You’d seen Rocky take on someone bigger than him before, but this was akin to a true David and Goliath story. Ivan Drago was almost twice Rocky’s size and could punch hard enough to send your heart bouncing against your backbone if he connected. Just watching Rocky take on the big Russian and, in some ways, the very government of the nation he’d wandered into, was inspiring in some ways until you took a look at the beating he was taking. Worse still is the fact that Sylvester Stallone was really taking some of those shots. Doing his own stunts didn’t help him much when it came to staying healthy, but somehow the thing got shot and history was made.
So let’s see how much we really knew about this movie.
10. Carl Weathers and Dolph Lundgren did not get along.
At one point Lundgren actually flung Weathers into the turnbuckle for real, almost sparking a major fight between the two of them.
9. Stallone took the real punching a little too far.
He told Lundgren to just go for it and really hit him. Eventually his heart swelled from the force of the punches and he had to be rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
8. Stallone had to talk Weathers into staying on for the film.
Weathers was ready to walk off the set and quit, but Stallone manage to talk to him and get him back on board, so long as Lundgren agreed to stop being so aggressive.
7. More than 8,000 people auditioned for the role of Ivan Drago.
The chance to be the bad guy in a Rocky film would have no doubt been quite the addition to an acting resume.
6. The rumor is that the character of Ivan Drago returned home and eventually committed suicide.
He supposedly became an alcoholic and after losing to an American in his own country he just couldn’t take the strain.
5. It was the highest grossing movie of the series.
You’ve got to remember that the Rocky movies didn’t start out with a bang. Parts 1 and 2 weren’t really that popular until later on.
4. “I must break you.” was one of the most iconic lines of the movie.
It was translated into a few different languages and came out a little differently each time, but the general feeling was still there.
3. Ivan Drago was meant to be a much different character than Apollo Creed or Clubber Lang.
Creed and Lang were loud, kind of obnoxious, and obviously far more vocal. Drago was meant to be silent, ominous, and deadly.
2. Tony Burton is actually an accomplished chess player.
Rocky’s trainer for the film is a very astute chess player and actually beat Stanley Kubrick on the set of the The Shining.
1. Dolph Lundgren only has a small number of major lines in the movie.
You should be able to recall that he didn’t speak much. But when he did it was a moment to pay attention because those words actually meant something. Usually it meant that his opponent was about to get a rude awakening.
Some of these were actually common knowledge, but a few were surprising.
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