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Rocky V is the fifth film in the Rocky series. It was released on November 16, 1990. The film stars Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Stallone's real life son Sage Stallone and real life boxer Tommy Morrison as boxer Tommy Gunn, a talented yet raw boxer, who only uses Rocky for his connections and to try to win the World Heavyweight title.

Sage Stallone played Rocky Jr., whose relationship with his famous father is explored. After Stallone directed the second through fourth films in the series, Rocky V saw the return of director John G. Avildsen, whose direction of the first film won him an Academy Award for Best Director. The film earned $14 million on its opening weekend and $40 million in total U.S. box-office sales, about one-third of its predecessor's take, and it wasn't until 2006 that Stallone decided to continue the series with Rocky Balboa, this is the only Rocky film to receive a PG-13 rating by the MPAA (films 1-4 and film 6 have PG ratings).

Plot synopsis

Rocky V begins with Rocky and his trainer Tony "Duke" Evers in their dressing room after the Drago fight. Tony praises Rocky for his victory, but Rocky, seen to be in some form of physical discomfort, asks Tony to summon his wife, Adrian. His hands are shaking, and he can't make them stop due to the trauma, pain and fear caused by Drago. In addition to that, he keeps calling for "Mick", the name of his deceased former trainer.

Rocky returns home from the Soviet Unionmarker and is greeted by his son, Robert. At the following press conference, a crooked promoter named George Washington Duke (a parody of boxing promoter Don King) tries to goad Rocky into fighting the new #1 contender to his championship, Union Cane, in Tokyo. Duke sees this as a great opportunity with both Rocky's managers Mickey Goldmill and Apollo Creed dead. With Adrian insisting on her husband's retirement, Rocky decides, at least for the time being, not to take the fight with Cane.

Rocky, Adrian, and Adrian's brother Paulie return to their lavish Philadelphia home to find out that Paulie had unknowingly signed 'power of attorney' over to Balboa's accountant, who had, in turn, squandered all of Rocky's money on bad business deals and disappeared (it is also revealed the accountant had not paid Rocky's income taxes in 6 years). Now bankrupt, Rocky is forced to sell his house and auction all of his cars and belongings: the only thing Rocky does not lose is Mickey's gym, which Mickey had willed to Rocky's son (making it untouchable to the IRS). Rocky immediately decides to take the fight against Cane to earn money. However, years of fighting, especially the last one with Drago, have taken a toll on him and after a physical evaluation, it is determined that Rocky has suffered significant brain damage, and that he can no longer fight without further risking his health. Rocky is forced to vacate the championship (which Cane subsequently wins) and move back into his old working-class Philadelphia neighborhood, where he and the family must try to start their lives over again. Rocky begins training boxers at Mickey's gym, Adrian gets her old job back at the pet store across the street and Paulie goes back to the meat packing plant.

Things start to look up for them when Rocky meets a hungry young fighter from Oklahomamarker named Tommy Gunn and takes him under his wing. Training the young fighter gives Rocky a sense of purpose, and he slowly helps Tommy fight his way up the ladder to become a top contender. Meanwhile, the new friendship results in Rocky paying little attention to Robert, who becomes withdrawn and angry. He eventually falls in with the wrong crowd at school, and as a result he begins acting out at home.

Tommy's rapid rise through the ranks catches the eye of Duke, who uses the promise of a title shot and Tommy's own resentment at being compared to his trainer to lure him away from Rocky. Duke pulls up outside the Balboa house with Tommy in tow, who has now been brainwashed into thinking that Rocky doesn't have his best interests in mind. When Rocky tries to convince his friend otherwise, an ungrateful Tommy drives off in a huff, leaving Rocky for good.

As he watches Tommy’s car speed off into the night, his head suddenly pounds with nightmarish flashbacks of his fight with Drago. When Adrian attempts to comfort him, Rocky's frustrations finally boil over. He confesses that his life had meaning again when he was able to live vicariously through Tommy’s success. She reasons with him, telling him that Tommy never had his heart and spirit – that it was something he could never learn. When this realization hits him, an emotional Rocky embraces his wife and they begin to pick up the pieces. After finding Robert hanging out on a street corner, Rocky apologizes to his son, and they mend their broken relationship.

Tommy wins the heavyweight title by knocking out Union Cane in the first round, but is hounded by reporters after the fight: they tell him that Cane was nothing but a paper champion with a glass jaw and that the public would never consider Tommy the real champion because he didn't win the title from Balboa. Duke, sensing an opportunity, tells Tommy that he needs to fight Rocky man to man and settle once and for all who is the best.

Duke and Tommy show up at a local bar to goad Rocky into accepting a fight; Rocky initially declines but after Tommy hits Paulie Rocky agrees, however he insists on a street fight then and there. Despite Duke's warnings to "fight in the ring", Tommy accepts the fight.

Despite gaining the upper hand early in the fight, Rocky is eventually beaten down by Tommy and is seemingly out for the count. His head once again pounds with hellish visions of the fight with Drago, and with visions of Mickey’s burial. He then has visions of Mickey and hears his old mentor’s voice saying "I didn't hear no bell!" and urging him to go "one more round". Rocky gets back up and with Robert, Adrian, Paulie, and the whole neighborhood cheering him on, utilizes the street fighting knowledge from his days of collecting for a loan shark to defeat Tommy, using various tricks to trip Tommy, tie him up and finally knocking him into the grill of a bus with a final blow. After the fight, Duke commends Rocky and tries to appeal to him, but Rocky has heard enough. Duke threatens to sue if Rocky touches him, but after a brief hesitation, Rocky punches him in the gut anyway, knocking him onto the hood of a car. The crowd cheers as the bankrupt Rocky shrugs and asks "Sue me for what?".

Rocky and Robert meet up the next day at the Philadelphia Museum of Artmarker, and Rocky gives Robert the Rocky Marciano cuff-link given to him as a gift from Mickey. They make their way to the museum, Rocky says "I love most everybody". The film ends with a shot of Rocky's statue looking out over Philadelphia.


This soundtrack is not an original motion picture score, but rather has music from and inspired by the film. This soundtrack features Joey B. Ellis, MC Hammer, 7A3marker, MC Tab, Rob Base, and Bill Conti. Most of the soundtrack is rap music, rather than Bill Conti tunes. Also, two of the scores from Rocky IV were featured in this film's trailer, but were not present in the actual film.The Measure of a Man was written by Elton John just for this film.


The film contains cameos by several sportswriters and boxing analysts, most notably Al Bernstein, Stan Hochman and Al Meltzer. Sportscaster Stu Nahan makes his fifth appearance in the Rocky series, this time as a sports journalist.

Rocky's priest friend Father Carmine (Paul Micale) makes his second of two appearances in the Rocky series, the first being in Rocky II.

The character "Tommy Gunn" was played by real-life boxer Tommy Morrison. Morrison's nickname in boxing was "The Duke" similar to George Washington Duke who becomes his manager in the movie. Morrison is also the grandnephew of John "The Duke" Wayne.

Michael Williams (III), who plays Union Cane, was also a real-life boxer. He and Morrison were to have an actual match about a month after Rocky V was released, but had to be canceled when Williams was hurt. The match was being hyped as "The Real Cane vs. Gunn Match."

George Washington Duke (Richard Gant) is the main antagonist of the film, and based on Don King.

Tony Burton briefly reprises his role as Duke at the beginning of the film. However, during his scenes, Rocky refers to him as "Tony." In the credits, Burton is credited as playing "Tony," as opposed to "Duke" (perhaps to avoid confusion with the George Washington Duke character) Rocky V is the second time in the series to do so, with the first being Rocky II as Apollo asked "What are you afraid of, Tony?" Rocky Balboa names Burton's character, "Duke Evers." Most fans take this to imply that his name is Tony 'Duke' Evers.

Scenes with Mickey, played by Burgess Meredith, were trimmed in the final film when Rocky fights Tommy. Mickey appeared in ghost form on top of the railway bridge, giving words of encouragement. In the final film, this was made into flashbacks. The speech Mickey gives to Rocky in the flashback sequence is based on an interview with Cus D'Amato given in 1985, shortly after Mike Tyson's first professional bout.

