Rocky V (1990) Poster



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  • When retired Heavyweight Champion Rocky "The Italian Stallion" Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) returns from a bout in Russia to find that he is broke, he moves back to the old neighborhood in South Philly. Returning to Mickey Goldmill's (Burgess Meredith) old gym, Rocky agrees to coach up-and-coming fighter Tommy "The Machine" Gunn (Tommy Morrison), to the dismay of Rocky Jr. (Sage Stallone) who thinks that his dad loves Tommy more than him. Meanwhile, shady promotor George Washington Duke (Richard Gant) wants to get Rocky back in the ring, and he's not above using Tommy to get him there. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. Like Rocky (1976) (1976), Rocky II (1979) (1979), Rocky III (1982) (1982), and Rocky IV (1985) (1985) before it, Rocky V was written by Stallone. Instead of directing the movie, however, as Stallone did for II, III, and IV, John Avilsen (who directed the first Rocky movie), was brought back to direct Rocky V. Rocky V was followed by Rocky Balboa (2006) (2006). Edit (Coming Soon)

  • As with both Rocky III and Rocky IV, Rocky V has caused considerable confusion regarding its timeframe amongst the fans. Rocky V takes place only a few days after the conclusion of Rocky IV. We know that the culminating fight between Rocky and Drago in Rocky IV took place on December 25th, 1985. As such, this would seem to place Rocky V as beginning in early 1986. If we accept this, then the film would seem to imply that the final fight between Rocky and Tommy Gunn takes place in January 1987, meaning the film runs from December 25th, 1985, to early January, 1987.

    There are, however, a number of problems with this. In Rocky IV, Rocky Jr. is about 9 (which is chronologically accurate, as he was born in mid-1976; so in 1985, he would indeed be 9), and hence, in Rocky V, he should also be 9 (or 10 at a push). However, he is at least 12 years old, with the character seemingly aging roughly 3 years in the space of a few weeks. Rocky Jr. should not be 12 until mid-1988.

    Another problem is created up by the fact that in one scene, the film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) is shown on TV. This film was made in 1989, meaning it could not have been on TV in 1986. Some fans have speculated that the dating problem created by Christmas Vacation can be explained by arguing that Rocky V begins in early 1986 and culminates in early 1990, hence the film is shown as being on TV during Christmas 1989. While this explanation would account for the anachronism regarding the film, it doesn't explain the age discrepancy with Rocky Jr. And in any case, the likelihood that the film is supposed to cover a four-year period seems remote.

    However, on the other hand, the argument that the Christmas scene is not necessarily supposed to be Christmas 1986 does make a degree of sense when one looks at it in the context of Tommy Gunn's career. If we accept that the film runs from December 25th, 1985 to early 1987, it means that Tommy goes from being an unmanaged, unknown boxer to being the world heavyweight champion in the space of ten months (winning 22 fights along the way; several of which are extremely high profile). This is highly unlikely, as no boxer at that level of competition would fight anywhere near 22 fights in such a short period of time, and as such, the argument that the film does cover a period of more than a year does seem to make a degree of sense, but whether or not it could be argued to cover a period of four years is essentially a subjective question.

    So, in the end, the question of when the film is set is actually impossible to answer. Even the seemingly clear-cut assertion that it begins in early 1986 is thrown into doubt by the age of Rocky Jr, and the longer the film goes on, the more difficult it becomes to date. As such, of all the Rocky films, Rocky V is by far the most ambiguous in terms of its temporal setting.

    Rocky (1976): November 25th, 1975 – January 1st, 1976

    Rocky II (1979): January 1st, 1976 – November 25th, 1976

    Rocky III (1982): early 1979 – early 1980

    Rocky IV (1985): early 1985 – December 25th, 1985

    Rocky V (1990): December 25th, 1985 – mid-1987 (or 1988, 1989, 1990?) Edit (Coming Soon)

