>>/ Rocky

/ Rocky ( 2)

: / Rocky.

/ Rocky


Rocky climbs the stairs and enters the gym...

... In a matter of seconds, his presence is known and the athletes stare in wonderment... The big black heavyweight contender, Dipper, throws down his towel in disgust and turns away.

Mike quietly approaches Rocky.

MIKE Hey, Rock -- What happened?

ROCKY 'Bout what?

Mickey Goldmill steps out of his office...

MICKEY Did ya get the message, kid?

ROCKY Message -- What message?

Mickey pulls out a card from his breast pocket... He hands it to Rocky.

MICKEY A Rep from Miles Jergens' Promotions was lookin' for ya -- They need sparrin' partners for Creed.

ROCKY Ya puttin' me on?

MICKEY Here's the card?

ROCKY When was they here?


MICKEY 'Bout an hour ago.

ROCKY Probably lookin' for sparrin' partners.

MICKEY ... I said that before.

Rocky turns from Mickey and jogs out of the gym. Mickey fumbles with his rosary beads.

MICKEY (continuing) ... Waste of life.


Rocky steps off a bus in mid-town Philadelphia. He hurries down Broad Street. Every few steps he breaks into a trot... He enters a skyscraper.


Rocky exits the elevator and enters the office of Miles Jergens' Productions.


The SECRETARY is slightly startled by Rocky's excited expression.

SECRETARY May I help you?

Rocky hands her the business card.

SECRETARY (continuing) Your name, please?

ROCKY Balboa, Rocky Balboa.

The Secretary rises and enters Jergens' office... Rocky eyes the multitude of sporting pictures hanging on all four walls.

The Secretary returns.

SECRETARY You may go in.

Rocky collects himself and enters...



Miles Jergens warmly greets him.

JERGENS Hello, Mr. Balboa -- I'm Miles Jergens -- Please, have a seat.

ROCKY ... Thanks.

JERGENS Mr. Balboa --

ROCKY (overriding) Rocky.

JERGENS Rocky, do you have any representation? A manager?

ROCKY No -- Just me.

JERGENS Rocky, would you be interested in --

ROCKY Sparrin'?

JERGENS Excuse me.

ROCKY I know ya need sparrin' partners -- I'm very available.

JERGENS I'm sure you are.

ROCKY Absolutely -- Sparrin' with the Champ would be an honor -- y'know what?


ROCKY I wouldn't take no cheap shots. I'd be a good sparrin' partner.


Jergens seems very amused. He lights a cigar.

JERGENS Rocky, would you be interested in fighting Apollo Creed for the Championship?

ROCKY ... Like I said, I'd make a boss sparrin' mate.

JERGENS Did you hear what I said?

ROCKY Sure, an' I'm smart enough to know that no sparrin' partner should take cheap shots at the Champ. He's just there to help condition the man.

JERGENS Not spar, I'm asking whether you would be interested in fighting Creed for the championship.

The weight of the statement comes crashing down in Rocky. For a long moment he becomes nothing more than a basket case as he ponders the statement... He half regains his senses.

ROCKY ... Ah... Absolutely.

The SCENE FADES and becomes a black and white television.


Rocky and Adrian are at her home watching an old black and white television... Rocky smiles... The film now cuts to Apollo being interviewed.

REPORTER #1 How'd you like the 'City of Brotherly Love?'

APOLLO I like my Philadelphia Brothers. An' I'm patriotic!

Apollo has to move to the side to avoid a thrusting microphone.


APOLLO (continuing; mock seriousness) If yo' don't back up I'm gonna send yo' home with a microphone in yo' nose!

The Reporters laugh.

REPORTER #2 Why did you agree to fight a man who has virtually no chance of winning?

APOLLO If history proves one thing, everybody gotta chance -- Didn't yo' all ever hear of David an' Goliath? -- 'Course I woulda knocked out Goliath.

REPORTER #3 It is a coincidence that you're fighting a white man on the most celebrated day in the country's history?

APOLLO The same coincidence that he's fightin' a black man.

REPORTER #1 What're your feelings about the challenger?