Jodi Letizia, who played street kid Marie in the original Rocky (1976), was supposed to reprise her role here. Her character was shown to have ended up as Rocky predicted she would: a whore, but the scene ended up on the cutting room floor. The character would eventually reappear in Rocky Balboa (2006), as a bartender and confidante to the aging Rocky. Actress Geraldine Hughes took over the role.

Kevin Connolly, who gained success as Eric Murphy on HBO's Entourage, was in his first acting role as neighborhood bully Chickie.

Production notes

Some of the fight sequences were filmed at the The Blue Horizonmarker in Philadelphia, a venue which was a meccamarker for boxing in the city during the 1970s.

The image of Gunn's first professional fight, the pullback from the mural of Jesus over the boxing ring, mirrors the opening shot of the first Rocky movie. Adrian goes back to working at the pet shop she first worked at in the original Rocky.

The golden glove necklace featured so prominently in this film was first seen in Rocky II (worn by Apollo Creed), then again throughout Rocky IV. As a promotional gimmick, replicas of the necklace were distributed to moviegoers at the Hollywood premiere of Rocky V at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

The famous red, white and blue boxing trunks first worn by Apollo Creed in his fight with Rocky in the first film make their fifth and final appearance in this film. Rocky's leather coat introduced in Rocky IV makes its second and final appearance in the franchise at the start of the movie.

The Ring Magazine belt in Rocky's basement and the identical belt Morrison wins in the ring have changed slightly from the previous movies; they are missing the four side panels showing famous champions George Foreman, James J. Corbett, James J. Braddock, and Jersey Joe Walcott.

According to Sylvester Stallone, pro wrestling legend Terry Funk helped choreograph much of the street fight between Rocky and Tommy Gunn. Sylvester Stallone originally intended for Rocky to die after defeating Tommy Gunn in their streetfight, however according to him, the director, and the studio they had second thoughts and eventually, Stallone rewrote the ending.

A souvenir booklet included in some special editions of the original anthology mention that in the original script, Rocky is killed during the final fight with Tommy. Through most of the filming and production, this was to be the outcome; it wasn't until the film was nearing completion that Stallone decided to nix Rocky's death and went with the current ending. Stallone said that he decided to change it because Rocky was supposed to be about perseverance and redemption, and having him die in a street brawl would be against the roots of the series.


A workprint has been circulating on the internet recently of John G. Avildsen's "Director's Cut" of Rocky V. The opening credits are a lot different, using a different score. The music in the workprint is extremely different than the final version's music with many of the workprint's soundtrack consisting of Bill Conti's original themes as well as other songs in place of the hip-hop and rap themes in the final cut. Many alternate and deleted scenes exist, such as the same scenes in the final cut, but with different dialogue, as well as cut scenes such as Rocky getting drunk at the bar, Little Marie seen grown up as Rocky predicted—a whore—as well as an all 'new' street fight with an alternate scene with Mickey's last encouraging words. The copies of the workprint went on sale on Ebay.


Anticipated to be one of the big hits of the 1990 holiday season, Rocky V finished second in its opening weekend to Home Alone and never recovered.

Rocky V made almost twice as much overseas and thereby a total of $119.9 million worldwide.

References in popular culture

In the TV show Full House, Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) refers to Rocky saying "...I'd also like to say we've seen the last Rocky movie".

In the TV series The Simpsons, Bart refers to Rocky V in the episode "Lemon of Troy". Bart is in a place where every door has Roman numerals. All the doors have man eating tigers except door number 7. Having walked out of the class when that subject was taught earlier in the episode, Bart says to himself "Where have you seen Roman numerals? Wait a minute! I know! Rocky V! That was the fifth one. So Rocky V + Rocky II... equals... Rocky VII: Adrian's Revenge!".

TV series South Park parodies the final battle of Rocky versus Tommy in the episode The Losing Edge.


  1. Rocky V soundtrack - MusicMp3.Ru

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