- "The story continues..."
- ―Tagline for Rocky II
Rocky II is a 1979 American film that is the sequel to Rocky, a motion picture in which an unknown boxer had been given a chance to go the distance with the World Heavyweight Champion. Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young and Talia Shire reprised their original roles. Although this film was released in 1979, the ring announcers say that it takes place ten months after Rocky's first fight with Apollo Creed, putting the Rocky II fight with Apollo in November 1976. The Ring Magazine heavyweight championship belt makes its first appearance in the series.
The film opens with the ending of its predecessor, Rocky, with Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) successfully defending his world heavyweight title courtesy of a split decision. Both fighters are taken to the same hospital due to the extent of their injuries from the match, where Apollo takes back his earlier declaration that there would be no rematch and challenges Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) in front of press. Rocky declines and declares his retirement, his decision supported by his girlfriend, Adrian (Talia Shire), and doctors, who reveal he will require surgery for a detached retina which could lead to permanent blindness. After Rocky is discharged from the hospital, he begins to enjoy the benefits of his life's changes resulting from the match: Rocky's new fame attracts him an agent who sees Rocky as a potential endorsement and sponsorship goldmine and his sudden wealth encourages him to propose to Adrian. She happily accepts and they marry in a small ceremony. Soon after, Rocky and Adrian happily learn that Adrian is pregnant with their first child.
Meanwhile, fueled by hate mail he has started to receive and unable to shake the feeling that he didn't deserve to win their earlier fight, Apollo becomes obsessed with the idea of a rematch which is the only way to prove his belief that Rocky's performance was simply a fluke. Determined to rectify his boxing career's only blemish, Apollo ignores all pleas by his friends and family to move on to other potential opponents and demands his team do whatever necessary to goad Rocky out of retirement and into a rematch.
Rocky at first seems unaffected by Apollo's smear campaign, but his inexperience with money causes him to run into financial problems. After largely unsuccessful attempts to find employment, Rocky visits Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), his trainer, at his gym to talk about the possibility of returning to the ring. At first, Mickey refuses, worried about Rocky's health, but changes his mind after Apollo publicly insults Rocky on television. News of the rematch quickly spreads with Adrian hearing about it through the news. She confronts Rocky about it and reminds him of the risk to his eyesight. Rocky argues he knows nothing else so this is the only way he can provide. Adrian, angry at Rocky for breaking his promise, refuses to support him.
Rocky and Mickey begin training, but it soon becomes apparent Rocky is lacking motivation. Adrian's brother, Paulie (Burt Young), confronts his sister about not supporting her husband, but she faints during the confrontation and is rushed to the hospital where she goes into labor. Despite being premature, the baby is healthy but Adrian falls into a coma. Rocky blames himself for what has happened and refuses to leave Adrian's bedside until she wakes up, and will not go to see his new baby until they can see it together. When Adrian comes out of her coma, she finds Rocky by her bedside and the couple are shown with their new baby, a boy, which they name after Rocky. Adrian gives her blessing to the rematch which enables Rocky to refocus on his training and he quickly gets into shape for the fight.
The night of the fight arrives and Apollo has made a public goal of beating Rocky in no more than two rounds to prove the first fight going the full 15 rounds was a fluke. Rocky is not able to mount much of an offensive effort through the first two rounds but manages to survive them disproving Apollo's theory that the first fight's result was a fluke. As before, the fight once again reaches the 15th round, by which point Apollo has built a lead on points that Rocky cannot possibly beat. However, Apollo's obsession with knocking Rocky out (against the advice of his corner men) leads him to trade blows with Rocky despite his lead. Rocky lands a devastating blow on Apollo that knocks the champ down, but an exhausted Rocky loses his balance and falls to the canvas as well. Rocky manages to stand up before the referee counts to ten, while Apollo is counted out. Rocky thus wins the fight by knockout and becomes the heavyweight champion of the world. In his post-fight announcement, Rocky, who has won back the respect of his fans and his wife Adrian, humbly thanks Apollo.
