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End credits run over a montage of photographic stills from the five Rocky films released up to that point. Credits contain the following acknowledgments: “We wish to express our gratitude to the Soviet government for granting us the use of their Aeroflot jet,” and “We would like to acknowledge the contributions made by the Philadelphia Film Office and the City of Philadelphia.”
       Rocky V is the fifth in a series of movies beginning with Rocky (1976, see entry), which won the Academy Award for “Best Picture.” It was followed by Rocky II (1979, see entry), Rocky III (1982, see entry), and Rocky IV (1985, see entry). Rocky V begins with boxing footage from “Rocky Balboa’s” fight with “Ivan Drago” in Rocky IV. As of this writing, two more sequels have been added: Rocky Balboa (2006) and Creed (2015). Rocky V was director John G. Avildsen’s second film in the series. After Avildsen helmed the first Rocky (and won the academy award for “Best Director”), star Sylvester Stallone directed the next three sequels.
       The 8 Jul 1990 LAT noted that the film’s original title was Rocky: The Final Bell. Stallone was paid $25 million for Rocky V, according to the 22 Oct 1990 People. The entire budget, the 23 Jan 1990 NYT reported, was “more than $30 million.” The original Rocky cost less than $1 million.
       Principal photography began in Philadelphia, PA, on 15 Jan 1990, according to the 13 Mar 1990 ... More Less

End credits run over a montage of photographic stills from the five Rocky films released up to that point. Credits contain the following acknowledgments: “We wish to express our gratitude to the Soviet government for granting us the use of their Aeroflot jet,” and “We would like to acknowledge the contributions made by the Philadelphia Film Office and the City of Philadelphia.”
       Rocky V is the fifth in a series of movies beginning with Rocky (1976, see entry), which won the Academy Award for “Best Picture.” It was followed by Rocky II (1979, see entry), Rocky III (1982, see entry), and Rocky IV (1985, see entry). Rocky V begins with boxing footage from “Rocky Balboa’s” fight with “Ivan Drago” in Rocky IV. As of this writing, two more sequels have been added: Rocky Balboa (2006) and Creed (2015). Rocky V was director John G. Avildsen’s second film in the series. After Avildsen helmed the first Rocky (and won the academy award for “Best Director”), star Sylvester Stallone directed the next three sequels.
       The 8 Jul 1990 LAT noted that the film’s original title was Rocky: The Final Bell. Stallone was paid $25 million for Rocky V, according to the 22 Oct 1990 People. The entire budget, the 23 Jan 1990 NYT reported, was “more than $30 million.” The original Rocky cost less than $1 million.
       Principal photography began in Philadelphia, PA, on 15 Jan 1990, according to the 13 Mar 1990 HR. Though Rocky V was filmed on schedule over a six-week period, the 10 May 1990 DV reported that it was still in production five months later because a new ending was being shot during an extra week. Director of photography Steve Poster had already left the production over “artistic differences,” and director John G. Avildsen departed as soon as the original footage was completed, the 10 Aug 1990 HR reported. The 22 Apr 1990 LAT noted that Stallone originally planned to have Rocky die at the end, but MGM/UA convinced him to change the ending because “they want to keep Rocky going.”
       A fight scene filmed over four days in early February at the Philadelphia Civic Center required 40,000 extras. A separate casting director, Tony DeNizo, was hired to assemble them, the 16 Jan 1990 Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Extras were not paid, but received food, soft drinks, and coffee, and became eligible for prizes. Their requirements for inclusion in the scenes were that they dress in contemporary winter clothes and not wear anything “exceedingly bright.”
