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Rocky IV

Rocky IV

Overview
Rocky IV is a 1985 American film written by, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

. It is the fourth and most financially successful entry in the Rocky
Rocky (film series)
Rocky is a boxing saga of popular films all written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays the character Rocky Balboa. The films are, by order of release date: Rocky , Rocky II , Rocky III , Rocky IV , Rocky V and Rocky Balboa...

franchise. In the film, Rocky Balboa plans to retire from boxing after regaining his title from Clubber Lang in Rocky III
Rocky III
Rocky III is a 1982 American film that is the third installment in the Rocky film series. It is written and directed by and stars Sylvester Stallone as the title character, with Carl Weathers as former boxing rival Apollo Creed, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey, and Talia Shire as Rocky's...

while an unknown amateur boxer from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago is a fictional character that appeared as Rocky Balboa's rival in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture like Clubber Lang , including in the Family Guy episode "Brian...

 (played by Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

), makes a bid to enter professional boxing.

Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago is a fictional character that appeared as Rocky Balboa's rival in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture like Clubber Lang , including in the Family Guy episode "Brian...

 (Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

), a highly intimidating 6-foot 5 inch, 261-pound Soviet boxer, arrives in America with his wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen is a Danish model, actress, musician and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later made appearances in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV and is also known for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone...

), and a team of trainers from the USSR and Cuba.
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Quotations

It ain't over until its over.

There's a lot I could say about this man, but I don't know if it matters now. I guess what matters is what he stood for, what he lived for, and what he died for. You always did everything the way you wanted it. And I didn't understand that, but now I understand. I'll never forget you, Apollo. You're the best.

Eulogizing Apollo Creed.

No, maybe I can't win. Maybe the only thing I can do is just take everything he's got. But to beat me, he's going to have to kill me. And to kill me, he's gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me. And to do that, he's got to be willing to die himself. I don't know if he's ready to do that. I don't know.

Talking about fighting Ivan Drago.

Going in one more round when you don't think you can - that's what makes all the difference in your life.

During this fight, I've seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that's better than twenty million. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!

Addressing the Russian crowd after the match with Drago has ended.

We always have to be in the middle of the action 'cause we're the warriors. And without some challenge, without some damn war to fight, then the warrior might as well be dead, Stallion! Now I'm asking you - as a friend - stand by my side this one last time.

If he dies, he dies.

Following the death of Apollo Creed.

I must break you.

Said to Rocky, as their match is about to begin.

He's not human. He's like a piece of iron.

To his trainer, during the match with Rocky. Ok, you've hurt him, now he's nervous, it hurt!! you see Rocky, he's not a machine!! he's a man!

Rocky: Champ, look this fight's over. I gotta stop it.

Encyclopedia
Rocky IV is a 1985 American film written by, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

. It is the fourth and most financially successful entry in the Rocky
Rocky (film series)
Rocky is a boxing saga of popular films all written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays the character Rocky Balboa. The films are, by order of release date: Rocky , Rocky II , Rocky III , Rocky IV , Rocky V and Rocky Balboa...

franchise. In the film, Rocky Balboa plans to retire from boxing after regaining his title from Clubber Lang in Rocky III
Rocky III
Rocky III is a 1982 American film that is the third installment in the Rocky film series. It is written and directed by and stars Sylvester Stallone as the title character, with Carl Weathers as former boxing rival Apollo Creed, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey, and Talia Shire as Rocky's...

while an unknown amateur boxer from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago is a fictional character that appeared as Rocky Balboa's rival in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture like Clubber Lang , including in the Family Guy episode "Brian...

 (played by Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

), makes a bid to enter professional boxing.

Plot


Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago is a fictional character that appeared as Rocky Balboa's rival in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture like Clubber Lang , including in the Family Guy episode "Brian...

 (Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

), a highly intimidating 6-foot 5 inch, 261-pound Soviet boxer, arrives in America with his wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen is a Danish model, actress, musician and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later made appearances in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV and is also known for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone...

), and a team of trainers from the USSR and Cuba. His manager, Nicolai Koloff (Michael Pataki
Michael Pataki
Michael Pataki was an American character actor.-Early life:Pataki born in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended the University of Southern California with a double major in Political Science and Drama...

), takes every opportunity to promote Drago's athleticism as a hallmark of Soviet superiority. Motivated by patriotism and an innate desire to prove himself, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers is an American actor, as well as former professional football player in the United States and Canada. He is best known for playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky series of films...

