denials are glib and swift. Apollo wants one last chance at boxing glory and lays out his plan for an exhibition bout with Drago around Rocky’s dining room table. Adrian believes that Apollo is taking on more than he can handle. He and Rocky watch a video of the two fighting each other in the ring. Although Apollo is five years past his last fight, he is not ready to give up his identity as a professional boxer and a celebrity. Apollo hypes his boxing talents at a press conference, announcing the exhibition match with Drago. Drago’s wife Ludmilla, and Nicoli Koloff, his manager, are bored by Apollo’s boasting and proclaim that victory will be theirs. The boxers shove each other and disrupt the press conference. As Rocky pulls his friend off the podium, Apollo vows to finish the fight in the ring. The exhibition match is held in Las Vegas, where the event is more spectacle than sport. Apollo’s boxing trunks are covered in red, white and blue sequins and he wears a matching top hat and coat with tails. Singer James Brown and his band entertain the sellout crowd with a glitzy opening number, and Apollo throws in his own dance moves. The Russians can’t hide their disgust. Once the fight starts, it doesn’t take long for the six-foot-seven Drago to overpower the six-foot Apollo. Drago bloodies his face and pins him in a corner. At the end of the first round, Drago doesn’t break a sweat but Apollo can barely stand up. Rocky wants to stop the fight but Apollo won’t quit no matter what happens. It’s a prophetic statement because the second round is more punishing than the first. After a succession of lethal blows from Drago, Apollo falls unconscious to the mat like a rag doll. Rocky delivers the eulogy at Apollo’s funeral and places his world heavyweight championship belt on his casket. It is now Rocky’s turn to take on the Russian. He agrees to fight him on his home turf when Ludmilla says on air that threats have been made on her husband’s life. Adrian tells her husband that fighting the Russian is suicide but Rocky is determined to give it everything he’s got. He arrives in a secluded blizzard-covered training camp in the Soviet Union. Rocky uses everything in nature at his disposal to train, while Drago uses every bit of technology at his disposal. Drago receives an injection as part of his training. Fight day arrives in Moscow. The crowd is whipped into a frenzy yelling for Drago and Russian politicians take their seats. As they face each other in the ring, Drago towers over Rocky. In the first round, Drago pins Rocky in the corner but he breaks free. Rocky takes a fair share of blows but manages to dodge several jabs and attacks Drago’s midsection. Rocky has Drago against the ropes but the Russian pushes him away and smiles. Rocky rebounds and goes for Drago’s midsection again. After a few minutes absorbing Rocky’s punches, Drago turns the tables and delivers a series of punishing blows and Rocky falls to the mat. He gets up and Drago goes after him again. When the first round ends, Drago throws Rocky into his corner. Second round, Rocky alternately dodges Drago, lands a punch or two and then pushes Drago into the ropes. Drago grabs him by the arms and throws him across the ring. Rocky receives a torrent of grueling punches, as he takes everything Drago throws. Barely standing, Rocky throws a punch that badly cuts Drago above the eye. The Russian is stunned and Rocky lands more punches to his face, pressing him against the ropes with continuous blows to his midsection. When the round ends, Drago is hurt and tired. Emotions run so high, the fight almost becomes a street brawl before the fighters are separated. It is a relentless slugfest with Rocky absorbing most of the blows. In his best moments, he puts pressure on the Russian and succeeds in tiring him out. As Drago falls apart, his punches become sloppy and wild. Rocky stays on him and soon the crowd begins to root for Rocky. In the last round, Rocky taunts the Russian and lands a series of solid punches to Drago’s chin, sending him spiraling to the ground. The referee starts the count but Drago grabs the rope, and tries to pull himself up before collapsing in a heap. Rocky, the last man standing, is swaddled in the American flag as he’s hoisted victorious into the air as the crowd chants “Rocky, Rocky.” Breathless, Rocky’s victory speech acknowledges the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union and expresses the hope that two guys beating each other up can stand-in for the tensions between the two countries. His words are translated into Russian. The crowd roars its approval and even the Russian premier rises from his seat in tribute.
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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Boxing


Subject

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

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