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Rocky II is a 1979 American film written and directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, that is the sequel to Rocky, a motion picture in which an unknown boxer had been given a chance to go fight the World Heavyweight Champion, and was the last installment of the Rocky franchise to be distributed solely by United Artists, following their merger with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981. Stallone, Carl WeathersTony BurtonBurgess MeredithBurt Young and Talia Shire reprised their original roles. The Ring Magazine heavyweight championship belt makes its first appearance in the series. The film is followed by Rocky III, released on May 28, 1982.


In 1976, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) successfully defends his world heavyweight title courtesy of a split decision. Both fighters are taken to the same hospital due to the extent of their injuries from the match, where Apollo challenges Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) to a rematch in front of press. Rocky declines and declares his retirement, his decision supported by his girlfriend, Adrian (Talia Shire), and doctors, who reveal he will require surgery for a detached retina which could lead to permanent blindness. After Rocky is discharged from the hospital, he begins to enjoy the benefits of his life's changes resulting from the match: Rocky's new fame attracts him an agent who 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, Rocky and Adrian happily learn that Adrian is pregnant with their first child.

Meanwhile, fueled by hate mail he has started to receive, Apollo becomes obsessed with the idea that a rematch is the only way to prove that Rocky's performance was simply a fluke. Determined to rectify his boxing career's only blemish, Apollo ignores all pleas by his friends and family to move on to other potential opponents and demands his team do whatever necessary to goad Rocky out of retirement and into a rematch.

Rocky at first seems unaffected by Apollo's smear campaign, but his inexperience with money causes him to run into financial problems. After largely unsuccessful attempts to find employment, Rocky visits Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), his trainer and manager, at his gym to talk about the possibility of returning to the ring. At first, Mickey refuses, worried about Rocky's health, but changes his mind after Apollo publicly insults Rocky on television. Adrian confronts Rocky about the danger of returning to fighting and reminds him of the risk to his eyesight. Rocky argues he knows nothing else so this is the only way he can provide. Adrian, angry at Rocky for breaking his promise, refuses to support him.

Rocky and Mickey begin training, but it soon becomes apparent Rocky is not focused on the job at hand due to Adrian's disapproval. Adrian's brother, Paulie (Burt Young), confronts his sister about not supporting her husband, but she faints during the confrontation and is rushed to the hospital where she goes into labor. Despite being premature, the baby is healthy but Adrian falls into a coma. Rocky blames himself for what has happened and refuses to leave Adrian's bedside until she wakes up, and will not go to see his new baby until they can see it together. When Adrian comes out of her coma, she finds Rocky by her bedside and the couple are shown their new baby, a boy, which they name after Rocky. Adrian gives her blessing to the rematch which enables Rocky to refocus on his training and he quickly gets into shape for the fight.

The night of the fight arrives and Apollo has made a public goal of beating Rocky in no more than two rounds to prove the first fight going the full 15 rounds was a fluke. Rocky is not able to mount much of an offensive effort through the first two rounds but manages to survive them disproving Apollo's theory that the first fight's result was a fluke. As before, the fight once again reaches the 15th round, by which point Apollo has built a lead on points that Rocky cannot possibly beat. However, Apollo's obsession with knocking Rocky out (against the advice of his corner men) leads him to trade blows with Rocky despite his lead. Rocky lands a devastating blow on Apollo that knocks the champ down, but an exhausted Rocky loses his balance and falls to the canvas as well. Rocky manages to stand up before the referee counts to ten, while Apollo is counted out. Rocky thus wins the fight by knockout and becomes the heavyweight champion of the world. In his post-fight announcement Rocky, who has won back the respect of his fans and his wife Adrian, humbly thanks Apollo.


  • Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa
  • Talia Shire as Adrian Pennino-Balboa
  • Burgess Meredith as Mickey Goldmill
  • Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed
  • Burt Young as Paulie Pennino
  • Tony Burton as Tony 'Duke' Evers 
  • Joe Spinell as Anthony "Tony" Gazzo
  • Leonard Gaines as Agent
  • Sylvia Meals as Mary Anne Creed
  • Frank McRae as Meat Foreman
  • Al Silvani as Cutter
  • John Pleshette as Director
  • Stu Nahan as Announcer
  • Bill Baldwin as Commentator
  • Jerry Ziesmer as Salesman
  • Paul Micale as Father Carmine (as Paul J. Micale)
  • Earl Montgomery as Employment Manager
  • Herb Nanas as Employment Manager
  • Stuart K. Robinson as Johnny (as Stuart Robinson)
  • Frank Stallone as Singer
  • Charles "Honi" Coles as Singer (as Charles Coles)
  • Doug Flor as Singer
  • Robert Kondyra as Singer
  • James Zazzarino as Singer
  • Eddie 'El Annimal' Lopez as Fighter (as Eddie Lopez)
  • Taurean Blacque as Lawyer
  • James J. Casino as Chink's Manager (as James Casino)
  • Shaka Cumbuka as Cornerman
  • Samuel Davis as Apollo's Bodyguard
  • Roberto Durán as Fighter (as Roberto Durán)
  • Lou Fillipo as Referee (as Lou Filippo)
  • Ruth Ann Flynn as Jewelry Sales Lady
  • Linda Grey as Agent
  • Grainger Hines as Emergency Room Aide
  • Garrie Kelly as White Hunter
  • Ava Lazar as White Hunter
  • Joseph Letizia as Car Salesman
  • René Le Vant as Young Lugger (as Rene Le Vant)
  • Tawny Little as Reporter
  • Paul McCrane as Young Patient
  • Sonny Melendrez as Reporter
  • Tony Munafo as Boxer
  • Brent Musburger as Reporter (CBS Sports commentator)
  • Ed Ness as Timekeeper
  • Fred Pinkard as Lawyer
  • Jane Marla Robbins as Gloria
  • Hank Rolike as Cornerman
  • David L. Ross as Reporter (as David Ross)
  • Fran Ryan as Adrian's Nurse
  • Whitney Rydbeck as Sound Man
  • Shepherd Sanders as Employment Manager (as Shepherd Sanders)
  • Jeff Temkin as Ring Announcer
  • Allan Warnick as Makeup Man
  • Charles Winkler as Camera Assistant
  • James Zaza as Emergency Room Reporter
  • Brenda King as Ring girl #2
  • Taaffe O'Connell as Ring Girl
  • Velvet Rhodes as Reporter
  • Butkis Stallone as Butkis the Dog
  • Seargeoh Stallone as Robert 'Rocky' Balboa Jr.

Production Edit

An estimated 800 school children were used as extras in the scene in which Rocky runs through Philadelphia.[2]

Music Edit

Rocky II
Soundtrack album by Bill Conti
Released 1979
Length 35:04
Label United Artists Records - LP

EMI Manhattan Records - CD

Just as in the previous installment, Bill Conti composed the film's music. A soundtrack album containing Conti's score was released on August 25, 1979 and charted on the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks.[3]

  1. "Redemption" – 2:34
  2. "Gonna Fly Now" – 2:35
  3. "Conquest" – 4:42
  4. "Vigil" – 6:31
  5. "All of My Life" – 3:56
  6. "Overture" – 8:38
  7. "Two Kinds of Love" – 2:37
  8. "All of My Life" – 2:27
  • Bill Conti – piano (1)
  • Mike Lang – piano (8)
  • David Duke – horn solo (4)
  • Frank Stallone - vocals (7)
  • DeEtta Little, Nelson Pigford – vocals (5)

Chart positions Edit

Chart (1979) Peak


US Billboard 200[4] 147

Reaction Edit

Critical response Edit

Rocky II received mostly positive reviews from critics and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1979.[5][6][7] It holds a 71% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[8] The film won Best Picture at theAmerican Movie Awards and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture.[9]

Box office Edit

Rocky II was an enormous box office success, and finished in the top three highest-grossing films of 1979, in both the North American market and worldwide. The film grossed $6,390,537 during its opening weekend, $85,182,160 at the U.S. box office and $200,182,160 overall.[10]

Other media Edit

Novelization Edit

novelization was published by Ballantine Books in 1979. Sylvester Stallone was credited as the author.

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