) challenges Drago to an exhibition bout. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

) has reservations, but agrees to train Apollo, who enters the ring in an over-the-top patriotic entrance with James Brown
James Brown
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of Funk and is recognized as a major figure in the 20th century popular music for both his vocals and dancing. He has been referred to as "The Godfather of Soul," "Mr...

 performing Living in America
Living in America (song)
"Living in America" is a 1985 song composed by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight, and performed by James Brown. It was released as a single in 1985 and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart...

. It soon turns serious though, as Drago beats Apollo mercilessly. Apollo is in dire straits and taking the worst beating of his life as the first round ends. Rocky and Apollo's trainer Duke (Tony Burton
Tony Burton
Anthony "Tony" Burton is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Tony "Duke" Evers in the Rocky series, and is one of three actors who have appeared in all six Rocky films....

) plead with him to give up, but Apollo refuses to do so, and tells Rocky not to stop the fight. The second round doesn't go any better, and despite Duke begging Rocky to throw in the towel, he honors Apollo's wish. This turns out to have fatal consequences as Drago beats Apollo so badly that he dies from his injuries. In the immediate aftermath, Drago displays no sense of remorse commenting to the assembled media: "If he dies... he dies."

Incensed by Drago's cold indifference and feeling a deep sense of guilt, Rocky decides to avenge Apollo's death by agreeing to relinquish his title and fight Drago in Russia on Christmas Day in an unsanctioned 15-round bout. He flies to the USSR without Adrian, setting up his training base in Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...

 with only Duke and brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young
Burt Young
Burt Young is an American actor, painter and author. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role as Sylvester Stallone's brother-in-law and friend Paulie in the Rocky film series.-Personal life:...

) to accompany him. To prepare for the fight, Drago uses very high tech equipment with (implied) use of anabolic steroids and a team of trainers and doctors monitoring his every fiber. Rocky, on the other hand uses a very basic, spartan approach: he throws heavy logs, chops down trees, pulls an overloaded snow sleigh, jogs in heavy snow and treacherous icy conditions and climbs a mountain. Adrian (Talia Shire
Talia Shire
Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

) shows up unexpectedly to give Rocky her support after initially refusing to travel to Russia because of her doubts on his fighting chances, resulting in Rocky's training having an added focus.

Drago is introduced with an elaborate, patriotic ceremony that puts the Russian crowd squarely on Drago's side, as Rocky is booed by all in attendance. In contrast to his fight with Apollo, Drago immediately goes on the offensive and Rocky takes a fierce pounding. Rocky comes back toward the end of the second and silences the Russian crowd by landing a strong left hook that cuts Drago just over his left eye. While Drago is visibly shaken, Rocky is fired up and suddenly goes on the offensive, which continues even after the bell rings. While Duke and Paulie cheer Rocky for his heroism, they remind him that Drago is not a machine, but a man. Ironically, Drago comments that Rocky "is not human, he is like a piece of iron" with his own corner reprimanding him for being "weak" in comparison to the "small American."

The two boxers continue to hit each other over the next dozen rounds, with Rocky holding his ground despite Drago's powerful punches. His resilience rallies the previously hostile Soviet crowd to his side, which unsettles Drago to the point that he shoves Koloff off the ring for berating his performance. Rocky finally takes out Drago in the 15th and last round to the shock of the Soviet Politburo watching the fight. A bloody and battered Rocky gives a victory speech, acknowledging the initial and mutual disdain between himself and the once hostile crowd as much as the disdain between Russians and Americans generally, and how they've come to respect and admire each other during the course of the fight which he also says is better than war between their two countries. He finishes by saying that everybody can "change." The Soviet General Secretary stands and passionately applauds Rocky and his aides follow suit. Rocky ends his speech by wishing his son a Merry Christmas, and throws his arms into the air in victory as the crowd applauds.

Cast

  • Sylvester Stallone
    Sylvester Stallone
    Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

     - Rocky Balboa
  • Burt Young
    Burt Young
    Burt Young is an American actor, painter and author. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role as Sylvester Stallone's brother-in-law and friend Paulie in the Rocky film series.-Personal life:...

     - Paulie Pennino
  • Talia Shire
    Talia Shire
    Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

     - Adrian Balboa
  • Carl Weathers
    Carl Weathers
    Carl Weathers is an American actor, as well as former professional football player in the United States and Canada. He is best known for playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky series of films...

     - Apollo Creed
    Apollo Creed
    Apollo Creed is a fictional character from the Rocky films, initially portrayed as the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. He was played by Carl Weathers. Many believe his character was modeled after Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali while Rocky Balboa was based on relatively unknown...

  • Brigitte Nielsen
    Brigitte Nielsen
    Brigitte Nielsen is a Danish model, actress, musician and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later made appearances in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV and is also known for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone...

