Rocky II

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Rocky II
Rocky ii poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Produced by Robert Chartoff
Irwin Winkler
Written by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire
Burt Young
Carl Weathers
Burgess Meredith
Music by Bill Conti
Cinematography Bill Butler
Edited by Stanford C. Allen
Janice Hampton
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • June 15, 1979 (1979-06-15)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Budget $7 million
Box office $200,182,160[1]

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 Weathers, Tony Burton, Burgess Meredith, Burt 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.


Following the fight at the end of Rocky, in which Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) has successfully defended his heavyweight title in a split decision, he and Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) are taken to the same hospital for treatment of their injuries. Apollo challenges Rocky to a rematch in front of the press, but Rocky declines and announces his retirement. His girlfriend Adrian (Talia Shire) supports this choice, as do his 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 by the outraged fans, who claim that he was defeated and that the judges were voting in his favor, 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 forget the fight and move on to other potential opponents, and instead, demands his team do whatever necessary to goad Rocky out of retirement and into a rematch with him.

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 Robert. 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, fighting right-handed to protect his eye instead of his natural southpaw, 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.

In the final round, Rocky, who switched the tactics and is fighting left-handed again, 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, thus having his first defeat. 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 Adrian, humbly thanks Apollo for the match.


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


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


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% rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[8] The film won Best Picture at the American 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]


A novelization was published by Ballantine Books in 1979. Sylvester Stallone was credited as the author.[11]


  1. ^ "Rocky II, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (1979-06-15). "Screen: 'Rocky II' Fights a Rematch: Second Stanza...." (Subscription required). The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Filmtracks: Rocky II (Bill Conti)". Filmtracks. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Rocky II (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Bill Conti - Awards. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Accessed on August 9, 2013.
  5. ^ "The 10 Best Movies of 1979". Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Best Films of 1979". Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Most Popular Feature Films Released in 1979". Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Rocky II Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rocky II: Award Wins and Nominations". Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Movie Rocky 2 – Box Office Data, News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]