  • We know from Rocky that Rocky was born some time in 1945 (this is because he is 30 in Rocky, which was set in 1975). Because Rocky V begins in early 1986, this would mean that, at the start of the film, Rocky is 41. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • He has a condition known as cavum septum pellucidum (CSP). This is a condition in which there is a separation between the two leaflets of the septum pellucidum in the brain, and the space within this separation becomes filled with cerebrospinal fluid. It has been loosely associated with schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic brain trauma. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • When Rocky was in Russia during Rocky IV, Paulie gave power of attorney to Rocky's accountant, because the accountant told Paulie he needed Rocky to authorize a tax extension. Given free access to Rocky's accounts, the accountant used Rocky's savings to finance a real estate investment, planning on having the money back in the account by the time Rocky returned from Russia. However, the real estate deal went bad and the money was never returned. Additionally, Rocky discovers that he has debt payments, mortgage payments ($400,000), and that the accountant hasn't filed any of Rocky's tax returns for over 6 years. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In Rocky IV, because the Boxing Commission would not sanction Rocky's fight with Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in Russia, Rocky was forced to relinquish the title. Whilst Rocky IV seemed to imply that he was vacating the title permanently, Rocky V implies that it was only a temporary surrender of the belt insofar as upon returning to America from Russia, George Washington Duke immediately tries to arrange for Rocky to defend the title against Union Cane (Michael Anthony Williams). Some fans also query how Rocky was able to bury the belt with Apollo in Rocky IV, yet here he still has the same belt. The simple answer to this question is that items placed on coffins (flowers, pictures etc) are not necessarily buried with the coffin. Rocky's placing of the belt on Apollo's coffin was a symbolic act, he wasn't literally burying the belt with him. Since every champion crowned maintains permanent physical ownership of his belt, new belts are made for newly-crowned heavyweight champions. Most likely, the belt Rocky places on Apollo's casket was in fact Apollo's own championship belt. In any case, the simple fact is that, at the start of this film, Rocky is still the champion and still has the belt. After he announces his retirement, however, he obviously vacates the title, which is subsequently captured in a contenders tournament by Union Cane. Cane then goes on to drop the title to Tommy Gunn in his first defense. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • His amateur record is 44-1. He turns pro under Rocky's management and wins 22 fights, bringing his pro record to 22-0. His successful challenge against Union Cane for the heavyweight title brings him to 23-0. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • It obviously takes place some time prior to one of Rocky's matches with Apollo Creed. At first glance it could be from either fight 1 or 2 but judging from the fact that Mickey is not wearing a hearing aid, it is likely from the first fight with Apollo, as he got his hearing aid in the beginning of Rocky II. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • When Rocky is arguing with Adrian after Tommy Gunn has driven away, he shouts, Did I come back here and get my brains beat out for these guys to say, "Hey, there goes Balboa. Just another bum from the neighborhood"? This is a reference to Rocky. In that film, the night before his fight with Apollo, Rocky tells Adrian that he doesn't think he can win, but it doesn't matter, because all he wants to do is go the distance and last the 15 rounds. He says that if he can do that, it will satisfy him because it will prove he's "not just another bum from the neighborhood", i.e. that he has actually accomplished something in his life. In Rocky V, having lost everything he had attained because of the Creed fight, Rocky has ended up back where he started, and as such, he is beginning to feel exactly like he did at the start of the original film, i.e. that he is just another bum from the neighborhood. Also important in this respect is the scene where Rocky asks Adrian, "Did we ever leave here?", to which she answers, "I don't know." Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Although Tommy wins the "championship" fight with Union Cane, he is booed by the audience and by reporters who tell him that Cane was just a "paper champion" because he never won the title from Rocky and that makes Tommy nothing more than a "Rocky Robot." Duke convinces Tommy that the only way he can gain public respect for the title is by fighting Rocky, so they hunt him down at the local bar where he's having a drink with Paulie. Tommy challenges Rocky to a fight anytime, anyplace, anywhere, much to Duke's dismay, because Duke was hoping to get Rocky in the ring with Tommy so that he could make big money. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Rocky agrees to a fight with Tommy but insists it be a street fight then and there. Rocky throws the first blows, knocking Tommy to the ground. Thinking the fight is over, Rocky begins to walk away. Tommy jumps him and starts slamming Rocky hard. Rocky's head begins to pound, and he starts swimming in bad memories of his bout with Ivan Drago. Tommy succeeds in knocking Rocky to the ground, but Rocky's visions start to change into ones of Mickey telling him, "I didn't hear no bell", and urging him to get back up for one more round. Rocky staggers to his feet and calls out to Tommy, who is walking away thinking that he's won, "I didn't hear no bell!" While the crowd chants for Rocky, he and Tommy continue their fight until Rocky finally ends it by tossing Tommy into the grill of a parked bus. As Rocky walks away victorious, Duke makes a few conciliatory comments. Rocky stops and glares at him. "Touch me and I'll sue," says Duke. Rocky thinks for a second, then punches Duke so hard it knocks him on top of a car hood. "Sue me for what?", Rocky says and walks away. In the final scene, Rocky and his son are running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. When they reach the top, Rocky gives his son Mickey's cuff link from Rocky Marciano. The film ends with a shot of Rocky's statue looking out over the Philadelphia skyline. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Whilst the boxing violence and mild language is equivalent to the previous films, there is a brief profile nude shot of Rocky at the start of the movie, plus the final fight between Rocky and Tommy Gunn is a bare knuckle street fight and contains a shot of Rocky's head being struck by Gunn and bleeding profusely—the bloodiest moment in the series. Taken together, these factors most likely account for the higher rating. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Apart from a remastered 5.1 DTS soundtrack, neither the R1 US DVD, released by MGM Home Entertainment in 2005, nor the R2 UK DVD released by MGM Home Entertainment (UK) in 2005, contain any special features. It is also available in the R1 US Rocky: The Complete Saga and the R2 UK Rocky: The Heavyweight Collection. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes it is. It is available as an individual release in both Region 1 (US) and Region 2 (UK). It is also available in a newly remastered Heavyweight Collection boxset released in 2014 in both a US edition and a UK edition. None of the editions carry any special features. Edit (Coming Soon)


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