Rocky II 1979
Rocky II 1979
About Rocky II
Rocky II is a 1979 American sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone.The film is the sequel to Rocky (1976) and the second installment in the Rocky film series. It also stars Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith. In the film, Rocky Balboa (Stallone), struggling to adjust to his newfound fame and family life, finds himself in a rematch fiercely demanded by Apollo Creed (Weathers).
Development of Rocky II began in 1977, after Stallone completed the screenplay. United Artists was reluctant to allow Stallone to direct after John G. Avildsen, the director of the first film, was unable to return. Stallone was eventually hired after disallowing the film to be made without him as director, and the returns of the rest of the cast was secured soon thereafter. Principal photography commenced in 1978, with filming held primarily on location in Philadelphia, during which Stallone sustained several injuries.
Rocky II was theatrically released in the United States by United Artists on June 15, 1979. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its characterization, finale, and Stallone's performance. It grossed $200 million worldwide and $85 million in North America, making it the third highest-grossing film of 1979 domestically and the second highest-grossing film worldwide. The sequel, Rocky III, was released in 1982.
On New Year's Day 1976, world heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed has successfully defended his title in a split decision against challenger Rocky Balboa. He and Rocky are taken to the same hospital. Despite their agreement that there would be no rematch, Apollo challenges Rocky again that night to prove that Rocky going the distance with him was a fluke, but Rocky declines and retires from professional boxing. Balboa's girlfriend, Adrian, supports his choice as do his doctors who go on to reveal that Rocky will require surgery for a detached retina, a condition that could lead to permanent blindness. In a private moment, Rocky goes to see a recuperating Apollo, and asks whether Apollo gave his all in the fight; Apollo confirms that he did.
After Rocky is released from the hospital, he enjoys the benefits of his newfound celebrity status. An agent 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, Adrian reveals that she is pregnant. Meanwhile, Apollo, fueled by hate mail claiming he fixed the fight in order to protect his reign as champ, becomes obsessed with the idea that a rematch is the only way to discredit Rocky's performance. Determined to rectify his boxing career's only blemish, Apollo demands his team do whatever necessary to goad Rocky out of retirement, despite the pleas of his friends and family that Rocky's ability to absorb punishment is too dangerous for his chances to successfully defend the title a second time.
Rocky at first seems unaffected by Apollo's smear campaign, but his inexperience with money causes him to run into financial problems. After several unsuccessful attempts to find employment, Rocky visits Mickey Goldmill, his trainer and manager, at his gym to talk about the possibility of fighting again. Mickey declines out of concern for Rocky's health, but he changes his mind after Apollo publicly insults Rocky. Adrian confronts Rocky about the danger of returning to boxing and reminds him of the risk to his eyesight, but he insists, arguing it is the only way he can provide for them as he knows nothing else. Adrian, disappointed at the fact that Rocky broke his promise, refuses to support him.
Rocky and Mickey begin training, but Rocky is unfocused due to Adrian's disapproval. Adrian's brother, Paulie, confronts his sister about not supporting her husband, but Adrian faints during the confrontation and is rushed to the hospital, where she goes into labor. Despite being born prematurely, the baby is healthy, but Adrian falls into a coma. Rocky blames himself for what happened and refuses to leave her bedside until she wakes up, and will not go to see his new baby until the baby can be together with his mother. When Adrian comes out of her coma she finds Rocky by her bedside, and the couple are soon shown their new baby boy, who they name Robert "Rocky Jr". Adrian gives her blessing to the rematch and Rocky quickly gets into shape for the fight.
On Thanksgiving, the night of the match, Apollo makes a public goal of beating Rocky in no more than two rounds to prove the first match going the distance was a fluke. Unlike the first fight, Apollo has trained heavily. In order to protect his vulnerable eye, Rocky opts to fight right-handed rather than his natural southpaw, but this leaves him at a major disadvantage, as he is knocked down twice by Creed and outclassed for much of the fight. Going into the fifteenth and final round, Creed is well ahead on points and only needs to stay away from Balboa to win the fight by decision. However, Creed wants to win by knock-out in order to erase any doubts about his superiority and ignores his trainer's pleas to stay back.
In the final round, Rocky switches back to his natural stance and, in dramatic fashion, unleashes a series of counter punches on Creed. Both men, exhausted, trade punches until Rocky is able to gain the upper hand and knock Creed down. The blow causes Rocky to also lose his balance and fall at the same time. As both men struggle to regain their feet, Rocky is able to will himself up at the count of 9 while Apollo collapses from exhaustion, giving Rocky the win by knockout and making him the new heavyweight champion. Rocky then gives an impassioned speech to the crowd and holds the belt over his head with a message for his wife, who is watching the fight on television: "Yo, Adrian, I did it!"
Sylvester Stallone as Robert "Rocky" Balboa, "The Italian Stallion": the underdog who was given one chance at winning the heavyweight championship from Apollo Creed in the first film. Due to the public's belief that it was very possible that Rocky could have won, he gets a second shot at the title in this film.
Talia Shire as Adrian Balboa: Rocky's love interest-turned-wife. During labor, with their first son, she enters a coma for a large portion of the film.
Burt Young as Paulie Pennino: Rocky's best-friend-turned-brother-in-law
Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed: The current world heavyweight champion who gave Rocky a shot at the title in the first film, during which he won by split-decision. Because of the close outcome of the fight the general public believes that Apollo did not necessarily win, and thus he gives Rocky a second chance in a rematch.
Burgess Meredith as Michael "Mickey" Goldmill: Rocky's friend, manager and trainer; a former bantamweight fighter from the 1920s and the owner of the local boxing gym.
Tony Burton as Tony "Duke" Evers: Apollo's father-figure, friend, trainer, and manager.
Sylvia Meals as Mary Anne Creed: Apollo Creed's wife.
Seargeoh Stallone as Robert "Rocky" Balboa Jr.: Rocky and Adrian's newborn child. Seargeoh appeared in the film uncredited.
Paul Micale as Father Carmine: Rocky's priest.
Joe Spinell as Tony Gazzo: loan shark and Rocky's former employer.
Frank McRae as meat foreman.
Jeff Temkin portrays the ring announcer. Appearing as themselves are referee Lou Filippo and commentators Brent Musburger, Stu Nahan and Bill Baldwin. LeRoy Neiman makes an uncredited non-speaking cameo appearance during the training scenes in the film; he is shown drawing a picture of Apollo while he is training.
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