APOLLO He's Italian.

REPORTER #1 What does that mean?

APOLLO It means if he can't fight, I bet he can cook!

Rocky and Adrian laugh at the interview... Paulie, her brother, takes offense.

PAULIE Do me a favor -- His lungs, punch 'em out.



Rocky's interview now fills the screen. Rocky squints and looks nervous under the hot lights.

REPORTER #2 This is your largest payday ever -- How do you feel about it?

ROCKY Feel? I dunno... Happy.

REPORTER #2 How will you fight Apollo Creed?

ROCKY (mind elsewhere) Creed's great, ain't he... I'll do what I can.

REPORTER #1 Where did you get the name, 'Italian Stallion?'

ROCKY I thought of it 'bout eight years ago, when I was eatin' dinner.

REPORTER #2 Is it true the most you've ever made in a prizefight is five hundred dollars?

ROCKY Four hundred -- But that was a long time ago.

REPORTER #2 And now your payday will be one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Any comment?

ROCKY Listen, I wanna say hi to my girlfriend -- Yo, Adrian!

Adrian blushes and laughs.

ADRIAN Oh, Rocky!

PAULIE (dry) Christ.


ADRIAN You didn't!

ROCKY Sure I did. You heard.

They continue to watch the remainder of the interview... The head COMMENTATOR is looking directly into the camera.

COMMENTATOR A Bicentennial Fight -- January first. It will be the first sporting event on our two hundredth birthday and is already being called by many the greatest farce in sports history. If this man lasts more than a minute I would say he's on borrowed time. (sarcastically) It's matches like this with their exorbitant prices that give sports a bad name -- Not only is this match bad, people, it's sad! Why a Rocky Balboa? At the State Athletic Commission, Larry Duggan reporting.

PAULIE (irate) The guy's a friggin' moron.


PAULIE Don't it matter none he's makin' ya out a fool? -- I'd break his lips.

ROCKY It don't matter.

PAULIE He's takin' cheap shots.

ROCKY It don't bother me none.

PAULIE Yo, Rock -- now ya'll be lookin' for people to help, right?


ROCKY Help what?

PAULIE Y'know, to help keep ya livin' clean.

ROCKY I'll do okay.

PAULIE Ya gotta have a guy help ya exercise, mebbe somebody to be standin' by with a towel or run errands, y'know.

ROCKY Hey, who cared about me yesterday, huh? Nobody -- I think I'm gonna train myself.

PAULIE Without havin' good people around, ya won't have such a good chance.

Adrian is not happy with her brother's overbearing attitude. She faces him.

ADRIAN Einstein flunked out of school... twice.

PAULIE That so.

ADRIAN Roosevelt finished last in his class -- Beethoven was deaf, an' Helen Keller was blind -- I think Rocky has a good chance.


Rocky stands in Adrian's doorway. He kisses her.

ROCKY See ya tomorrow.

Rocky moves down the stairway and continues to do so as he converses with Adrian who remains upstairs. His VOICE ECHOES up the stairwell.


ROCKY (continuing) How'd ya like hearin' ya name on TV?

ADRIAN I don't know -- I was shocked. Why did you do that?

ROCKY Ya puttin' me on, right?

ADRIAN (smiles) Absolutely -- What time should I expect you?

ROCKY 'Bout seven.

ADRIAN I'll be waiting.

Rocky is now on the ground floor yelling up to Adrian on the top floor landing.

ROCKY Y'know how I said that stuff on television didn't bother me?


ROCKY It did.

As Rocky completes the last word, he exits the building and slams the door which RESOUNDS throughout the apartment house.


Gazzo, the bodyguard, and Rocky are standing out front. They are eating hot sandwiches.

ROCKY Y'know I won't be able to work for ya no more.

GAZZO Hey -- if a good man can make a better life, let him make it.

ROCKY I feel bad about walkin'.


GAZZO Take your shot, kid -- You got money for trainin' expenses?

ROCKY A few bucks.

Gazzo takes out a wad and peels off several bills.

GAZZO Here's five hundred -- Put it in your glove.