     - Ludmilla Vobet Drago
  • Dolph Lundgren
    Dolph Lundgren
    Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

     - Captain Ivan Drago
    Ivan Drago
    Ivan Drago is a fictional character that appeared as Rocky Balboa's rival in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. The character and his catchphrases have gone on to inspire multiple mentions in popular culture like Clubber Lang , including in the Family Guy episode "Brian...

  • Tony Burton
    Tony Burton
    Anthony "Tony" Burton is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Tony "Duke" Evers in the Rocky series, and is one of three actors who have appeared in all six Rocky films....

     - Tony "Duke" Evers
  • Michael Pataki
    Michael Pataki
    Michael Pataki was an American character actor.-Early life:Pataki born in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended the University of Southern California with a double major in Political Science and Drama...

     - Nicoli Koloff
  • Stu Nahan
    Stu Nahan
    Stu Nahan was an American sportscaster best known for his television broadcasting career in Los Angeles from the 1950s through the 1990s. He is also remembered for his role as a boxing commentator in most of the Rocky films. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6549 Hollywood Blvd...

    - Commentator #1 (Creed-Drago)
  • Warner Wolf
    Warner Wolf
    Warner William Wolf is an American television and radio sports broadcaster, perhaps best known as a local news sports anchor in Washington, D.C., New York City and his catchphrase "Let's go to the videotape!"....

     - Commentator #2 (Creed-Drago)
  • R.J. Adams - Sports Announcer
  • Barry Tompkins
    Barry Tompkins
    Barry Tompkins is a well-known American sportscaster. He is better known for his work as a boxing commentator, but he has covered football and another number of sports as well.-San Francisco, New York City and NBC:...

     - American Commentator #1 (Rocky-Drago)
  • Al Bandiero
    Al Bandiero
    Al Bandiero is an American award-winning film and television actor, known for playing Peter Evans in the TV series Desire.-Biography:...

     - American Commentator #2 (Rocky-Drago)
  • James Brown
    James Brown
    James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of Funk and is recognized as a major figure in the 20th century popular music for both his vocals and dancing. He has been referred to as "The Godfather of Soul," "Mr...

     - The Godfather of Soul

Production


Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 doubled for the frozen expanse of the Soviet Union. The small farm where Rocky lived and trained was in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, originally called Jackson's Hole, is a valley located in the U.S. state of Wyoming, near the western border with Idaho. The name "hole" derives from language used by early trappers or mountain men, who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend along...

, and the Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, U.S. The Park consists of approximately and includes the major peaks of the long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. Only south of Yellowstone...

 was used for filming many of the outdoor sequences in Russia. The PNE Agrodome
PNE Agrodome
PNE Agrodome is a sports arena located in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was built in 1963 and holds 5,000 people or 3,260 when configured to use the hockey or lacrosse surface. It annually hosts the provincial high school boys' 'AAA' basketball championships...

 at Hastings Park
Hastings Park
Hastings Park is located in the northeast sector of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in a neighbourhood called Hastings-Sunrise. Its name references Hastings, B.C., also known as New Brighton, which lay at the end of the Douglas Road from New Westminster, founded as a resort and watering-hole...

 in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, served as the location of Rocky's Soviet bout.

Sylvester Stallone has stated that the original punching scenes filmed between him and Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

 in the first portion of the fight are completely authentic. 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 and his breathing to become laboured. Stallone, suffering from labored breathing and a blood pressure over 200, was flown from the set in Canada to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica and was forced into intensive care for eight days. Stallone later commented that he believed Lundgren had the athletic ability and talent to fight in the professional heavyweight division of boxing.

Additionally, Stallone claimed that Lundgren nearly forced Carl Weathers to quit in the middle of filming the Apollo versus Drago exhibition fight. In one take for the Creed-Drago fight scene, Lundgren tossed Weathers into the corner of the boxing ring. Weathers shouted profanities at Lundgren while leaving the ring and announcing that he was quitting the movie and calling his agent. Only after Stallone forced the two actors to reconcile did the movie continue. This event caused a four day work stoppage while Weathers was talked back into the part and Lundgren had to be forced into toning down his aggressiveness.