       As outlined by the 23 Jan 1990 NYT and the 21 Feb 1990 Philadelphia Daily News, Sylvester Stallone paid $53,000 in 1982 for an eight-and-a-half-foot bronze statue of the “Rocky” character for the filming of Rocky III. The statue was placed on the plaza of the Philadelphia Art Museum, at the top of the outdoor staircase made famous in the original Rocky, and at the end of shooting, the crew left it standing there. However, the museum wanted no part of the statue, so the city paid $25,000 to move it to the Spectrum sports complex in South Philadelphia. Eight years later, when the statue was moved back to the art museum for the final scene of Rocky V, Stallone and his attorney, James J. Binns, with help from the Philadelphia mayor’s office, fought to keep it there, claiming the statue represented “the struggle of …many people.” Philadelphia Art Museum President Robert Montgomery Scott countered with the argument that the statue was “a movie prop,” not art. It was eventually moved back to the Spectrum. James Binns played himself in the film as Rocky’s lawyer.
       Tommy Morrison, who played “Tommy Gunn,” won the World Boxing Organization’s heavyweight title in 1993. His early life as the son of an abusive father eventually killed by his mother was incorporated in his character.
       Two stuntmen, Steve Santosusso and Todd Champion, sued the production for $20 million, contending they suffered a broken jaw and a fractured cheek during fight scenes, the 25 Apr 1990 LAT reported.
       The film barely arrived on time for the first screening on 6 Nov 1990 because Stallone delayed the final sound mix to record a last-minute theme song, “The Measure of a Man,” with singer Elton John, the 29 Oct 1990 DV noted. After recording with a seventy-piece orchestra, songwriter Alan Menken and producer Phil Ramone flew the tracks to England and recorded Elton John there.
       Joey Barnum, who boxed professionally in the 1930s and 1940s, sued Sylvester Stallone for “breach of contract,” claiming he had written a treatment that turned into the script for Rocky V, according to the 26 Feb 1992 DV. He gave the treatment to Stallone’s mother, Jackie Stallone, and her business partner, Hal Stone, in 1988.
       Despite mostly favorable reviews, Rocky V earned “a flabby” $34.7 million in its first twenty-four days, according to the Jan 1991 Box. The 11 Aug 1997 Time reported its total gross was $41 million, a major drop from the receipts of Rocky IV, the series’ top-grossing film. Stallone told the magazine, “I was naïve to believe there’s an audience who wanted to watch a man crash and burn whom they’ve come to know for 14 years.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
10 May 1990.
p. 2
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1990
p. 2
Daily Variety
13 Nov 1990
p. 2, 18
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1992
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1990.
p. 1, 6
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1990
p. 10, 123
LAHExam
17 Mar 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Apr 1990
Sports, p. 2
Los Angeles Times
25 Apr 1990
Section B, p. 2
Los Angeles Times
8 Jun 1990
Calendar, p. 2
Los Angeles Times
8 Jul 1990
Calendar, p. 29
Los Angeles Times
16 Nov 1990
p. 1.
New York Times
23 Jan 1990
Section C, p. 13
New York Times
16 Nov 1990
p. 1
People
20 Aug 1990
p. 37
People
22 Oct 1990.
---
Philadelphia Daily News
21 Feb 1990
p. 3
Philadelphia Inquirer
16 Jan 1990
Section F, p. 1, 9
Time
11 Aug 1997.
---
Time
12 Mar 1990.
---
Variety
19 Nov 1990
p. 79
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Paul Cain
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
United Artists Presents
A Robert Chartoff-Irwin Winkler Production
In association with Star Partners III, Ltd.
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog by
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Key grip
Dolly grip
Chief lighting tech
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Best boy
Video tech
Cam op (New York), Philadelphia crew
1st asst cam (New York), Philadelphia crew
[Crane]
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Ed on
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead man
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Stand-by painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR supv
Asst ADR ed
Spec sd eff
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd mixer
Cable man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff services provided by
Main title des & montage by
Title & montage composites by
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Spec make-up by
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Hair consultant to Talia Shire
Hairstylist
Make-up artist (New York), Philadelphia crew
Hairstylist (New York), Philadelphia crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod asst
Asst prod asst
Asst prod asst
Asst prod coord
Asst to Robert Chartoff
Asst to Sylvester Stallone
Asst to Michael S. Glick
Prod asst to Mr. Stallone
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Dramatic coach
Dramatic coach
Casting asst
Casting asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation dispatch
Unit pub
First aid
Studio teacher
Craft service
Prod asst, Philadelphia crew
Prod asst, Philadelphia crew
Loc liaison, Philadelphia crew
Casting--loc extras, Philadelphia crew
Casting--loc extras, Philadelphia crew
Casting--loc extras, Philadelphia crew
Transportation capt, Philadelphia crew
Transportation capt, Philadelphia crew
Philadelphia police representative, Philadelphia c
Craft service, Philadelphia crew
STAND INS
Stunt double
Stunt double
Stunt coord
Addl stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Sylvester Stallone.