Cast and crew
- Sylvester Stallone .... Rocky Balboa
- Talia Shire .... Adrianna "Adrian" Pennino-Balboa
- Burt Young .... Paulie Pennino
- Carl Weathers .... Apollo Creed
- Burgess Meredith .... Mickey Goldmill
- Tony Burton .... Tony "Duke" Evers (Apollo's Trainer)
- Joe Spinell .... Anthony "Tony" Gazzo
- Leonard Gaines .... Agent
- Sylvia Meals .... Mary Anne Creed
- Frank McRae .... Meat Foreman
- Al Silvani .... Cutter
- John Pleshette .... Director
- Stu Nahan .... Announcer
- Bill Baldwin .... Commentator
- Jerry Ziesmer .... Salesman
- Paul Micale .... Father Carmine (as Paul J. Micale)
- Earl Montgomery .... Employment Manager
- Herb Nanas .... Employment Manager
- Stuart K. Robinson .... Johnny (as Stuart Robinson)
- Frank Stallone .... Singer
- Charles "Honi" Coles .... Singer (as Charles Coles)
- Doug Flor .... Singer
- Robert Kondyra .... Singer
- James Zazzarino .... Singer
- Eddie 'El Annimal' Lopez .... Fighter (as Eddie Lopez)
- Taurean Blacque .... Lawyer
- James J. Casino .... Chink's Manager (as James Casino)
- Shaka Cumbuka .... Cornerman
- Samuel Davis .... Apollo's Bodyguard
- Roberto Durán .... Fighter (as Roberto Duran)
- Lou Fillipo .... Referee (as Lou Filippo)
- Ruth Ann Flynn .... Jewelry Sales Lady
- Linda Grey .... Agent
- Grainger Hines .... Emergency Room Aide
- Garrie Kelly .... White Hunter
- Ava Lazar .... White Hunter
- Joseph Letizia .... Car Salesman
- René Le Vant .... Young Lugger (as Rene Le Vant)
- Tawny Little .... Reporter
- Paul McCrane .... Young Patient
- Sonny Melendrez .... Reporter
- Tony Munafo .... Boxer
- Brent Musburger .... Reporter (CBS Sports commentator)
- Ed Ness .... Timekeeper
- Fred Pinkard .... Lawyer
- Jane Marla Robbins .... Gloria
- Hank Rolike .... Cornerman
- David L. Ross .... Reporter (as David Ross)
- Fran Ryan .... Adrian's Nurse
- Whitney Rydbeck .... Sound Man
- Shepherd Sanders .... Employment Manager (as Shepherd Sanders)
- Jeff Temkin .... Ring Announcer
- Allan Warnick .... Makeup Man
- Charles Winkler .... Camera Assistant
- James Zaza .... Emergency Room Reporter
- Brenda King .... Ring girl #2
- Taaffe O'Connell .... Ring Girl
- Velvet Rhodes .... Reporter
- Butkis Stallone .... Butkis the Dog
- Seargeoh Stallone ... Robert 'Rocky' Balboa Jr.
Approximately 800 school children are estimated to have been used for the scene depicting Rocky's run through Philadelphia.
A novelization was published by Ballantine Books in 1979. Sylvester Stallone was credited as the author.
Template:Infobox album All music by Bill Conti.
- "Redemption" – 2:34
- "Gonna Fly Now" – 2:35
- "Conquest" – 4:42
- "Vigil" – 6:31
- "All of My Life" – 3:56
- "Overture" – 8:38
- "Two Kinds of Love" – 2:37
- "All of My Life" – 2:27
- Bill Conti – piano (1)
- Mike Lang – piano (8)
- David Duke – horn solo (4)
- DeEtta Little, Nelson Pigford – vocals (5)
Rocky II received mostly positive reviews from critics and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1979. It holds a 71% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. The film won Best Picture at the American Movie Awards and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture.
Box office performance
Rocky II was an enormous box office success. It was one of the first sequels to match the financial success of the original film. It was the second highest grossing film of 1979, both domestically and worldwide (behind Kramer vs. Kramer's domestic gross of $106,260,000, and Moonraker's worldwide gross of $210,308,099) The film grossed $6,390,537 during its opening weekend, $85,182,160 at the U.S. box office and $200,182,160 overall. It was also the highest grossing movie sequel ever until The Empire Strikes Back debuted one year later.
Chart performance for the soundtrack
Billboard 200 date: 25/08/1979. Run: 178-169-159-149-*147* (5 weeks on Top 200).
- "Rocky II, Box Office Information". The Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/1979/0RKY2.php. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Janet Maslin (1979-06-15). "Screen: 'Rocky II' Fights a Rematch: Second Stanza...." (Subscription required). The New York Times. http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?_r=2&title1=&title2=Rocky%20II%20%28Movie%29&reviewer=JANET%20MASLIN&v_id=41859&pdate=19790615&partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes&oref=slogin&oref=login.
- "The 10 Best Movies of 1979". Film.com. http://www.film.com/features/story/10-best-movies-of-1979/15020416. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Best Films of 1979". listal.com. http://www.listal.com/list/best-films-of-1979. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Most Popular Feature Films Released in 1979". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/search/title?year=1979,1979&title_type=feature&sort=moviemeter,asc. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Rocky II Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rocky_ii/. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Rocky II: Award Wins and Nominations". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079817/awards. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Rocky, Box Office Information". The Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/1976/0RKY1.php. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Box Office Information for Kramer vs. Kramer". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=kramervskramer.htm. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Box Office Information for Moonraker". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=moonraker.htm. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- "Movie Rocky 2 – Box Office Data, News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/1979/0RKY2.php. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- "Box Office Information for The Empire Strikes Back". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=starwars5.htm. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- Official Rocky Anthology site
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