Casting


Sportscaster Stu Nahan
Stu Nahan
Stu Nahan was an American sportscaster best known for his television broadcasting career in Los Angeles from the 1950s through the 1990s. He is also remembered for his role as a boxing commentator in most of the Rocky films. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6549 Hollywood Blvd...

 makes his fourth appearance in the series as commentator for the Apollo/Drago fight. Warner Wolf
Warner Wolf
Warner William Wolf is an American television and radio sports broadcaster, perhaps best known as a local news sports anchor in Washington, D.C., New York City and his catchphrase "Let's go to the videotape!"....

 replaces Bill Baldwin, who died following filming for Rocky III, as co-commentator. For the fight between Rocky and Drago, commentators Barry Tompkins
Barry Tompkins
Barry Tompkins is a well-known American sportscaster. He is better known for his work as a boxing commentator, but he has covered football and another number of sports as well.-San Francisco, New York City and NBC:...

 and Al Bandiero
Al Bandiero
Al Bandiero is an American award-winning film and television actor, known for playing Peter Evans in the TV series Desire.-Biography:...

 portray themselves as USA Network
USA Network
USA Network is an American cable television channel launched in 1971. Once a minor player in basic cable, the network has steadily gained popularity because of breakout hits like Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, White Collar, Monday Night RAW, Suits, and reruns of the various...

 broadcasters.

Apollo Creed's wife Mary Anne (Sylvia Meals
Sylvia Meals
Sylvia Meals is an actress from the United States. She played Apollo Creed's wife, Mary-Anne Creed in Rocky II and Rocky IV.-External links:...

) made her third and final appearance in the series, the first being Rocky II, although the character was mainly featured in "Rocky II". Stallone's then-wife, Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen
Brigitte Nielsen is a Danish model, actress, musician and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later made appearances in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV and is also known for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone...

, appeared as Drago's wife, Ludmilla.

The Soviet premier in the sky box during the Rocky-Drago match strongly resembles contemporary Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

. Actor David Lloyd Austin later played Gorbachev in The Naked Gun and played Russian characters in other films.

Novelization


A novelization
Novelization
A novelization is a novel that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work.Novelizations of films usually add background material not found in the original work to flesh out the story, because novels are generally longer than screenplays...

 was published by Ballantine Books
Ballantine Books
Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann AG in 1998 and remains part of that company today. Ballantine's logo is a...

 in 1985. Sylvester Stallone was credited as the author.

Soundtrack


The soundtrack
Rocky IV (album)
Rocky IV is the original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same name. It was originally released in 1985 on the Scotti Brothers label. Scotti Brothers re-released the album on compact disc on March 10, 1992...

 for the movie included "Living in America
Living in America (song)
"Living in America" is a 1985 song composed by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight, and performed by James Brown. It was released as a single in 1985 and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart...

" by James Brown
James Brown
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of Funk and is recognized as a major figure in the 20th century popular music for both his vocals and dancing. He has been referred to as "The Godfather of Soul," "Mr...

; the film's music was composed by Vince DiCola
Vince DiCola
Vince DiCola is an Italian-American composer, keyboardist, and arranger best known for his work on the The Transformers: The Movie, Staying Alive and Rocky IV soundtracks...

 (who also composed the soundtrack for The Transformers: The Movie
The Transformers: The Movie
The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated series of the same name. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986 and in the UK on December 5, 1986....

that same year), and also included songs by John Cafferty
John Cafferty
John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band is the name of an American rock band from Narragansett, Rhode Island, that began their career in the 1970s and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s...

 (featuring Vince DiCola), Survivor
Survivor (band)
Survivor is an American rock band formed in Chicago in 1978. The band achieved its greatest success in the 1980s with its AOR sound, which garnered many charting singles, especially in the United States. The band is best known for its double platinum-certified 1982 hit "Eye of the Tiger", the theme...

, Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins
During the next decade, Loggins recorded so many successful songs for film soundtracks that he was referred to as, King of the Movie Soundtrack.He began with "I'm Alright" , "Mr. Night", and "Lead the Way" from Caddyshack...

, and Robert Tepper
Robert Tepper
Robert Tepper is an American singer, best known for his hit song "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV motion picture soundtrack.Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Tepper moved to New York where he became a staff writer...

. Go West
Go West (band)
Go West is an English pop duo, formed in 1982 by lead vocalist and drummer Peter Cox ; and guitarist and vocalist Richard Drummie...

 wrote "One Way Street" for the movie by request of Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

. Europe's hit "The Final Countdown
The Final Countdown (song)
"The Final Countdown" is a rock song by the Swedish band Europe released in 1986. Written by Joey Tempest, it was the first single from the band's third studio album which was also named The Final Countdown. It is considered by some to be the band's most recognizable and popular song. The song...

", written earlier in the decade by lead singer Joey Tempest, is often falsely stated as being featured in the film - no doubt due to its similarity to DiCola's "Training Montage." However, Europe's track was not released as a single until late 1986.

