Rocky’s final encounter between Rocky and Adrian in the ring is iconic, but the acclaimed drama originally ended on a much grimmer note.
RockyThe final meeting between Rocky and Adrian is iconic, but Sylvester Stallone’s signature film almost ended on a gloomy note. While the Rocky The franchise certainly contains many dramatic and emotional moments, the one quality it is most famous for is being uplifting. That’s especially true in the 1980s sequels, in which Rocky usually wins the big fight at the end, and in Rocky 4He even symbolically wins the Cold War against the Russian destroyer Ivan Drago.
It is famous that Rocky does not win the fight against Apollo Creed at the end of the original, and the fight results in a split decision. Even that is encouraging as Rocky had worked so hard on the proper training for the fight, coming in as the clear underdog to nearly defeat the heavyweight champion of the world. What’s even more important, though, is that Rocky Balboa ended the night, and the movie, with a shared profession of love between him and his girlfriend Adrian Pennino, followed by a passionate hug.
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Rocky may not have walked away with the victory, but he was definitely an overall winner, making for a classic and poignant conclusion to Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 play. It’s hard to imagine things ending differently for Rocky. and Adrian, but a much less jovial final scene nearly closed the film.
Rocky’s original bittersweet ending (and why it will never be seen)
As the public will never forget, the original Rocky It ends with a beaten and bruised Balboa going to a draw with Apollo Creed, and then yelling for Adrian after the fight. Eventually he heads to the ring and declares his love for Rocky, he responds and they hug. It is iconic. However, that ending was actually filmed during the new recordings. Stallone’s planned ending saw Rocky and Adrian walk together through the tunnel to the backstage area, in silence, long after the crowd had left the building.
This low-key conclusion was intended to close the book on Rocky’s time in the spotlight, as he had come face to face with the best and survived, and now was the time for him to get serious about making a life with Adrian. The test audiences hated it, and found this ending to be depressing and depressing. However, oddly enough, a photo of Rocky and Adrian walking hand in hand from the original ending was used in some of the Rockyposters of. Stallone revealed during the documentary Rocky: An American Hero (via The editing room floor) who tried to go back and use this invisible footage to Rocky 5 – but he was dismayed to discover that United Artists had cremated him sometime during the 1980s.
While that may seem shortsighted, it’s important to remember that the home video market was still something new back then, and additional features wouldn’t become common until the DVD boom in the late 1990s. At that time, the studio probably just wanted to save on storage costs by getting rid of unused film reels. Still, Rocky Fans would surely be interested in seeing this original final footage if a copy ever resurfaces, even if its bittersweet tone probably wouldn’t have worked for the movie itself.
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