1976's Rocky was the hit nobody really expected. It not only catapulted its leading man, Sylvester Stallone, to superstardom, the film itself became a cultural touchstone with an influence that has permeated throughout the decades. Diehard fans like myself have most likely already watched the film several times over, and can quote every line. But what if I told you there are scenes from it we'll never get to see, because they literally don't exist anymore?
You see, during an interview in the 1990s, #SylvesterStallone revealed that he planned to give new life to the original Rocky's deleted scenes in Rocky V. Unfortunately, MGM informed him all of the cut footage from his '70s classic had been destroyed during a fire.
Fortunately, Stallone still had a few mementos from the film that launched the franchise. He recently took to Instagram to share a rare still from one of the scenes lost in the fire. Check it out:
The actor gave some background on the picture in the caption:
"Rare deleted scene from 'Rocky.' Unfortunately, the studio burned all the outtakes by accident and only a few pictures remain... This is the moment before Rocky knocks out Dipper (played by the excellent Stan Shaw), who threatened him and took his locker! Keep punching my friends."
In case you're a little rusty in your Rocky history, Dipper was a big pain in the neck for #RockyBalboa in the first film. At the beginning of the movie, his trainer, Mickey, took away Rocky's locker to give it to Dipper, whom he felt was a much more promising fighter. Dipper initially mocked the Italian Stallion for this, but the tables quickly turned when Rocky gained nationwide attention for his future bout with #ApolloCreed, and Mickey started training him full-time.
In case you're wondering how this deleted sequence fit into the movie, it was an extension of the "Women Weaken Legs" scene:
The scene would have continued after the fans leave the gym. A news crew arrives at the gym with #ApolloCreed and they approach Rocky to hype up their fight. Jealous of having been replaced and witnessing Rocky's newfound fame, Dipper confronts Rocky in front of everyone and mocks him, ordering Rocky to bow down and kiss his ring. Not being one to hold back, Rocky responds by punching him in the ribs and then knocking him out. This frightens the usually cocky Apollo, who starts to think he may have gotten in deeper than he had anticipated.
As with any scene that doesn't make the cut, you may be wondering whether it was a good choice to leave it out of the final product. I'd have to say, yes. While it sounds like a good scene, the movie already had a great and subtle comeuppance for Dipper.
There was a satisfying sense in knowing he mocked #Rocky to no end, but he ultimately witnessed Balboa's rise to the top. That continued the underdog theme of the franchise, and the narrative that Rocky's rise to the top was fueled by proving all his naysayers wrong along the way. Seeing that, a good hook to the ribs wouldn't have made it any better.
What do you think about our glimpse at this deleted scene from Rocky? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: Lost Media Archive]