SONGS
"The Measure Of A Man," music and lyrics by Alan Menken, performed by Elton John, produced by Phil Ramone, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc. and Phonogram, Ltd.
"All You Gotta Do Is Sing," music and lyrics by Joey B. Ellis, performed by Joey B. Ellis, courtesy of Bust It/Capitol Records
"Take You Back (Home Sweet Home)," music and lyrics by Frank Stallone, additional music and lyrics by Bobby Simmons, Brett Bouldin and Sean Bouldin, performed by The 7A3, produced by Bobby Simmons and Brett Bouldin, courtesy of Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"The Measure Of A Man," music and lyrics by Alan Menken, performed by Elton John, produced by Phil Ramone, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc. and Phonogram, Ltd.
"All You Gotta Do Is Sing," music and lyrics by Joey B. Ellis, performed by Joey B. Ellis, courtesy of Bust It/Capitol Records
"Take You Back (Home Sweet Home)," music and lyrics by Frank Stallone, additional music and lyrics by Bobby Simmons, Brett Bouldin and Sean Bouldin, performed by The 7A3, produced by Bobby Simmons and Brett Bouldin, courtesy of Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Go For It! (Heart And Fire!)," music and lyrics by Joey B. Ellis, Tynetta Hare, Michael Kelly and James Earley, performed by Joey B. Ellis and Tynetta Hare, courtesy of Bust It/Capitol Records
"Keep It Up," written by Benita Benitez, John Garrett and Durran Butler, performed by SNAP, produced by SNAP, courtesy of Logic Records GmbH
"That's What I Said," music and lyrics by M.C. Hammer, performed by M.C. Hammer, courtesy of Bust It/Capitol Records
"Winter Wonderland," music by Felix Bernard, lyrics by Dick Smith, performed by Ray Charles, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
["Gonna Fly Now," written by Bill Conti, Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins].
+
PERFORMERS
+
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Rocky: The Final Bell
Release Date:
16 November 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 16 Nov 1990; New York opening: week of 16 Nov 1990
Production Date:
15 Jan - early May 1990
Copyright Claimant:
MGM-Pathé Communications Company
Copyright Date:
27 December 1990
Copyright Number:
PA509324
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras and lenses
Duration(in mins):
104
Length(in feet):
9,368
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After he wins a fight in Russia with Soviet boxer Ivan Drago, Robert “Rocky” Balboa tells his wife, Adrian, that he fears something is broken inside after the beating he took. They return to a hero’s welcome in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and their young son, Robert, Jr, known as “Rocky Jr.,” runs to greet them on the tarmac. African American promoter-manager George Washington Duke interrupts the media event with his boxer, Union Cane, challenging Rocky for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Adrian insists that her husband has retired from boxing. When they arrive home, Rocky Jr. asks “Uncle” Paulie Pennino, Adrian’s brother, if he notices anything strange about his dad. Rocky learns from his attorney, James J. Binns, that during his stay in Russia, his accountant invested his money in a failed real estate deal venture. Rocky’s mortgage has not been paid in months, he has not filed his income tax, and he is destitute. The only thing not encumbered by debt is the boxing gym that Rocky’s late trainer, Mickey Goldmill, willed to Rocky Jr. in 1982. Rocky decides to fight Union Cane to get out of debt, but Adrian insists he see a doctor first. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam reveals that Rocky’s brain has been damaged by years of blows to the head, which accounts for his distorted speech and forgetfulness. Adrian assures Rocky he will be fine if he quits boxing. Rocky reopens the old gym. Standing alone in the dusty building, he remembers Mickey Goldmill’s admission that coming out of retirement to train him gave the old man motivation to live. He recalls Mickey presenting him with a boxing glove-shaped cuff link that ... +


