Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Brigitte Nielsen. Rocky IV was the highest-grossing sports movie of all time for 24 years, before it was overtaken by The Blind Side.
In the film, the Soviet Union and its top boxer make an entrance into professional boxing with their best athlete Ivan Drago, who initially wants to take on world champion Rocky Balboa. Rocky’s close friend Apollo Creed decides to fight him instead but is fatally beaten and killed in the ring by Drago. Enraged, Rocky decides to fight Drago in the Soviet Union to avenge the death of his friend and defend the honor of his country.
Critical reception was mixed, but the film was a huge success at the box office, earning $300 million. It spent a total of six weeks as the #1 film, staying on top through the Christmas and New Years period, and grossed a total of $127.8 million in United States and Canada, and $300 million worldwide, the most of any Rocky film. While the film marked Carl Weathers’ final appearance in the series, his character would still be referenced in each subsequent film. The events of this film serve as the backstory to the plot of Creed II, where Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, is challenged to fight Drago’s son, Viktor.
Rocky IV is one of the few sport movies that applies genuine sound effects from actual punches, bona fide training methods created by boxing consultants, and a bevy of other new special effects.