Rocky V

November 16th, 1990


Rocky V

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Still of Tommy Morrison in Rocky VStill of Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire and Burt Young in Rocky VStill of Sylvester Stallone and Tommy Morrison in Rocky VStill of Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire in Rocky VStill of Sylvester Stallone and Tommy Morrison in Rocky VStill of Sage Stallone in Rocky V

Reluctantly retired from boxing and back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protege who betrays him; As the champ's son must adjust to his family's new life after bankruptcy.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 4.6/10 (40,846 voted)

Critic's Score: 54/100

Director: John G. Avildsen

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

Rocky Balboa is forced to retire after having permanent damage inflicted on him in the ring by the Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Returning home after the Drago bout, Balboa discovers that the fortune that he had acquired as heavyweight champ has been stolen and lost on the stockmarket by his accountant. His boxing days over, Rocky begins to coach an up-and-coming fighter named Tommy Gunn. Rocky cannot compete, however, with the high salaraies and glittering prizes being offered to Gunn by other managers in town.

Sylvester Stallone - Rocky Balboa
Talia Shire - Adrian
Burt Young - Paulie
Sage Stallone - Rocky Balboa Jr.
Burgess Meredith - Mickey Goldmill
Tommy Morrison - Tommy 'Machine' Gunn
Richard Gant - George Washington Duke
Tony Burton - Duke
Jimmy Gambina - Jimmy (as James Gambina)
Delia Sheppard - Karen
Mike Girard Sheehan - Merlin Sheets (as Michael Sheehan)
Michael Williams - Union Cane
Kevin Connolly - Chickie
Elisebeth Peters - Jewel
Hayes Swope - Chickie's Pal

Taglines: Go for it!


Official Website: Rocky Anthology Official site |

Release Date: 16 November 1990

Filming Locations: Max Busch House, 160 South San Rafael Street, Pasadena, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $14,073,170 (USA) (18 November 1990)

Gross: $119,946,358 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Just as he had done with the first four films, writer Sylvester Stallone incorporated much biographical material into the plot of the film. Stallone particularly focused on the notion of Rocky's fall from grace. In Rocky III and Rocky IV, Rocky was top of the world, unbeatable and incredibly famous and popular. These two films had coincided with the height of Stallone's own popularity, which had waned decidedly in the years since Rocky IV. As such, when composing the script for Rocky V, he decided to look at the notion of how a man can have it all, only to suddenly lose it.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When Rocky is having a flashback of training with Mickey when he is in the gym Mickey gives him the necklace that he said was given to him by Rocky Marciano. However, in Rocky II Apollo is wearing the same necklace when he crumbles Rocky's picture off the mirror. However, in this exchange Rocky asks "what happened to his other cuff link?" and Mickey replies "I don't know. He only give me one. He gave it to some bum." In all likelihood, the person that got the other cuff link was Apollo Creed.

Rocky Balboa: [outside Mickey's abandoned gym] How ya doin', Mick?

User Review

Give it a chance.

Rating: 7/10

For some reason or another, certain movies achieve a reputation as being worse than they actually are. Rocky V is one such film that is affected by the – as I call it – Phantom Menace syndrome. This refers to Movies that are interesting in their own way but fail to live up to the hype or expectation of previous instalments, or simply do not follow the formula that everyone derided for being too predictable anyway. For me, Rocky V is the best of the sequels to the 1976 original, as it does not follow in the Rocky tradition of simply having a bigger guy to fight than in the previous film. Rocky IV was a great spectacle but it was more comical than anything to think that an entire Russian government could be funding one over-sized boxer who could kill a man with one flurry of punches, not to mention turn a blind eye to illegal doping. The fifth instalment in the anthology goes back to the more personal story of the character, and deals much more realistically with the aftermath of loss and the twisted nature of professional prize fighting.

Stallone recruited his own son for the role of Robert (Rocky's son) and the result is one of the best father son relationships ever committed to celluloid. The scene where Rocky realises that he has been a negligent father and must make his peace with the boy is affectionate and heartfelt and could never been as realistic without the real life history behind these two people.

OK, there are some flaws and I am not too naive to suggest this movie is worthy of an Oscar. The casting of Tommy 'The Machine' Gunn could have been better as real life boxer Tommy Morrison sometimes appears wooden and is never really threatening enough to Rocky for the final fight to have any tangible tension. Similarly, aside from the final tune of Elton John's 'The measure of a man' the music does not measure up to the awesome and inspirational anthems that have accompanied previous instalments. Any Flick in the early nineties that used rap music as its primary soundtrack has ultimately dated for a modern audience.

My advice would be to watch this movie in full before you judge it. There are some sad moments in this fall from grace story as well as few goofs in terms of weak acting. But it's not as bad as people say and as the sixth instalment nears completion it's about time everyone got back into the Rocky spirit for one more round.

A good film. 7/10


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