After he wins a fight in Russia with Soviet boxer Ivan Drago, Robert “Rocky” Balboa tells his wife, Adrian, that he fears something is broken inside after the beating he took. They return to a hero’s welcome in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and their young son, Robert, Jr, known as “Rocky Jr.,” runs to greet them on the tarmac. African American promoter-manager George Washington Duke interrupts the media event with his boxer, Union Cane, challenging Rocky for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Adrian insists that her husband has retired from boxing. When they arrive home, Rocky Jr. asks “Uncle” Paulie Pennino, Adrian’s brother, if he notices anything strange about his dad. Rocky learns from his attorney, James J. Binns, that during his stay in Russia, his accountant invested his money in a failed real estate deal venture. Rocky’s mortgage has not been paid in months, he has not filed his income tax, and he is destitute. The only thing not encumbered by debt is the boxing gym that Rocky’s late trainer, Mickey Goldmill, willed to Rocky Jr. in 1982. Rocky decides to fight Union Cane to get out of debt, but Adrian insists he see a doctor first. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam reveals that Rocky’s brain has been damaged by years of blows to the head, which accounts for his distorted speech and forgetfulness. Adrian assures Rocky he will be fine if he quits boxing. Rocky reopens the old gym. Standing alone in the dusty building, he remembers Mickey Goldmill’s admission that coming out of retirement to train him gave the old man motivation to live. He recalls Mickey presenting him with a boxing glove-shaped cuff link that heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano had given him many years earlier. The Balboa family moves back to their South Philadelphia Italian neighborhood. Renewing his campaign to get Rocky in the ring with Union Cane, George Washington Duke telephones Adrian, reminding her that Rocky can make money again, but she hangs up. Now that Rocky Jr. no longer goes to a private school, Rocky and Paulie warn him about living in a tough, working-class neighborhood, because everyone tries to “scam” you. On the street, Rocky is approached by Tommy Gunn, an eager white boxer from Oklahoma who has already won eight fights. However, George Washington Duke and his associate, Merlin Sheets, pull Rocky away. Sheets has a copy of his doctor’s report, but assures Rocky that Duke can get him licensed to fight anywhere around the world. Seeing them from the window of the shop where she works, Adrian runs out and yells at Duke for trying to disable her husband in another fight. When Duke leaves, Tommy Gunn still wants to talk, but Rocky sends the young man away. Meanwhile, at school, Chickie and another boy beat up Rocky Jr. and steal his coat, as a young girl named Jewel stands by helplessly. Later, she introduces herself and offers her coat because the boy is cold. Tommy Gunn goes to the gym, where Rocky now works with young fighters. That night, on the street, Tommy asks Rocky to manage him. He has followed Rocky’s career since childhood, and knows Rocky can make him a winner. Rocky invites Tommy home for Adrian’s cooking. At the table, Rocky Jr. confesses that two boys beat him up. Tommy says the same thing happened to him, and his mother made him fight the bullies, but Adrian argues that she is raising Robert, Jr., to solve problems with his mind, not his muscles. Tommy recalls that his father used to beat him and his mother, but one day he fought back and knocked his father unconscious. Even now, when he steps into the ring, he sees his father. Rocky offers Tommy a place to stay in Rocky Jr.’s basement room. Going downstairs, Rocky and Tommy are impressed by how Rocky Jr. has arrayed his father’s championship belt, trophies, and photographs to erect a shrine. What impresses Tommy the most, however, is the boxing glove cuff link Rocky wears around his neck. Though Rocky Jr. is anxious to tell his dad about Jewel, Rocky is eager to impart to Tommy the lessons Mickey taught him. At school the next day, Chickie and his friend hit Rocky Jr. and take his lunch money. Rocky takes Tommy to the local Catholic Church to get a blessing from the priest. In his first fight, Tommy is punched hard in the first round, but Rocky exhorts the young boxer to make his fear work for him. In the second round, Tommy scores a knockout. As Rocky spends more time