The Rocky franchise is the only one of its kind, a franchise that began with a Best Picture winner! Sylvester Stallone’s storyline of an underdog boxer was strong and very emotional, always good for a laugh, but always remained entertained...no question!! We are focused on the first three films in this "facts session" to shed light on the fact that Sylvester Stallone had originally envisioned this being a trilogy! He never planned on there being a forth movie...and beyond!
Most of us have seen and have come to love the Rocky films. We have watched the story progress over the decades and sort of grew as the characters grew...Here is a great collection of facts about the first three films...
1. When Sylvester Stallone was peddling his script around to the big shots he only had about $100 in his personalbank account. He didn't own car, and was he was even trying to sell his dog to save money. Hey, even dogs have to eat! Times were tough for Stallone...but he was beyond determined! Producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff offered Stallone $350,000 for the rights to this script that was written in 3 days, but Sly refused and held his ground...unless he was given the opportunity to star in the movie as well. Production teams had there eyes set on some bigger name established Hollywood types...but that would be a deal-breaker with Sylvester!
2. Moving into the film...Some of the more rigid moments leading up to the big bout with Apollo Creed showed Rocky’s minimal importance to the actual fight. These were actual mistakes that could not be addressed due to a very small budget. A minor example of this would be the poster where Rocky’s shorts colors are reversed and his robe were mistakes in production, so Stallone had to add lines for both scenarios to cover them up in the story.
3. The speech that Rocky delivers after turning down Mickey’s offer to train/manage him was completely made up on-set by Stallone at the time. He claims that he was influenced by the actuality that the bathroom of the tiny apartment in which they were shooting really smelled horrible!
4. To show how into this role Sylvester had become brings us into the meat locker where dear 'ol Paulie worked...This, to a degree, wasn't acting...almost like real life training! Stallone was hitting the carcasses so hard that he caused permanent damage to his hands! To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely flat. Another example of grit and dedication to character development...as small as it may seem!
5. Burt Young likes to explain that during the filming of the scene where Paulie walks home drunk, an actual street-drunk waltzed onto the "set" and told Mr. Young he wasn’t acting "drunk enough"... Burt, in his wise-guy voice, asked the drunkard to "show him how it's done". Burt actually listened to the man and used the guy's "drunk moves" for the scene. I wonder where that dude is today??
6. Again, these actors came from varied backgrounds and some even came from boxing and other pro sports so they took the physical side of acting very seriously! Stallone and Carl Weathers both suffered injuries during the shooting of the big final fight; Sly had bruised ribs and Weathers had a damaged nose...just getting into character I suppose!