DiCola replaced Bill Conti
Bill Conti
William "Bill" Conti is an American film music composer who is frequently the conductor at the Academy Awards ceremony.-Early life and career:...

 as the film's composer. Conti, who was too busy with the first two Karate Kid films at the time, would return for Rocky V
Rocky V
Rocky V is an American film released as the fifth film in the Rocky series in 1990. It stars Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Stallone's real life son Sage, and real life boxer Tommy Morrison as boxer Tommy Gunn, a talented yet raw boxer...

and Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa (film)
Rocky Balboa is the sixth and final film in the Rocky franchise, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The film, which was also written by Stallone who plays underdog boxer Rocky Balboa, is the sixth film in the Rocky series that began with the Academy Award-winning Rocky thirty years...

. Rocky IV is the only film in the series not to feature original music by Conti. However, it does features arrangements of themes composed by Conti from the previous film in the series such as "The Final Bell".

Conti's famous piece of music from the Rocky series, "Gonna Fly Now
Gonna Fly Now
"Gonna Fly Now", also known as "Theme from Rocky", is the theme song from the movie Rocky, composed by Bill Conti with lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins, and performed by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford...

", does not appear at all in Rocky IV (the first time in the series this happened), though a few bars of it are incorporated into DiCola's training montage instrumental.

According to singer Peter Cetera
Peter Cetera
Peter Paul Cetera is an American singer, songwriter, bassist and producer best known for being an original member of the rock band Chicago, before launching a successful solo career...

, he originally wrote his best-selling solo single "Glory of Love
Glory of Love
"Glory of Love" is a 1986 Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit song written by Peter Cetera, David Foster and Cetera's wife at the time, Diane Nini, and recorded by Cetera shortly after he left the band Chicago to pursue a solo career. The song was Cetera's first hit single and was included on his 1986 album,...

" as the end title for this film, but was passed over by United Artists, and instead used as the theme for The Karate Kid Part II.

Box office performance


Rocky IV made $127.8 million in United States and Canada and $300 million worldwide, the most of any Rocky film. It was the highest-grossing sports film of all time until 2009's The Blind Side
The Blind Side (film)
The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical drama film. It is written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL...

which grossed $309 million (albeit unadjusted for inflation).

Critical reception


The film received a "rotten" 44% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes, indicating mixed reviews.
Dolph Lundgren received acclaim for his performance as Ivan Drago. He won the Marshall Trophy for Best Actor at the Napierville Cinema Festival. Rocky IV also won Germany's Golden Screen Award.

Analysis


Paulie's Robot, an item that through the years has enjoyed a cult following of its own, was created by the International Robotics Inc. in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The robot's voice was the company's CEO Robert Doornick. The robot is identified by robotic engineers as "SICO" and is/was a member of the Screen Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide...

 and toured with James Brown
James Brown
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of Funk and is recognized as a major figure in the 20th century popular music for both his vocals and dancing. He has been referred to as "The Godfather of Soul," "Mr...

 in the 1980s. Rocky IV has been interpreted as a commentary on the power struggle between technology and humans, illustrated by both Paulie's Robot and the technology utilized by Drago. The infamous robot has also been characterized as a "pleasure-bot" to service the needs of Paulie was also performing the duty of watching Balboa's son while he and Adrian are in Moscow.

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 twenty years from public use.

Rocky IV has been noted as a prime example of propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 through film, with both the stark culture contrast of Apollo's patriotic showing in Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

 and Drago's cold, subdued performance in the USSR and the ubiquitous yet ineffective KGB officers stationed around Balboa's cabin outside Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...

.

Rocky IV is one of the few sport movies that applies genuine sound effects from actual hits, bonafide training methods created by consultants and a bevy of special effects that in turn creates a film that has grown in popularity. One prominent film critic has noted not only the increase in popularity of the film over the years, but that Stallone felt (much to his chagrin) his creative powers peaked at this chapter of the saga. Stallone has also been quoted as saying the enormous financial success and fan following of Rocky IV once had him envisioning another Rocky movie devoted to Drago and his post-boxing life (although Stallone acknowledged he was in better shape, he was excommunicated from his country), with Balboa's storyline parallel. However, he noted the damage both boxers sustained in the fight made them "incapable of reason" and thus planned Rocky V as a showcase of the results, though the film failed to resolve the saga.

Scholars have examined Rocky IV and note the film's strong, yet formulaic structure that emphasizes the power of the individual, particularly an idealistic American. One author has noted the totalitarian regime Ivan Drago represents, his power demonstrated when he topples an arrogant opponent, and his subsequent defeat by the inventive, determined foe.

At Comic-Con 2010, Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

 and Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

accepted the Guinness World Record for the ‘Most Successful Sports Movie Franchise’ for Rocky.

External links