training his new disciple, Tommy wins fights. Meanwhile, Paulie trains Rocky Jr. to fight the school bullies, but the boy remains jealous of Tommy for taking his father’s time. The next time Chickie accosts Rocky Jr., the would-be victim beats up the bully in front of their schoolmates and takes back his coat. Afterward, he shakes hands with Chickie to make peace. Rocky Jr. runs to the gym to tell his dad about his victory, but Rocky is too busy with Tommy. Ring magazine and local newspapers bill Tommy Gunn as “Balboa’s Discovery” and “Balboa’s Bomber.” Rocky and Tommy become a popular twosome as they jog for miles around Philadelphia, attracting adoring fans on the street. George Washington Duke attends Tommy’s matches, and finally makes his move. After a successful Christmas Eve fight, Tommy is supposed to join the Balboa family for a party. Waiting for him to arrive, Rocky informs Adrian he is going to give Tommy the boxing glove cuff link, but Adrian warns that he has already given Tommy enough. Rocky Jr., hoping his father would give him the cuff link someday, slinks away to his bedroom. Tommy, meanwhile, attends a party with a new girl friend secretly hired by Duke. She and Duke convince him that the only way to fight top contenders and win the championship is to leave Rocky Balboa. Duke advances Tommy $20,000. When Jewel, Chickie, and Chickie’s friend join the Balboas’ party, Rocky Jr. accuses his father of being closer to Tommy than to him, and suggests he take his own advice about watching out for scams. Tommy arrives late with a new sports car and tells Rocky he has another party to go to. Despite winning twenty-two fights, he still has no money, so he is signing with George Washington Duke. Rocky claims he has tried to keep Tommy away from the dirty part of the business, the way Mickey looked after him, and that Duke is a “vampire,” but Tommy drives away. Rocky has a flashback to his fight in Russia. Drago pounds him. Adrian tells Rocky she knows Tommy made him feel like he was winning again, but now it is time to pay attention to his son. Rocky finds Rocky Jr. with his friends on a street corner and kisses him. He needs his son’s assistance because he forgets things. They agree to be best friends again. Watching Tommy Gunn fight Union Cane on television, Rocky shouts instructions and hits a punching bag. Tommy becomes the heavyweight champion with a knockout punch, but when he thanks the man who made it all happen, Tommy breaks Rocky’s heart by naming George Washington Duke. The crowd becomes angry, and the ringside announcers are shocked that Tommy did not thank Rocky Balboa. At a media reception, the press challenges Tommy Gunn about how easily he won. Reporters call Union Cane a “paper champ” because he never beat Rocky Balboa. One reporter even insults Tommy’s girl friend, insinuating that she is a paid escort. Afterward, George Washington Duke informs Tommy that the only way to get respect is to challenge his mentor, Rocky Balboa, and insult him any way he can to make him fight. Duke and Tommy stand outside Rocky’s neighborhood bar and challenge him. When Tommy goes inside, Rocky explains that Duke has been using him as bait to get the fight he wanted: Rocky vs. Union Cane. When Paulie insults Tommy Gunn, the boxer knocks him down. Rocky challenges Tommy to fight him outside, and despite Duke’s attempt to stop it because of Rocky’s early reputation as a street fighter, Tommy takes the dare. Rocky knocks him down with several punches, and admonishes him for betraying someone who treated him like a brother. As he walks away, Tommy punches the unwitting Rocky, and a television cameraman records the action. With his memory flashing first to Drago’s pounding, then to Mickey telling him to get on his feet, Rocky challenges Tommy to one more round. Using his old tactics, Rocky knocks out the young boxer. Rocky Jr. and Adrian embrace him, the gathering crowd roars, and despite Duke’s warning that he will sue if Rocky touches him, he knocks out the promoter. Later, Rocky takes his son for a run leading to the art museum steps, where a bronze statue of a young Rocky Balboa stands, and gives Rocky Jr. the cuff link. +

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

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