Films

15 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Rocky III

Mr T was nominated for a Razzie for his portrayal of Clubber Lang. Just have a think about that for a minute. Easily Rocky's most entertaining opponent, who delivers some of the most quoted lines in pub-going history, was nominated for a Razzie. We don't want to put too fine a point on this, but that is absolute madness. We pity the fool who put his name forward.

Anyway, calming down now, Mr T did his part in a movie of many, many brilliant parts. To celebrate the film here's 15 facts that hopefully you didn't know. Seconds out, fact one...

(Images: Rex/YouTube)

  • 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Rocky III

    1.

    Karate Kid track "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito was originally intended for the Rocky III soundtrack but was replaced by "Eye of the Tiger", by Survivor. It was also turned down for the Flashdance soundtrack in favour of "Maniac" by Michael Sembello.

    According to Billboard, 'Eye of the Tiger' was the number 1 song of 1982.

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    2.

    The blonde groupie who asks Rocky for a kiss (see 1 min 49 here) was Sylvester Stallone's first wife Sasha.

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    3.

    The pinball machine that Paulie smashes up in a drunken rage (see here) wasn't quite the same as the Rocky pinball game released in conjunction with the movie (pictured). The main difference was that a prop backglass was made for the movie version for Paulie's bottle to smash through, that wasn't part of the mass produced version.

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    4.

    The rematch between Rocky and Clubber Lang is the only fight in the Rocky series that does not go a full 15 rounds. It lasts only 3.

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    5.

    Stallone appeared on The Muppet Show in 1979, three years before the movie's release. After it aired Jim Henson dubbed the episode so that rather than have The Muppets introduce Stallone, they introduced Rocky Balboa. The Rocky version was used in the opening montage of Rocky III and can be seen in this clip, two minutes and 30 seconds in.

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    6.

    Hulk Hogan was fired from the World Wrestling Federation by founder Vince McMahon Sr, for taking the role of Thunderlips. Vince's son, Vince McMahon Jr would later bring Hulk back to the WWF where he would dominate for years.

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    7.

    Rocky (1976) and Rocky II (1979) are both set in 1976, and the events in Rocky III are said to take place three years later, making it 1979. But the newspaper depicting the wrestling match gives a date of 1982.

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    8.

    Mickey's surname isn't revealed in the first two films. It's seen on his grave marker in Rocky III. His last name is Goldmill. The character was two years older than actor Burgess Meredith.

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    9.

    Prior to Rocky III Mr T was a bodyguard for numerous boxers including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and, as pictured, Leon Spinks (T stands behind Spinks).

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    10.

    In preparation for the film, Stallone got his body fat down to an insanely time low 2.8%.

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    11.

    Thunderlips is billed as being 7 feet tall, although Hulk Hogan is only 6'6". That's because Rocky Balboa was originally touted as a 6'1" fighter, while Sylvester Stallone is only 5'10".

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    12.

    Survivor songwriter Jim Peterik (pictured) said of Eye Of The Tiger: "When we got the initial rough cut of the movie, the scene that 'Eye Of The Tiger' appears in was cut to 'Another One Bites The Dust' by Queen. [We're] watching this, the punches are being thrown, and we're going, 'Holy crap, this is working like a charm.' We called Stallone and said, 'Why aren't you using that?' He goes, 'Well, we can't get the publishing rights to it.' [We] looked at each other and went, 'Man, this is going to be tough to beat.'"

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    13.

    Sylvester Stallone fights his brother Frank, in the movie. You can see them shooting their fight scene here. Frank was keen to play Rocky in scenes where stunts were required, too, like when Rocky is thrown from the ring by Thunderlips. Sly decided it was too risky for his brother, though.

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    14.

    Before Rocky III was released, Stallone commissioned A. Thomas Schomberg to create a bronze statue of the character. Three 2-ton, 10-foot-tall copies were cast. One was installed atop the Rocky Steps for the film and was ultimately relocated at the bottom of the steps. The second one is in the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum and the third has been put up for auction on eBay three times, with a starting bid of $5million, then $3million, and finally $1million to raise funds for the International Institute for Sport and Olympic History, but has failed to sell.

    (Image: Flickr Commons, Scott D Welch)

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    15.

    The Rocky Statue appears in Trading Places, Mannequin and the opening montage of Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia.