10 Things You Might Not Know About ROCKY IV - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About ROCKY IV

 Geek Dave returns to the ring for his annual Boxing Day bout of trivia...
1. Sylvester Stallone's original cut of Rocky IV ran to 150 minutes. United Artists/MGM bulked at the length and ordered a heavy edit, losing a full hour of material for the 91 minute cinematic release. To cut this much but still keep the flow of the story, multiple of the by-then-famous Rocky montages were utilised. Leaving a film that is nearly made up of one third of montages!

2. Not all the footage was left unused on the cutting room floor. A special teaser trailer featuring and narrated by Dolph Lundgren was played in theaters prior to Rocky IV's release. In it, an eerily lit Drago is seen against a Soviet flag telling viewers his name and that he will soon be fighting - and defeating - Rocky Balboa. It also features many shots - although again largely in montage form - that had been cut from the film, including some of Stallone training and Drago and Balboa in the ring ready to throw punches.

3. If you watched the teaser trailer above you would've heard the famous Rocky Fanfare. Originally penned by Bill Conti, and going by the official title of "Gonna Fly Now", it doesn't actually feature in Rocky IV (aside from a few bars in a training montage). This is likely because Rocky IV is the only film in the series where the music is not composed by Conti (rather Vince DiCola), who chose to score The Karate Kid Part II instead.

Coincidentally, Peter Cetera originally wrote "Glory of Love" for Rocky IV, but Sylvester Stallone rejected it. The track was then snapped up as the theme for The Karate Kid Part II.

4. Another casualty of the massive edit was Paulie's robot. Originally created by International Robotics Inc. in New York City, Sly wrote the robot into the movie after it had been used to help treat his autistic son, Seargeoh.
The robot's voice was that of the company's CEO, Robert Doornick, and was identified by its engineers as "SICO". It is/was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and got such a following that it even toured with James Brown in the 1980s!

Dorrnick recalled Stallone loved the robot so much he kept adding additional scenes, giving him new lines every couple of days, including one particularly comic scene which was cut between SICO and Rocky’s brother-in-law, Paulie. The pair had developed an odd couple relationship, with the robot complaining that Paulie always slept in the same t-shirt and made too much cigar smoke which SICO “found it offensive to [his] sensors.” So...
“Paulie shuts the robot down, opens the back panel, and changes the circuits to turn the robot completely female. Which is why in another scene, when the robot brings Paulie a beer, that’s my voice being synthesized into a woman’s voice. Most people in the movie don’t understand why the robot switched from a normal voice to a female voice. That’s why.”
Interestingly, as much as Stallone loved the robot in 1985, and it has developed its own cult following over the years, time has not been kind to how Sly views SICO today, as the 2020 director's cut edition of Rocky IV, which restored a fair bit of Stallone's footage, completely omits Paulie's robot.
"The robot is going to the junkyard forever, no more robot,"
...Stallone commented. Doornick believes that Stallone cut all of the robot scenes in the director's cut to save money on royalty fees that were given to him in the original.

5. Yet another creative edit decision left numerous fans confused in terms of the title belt and what exactly happens to it when Rocky is in Russia. A scene, between Apollo's funeral and the Rocky/Drago press conference, would've explained this but it was briefly incorporated into a newspaper montage. In it, Rocky visits the U.S. boxing board. While there, he is told that they will not sanction the fight and if he goes ahead he will not be allowed to carry the title.
6. Sylvester Stallone has stated that the original punching scenes filmed between him and Dolph Lundgren in the first portion of the fight are completely authentic, as Stallone wanted to capture a realistic scene and Lundgren agreed that they would engage in legitimate sparring. One particularly forceful Lundgren punch to Stallone's chest slammed his heart against his breastbone, causing the heart to swell. Stallone, suffering from labored breathing and a blood pressure over 200, was flown to hospital and spent eight days in intensive care.

7. Lundgren also nearly made Carl Weathers quit during the filming of the Apollo-vs.-Drago "exhibition" fight. At one point in the filming of the scene, in his quest for authenticity, Lundgren forcefully tossed Weathers into the corner of the boxing ring. Weathers shouted profanities at Lundgren while leaving the ring and announcing that he was calling his agent and quitting the movie. Stallone had to mediate between the two actors, production was halted for four days until Sly talked Weathers back into the part and Lundgren agreed to tone down his aggressiveness.
8. Rocky IV is one of the few sport movies that applies genuine sound effects from actual punches, and bona fide training methods created by boxing consultants. The film is recognized as being ahead of its time in its demonstration of groundbreaking high-tech sporting equipment, some of which was experimental and 20 years from public use.

In 2012, Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte noted that the training sequences in Rocky IV inspired them to use a cabin similar to what the one Balboa utilised in the film.

9. Rocky IV grossed a total of $127.8 million in United States and Canada, and $300 million worldwide, the most of any Rocky film. Not only that, for 24 years Rocky IV was the highest-grossing sports film of all time, only bested in 2009 by The Blind Side which grossed $309 million (without accounting for inflation).

10. In the latter half of the 1980s, the enormous financial success and fan-following of Rocky IV had Sylvester Stallone envisioning another Rocky movie devoted to Drago and his post-boxing life, with Balboa's storyline running parallel to Drago's. However, he noted the damage both boxers sustained in the fight made them "incapable of reason", and thus instead planned Rocky V as a showcase of the dangers of boxing. And we all know just how great that installment was, eh?

Until next Boxing Day...

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