ROCKY Do I have to pay juice?

Gazzo looks at the Bodyguard and shakes his head as if to imply, "Why's this guy asking such a foolish question?"

Gazzo and the bodyguard step to the white Caddy parked at the curb. They enter the cab. Rocky watches.


GAZZO (smiles) Does Santa Claus charge juice? Merry Christmas -- Now, how's about my present, ya gonna win?

ROCKY Gonna try.

GAZZO Listen, kid, I'm with ya. Ya know, I'm with ya -- Italian, we're blood. You kill this rug -- We Guinneas gotta show these Afro-Americans where it's at. Give it your best shot cause I want ya to prove to these bums on the corner that my man can't be beat by this rug... Ya got any action on the side.

ROCKY No action.

GAZZO Ya gettin 150 grand killer. Ya got any plans for it? Whatta ya think? (MORE)


GAZZO (CONT'D) Ya like to put it on the street, make it work for ya?

ROCKY I'm gonna do somethin with it.

GAZZO Sure, you do what ya want. Stay away from the stock market.

ROCKY Black market?

GAZZO Same thing. Ya know, Rock, remember when we was kids, we fought together. An' I wasn't well an' ya had to beat up that Irish kid -- what's his name? -- Gallager -- I bought a suit and became a businessman. You put on gloves. An' I remember Mama almost cried, may she rest in peace -- an' our ol' man who said ya had no brains -- I'd like to lay hands on that bastard. You ain't never had any luck. Even when I owned you in '66 you never had luck. But now I think you might be gettin' some luck kid. Whatta you think?

Rocky smiles and Gazzo gets into his car. Rocky follows him across the street.

ROCKY Yo, you gonna show, Tony?

GAZZO Where else am I gonna go. (to Bodyguard) Bet three grand on Rocky.

BODYGUARD He's a bum -- are you kiddin?

GAZZO (slaps Bodyguard) No! I'm not kiddin!

Rocky walks away.



Rocky returns home and enters his apartment. After turning on the light, he flips on his RECORD PLAYER. He now feeds the turtles.

ROCKY Look who's home!

Rocky notices two telegrams laying inside the threshold. He approaches them with a sense of awe. He opens and reads one. Settling on the bed, he reads the other.

A KNOCK is HEARD. Rocky opens the door. Mickey Goldmill, the gym owner, stands framed in the doorway.

MICKEY (stiffly) I seen the light. I figure somebody was home.

ROCKY Hey, Mickey -- Whatta ya doin' here? Here, sit down.

Rocky tosses soiled clothing off a mangled armchair.

ROCKY (continuing) Best seat in the house -- Hey, Mick, this is too much.

MICKEY How do you mean?

ROCKY I'm usta seein' ya at the gym, but seein' ya here, in my house, it's kinda outta joint.

By the manner in which Goldmill listens, it is obvious something important is preying on his mind.

Rocky is slightly uncomfortable, almost embarrassed at having outsiders see how he lives.

MICKEY Listen, Rock, you're a very lucky guy.



MICKEY What's happened is freak luck.

ROCKY Freak luck for sure.

MICKEY Look at all them other fighters. Real good boys. Good records. Colorful. Fight their hearts out for peanuts -- But who cared? Nobody. They got it shoved in their back door. Nobody ever give them a shot at the title...

ROCKY (uneasy) Freak luck is a strange thing.

Mickey does not hear. His attention is drawn to the turtles.

MICKEY Whatta' those?

ROCKY Turtles -- domestic turtles.

MICKEY (businesslike) I'm here tellin' ya to be very smart with this shot. Like the Bible sez, ya don't get no second chance.

Mickey looks hard into Rocky's eyes.

MICKEY (continuing) Ya need a manager. An advisor. I been in the racket fifty years. I done it all, there ain't nothin' about the world of pugilism that ain't livin' up here.

He lights a half-smoked cigar.

ROCKY (at a loss) Fifty years, huh.


MICKEY (stronger) Fifty years. The rep is known around Philly, an' a good rep can't be bought, but I don't have to tell you that.

ROCKY How 'bout a glass of water?

MICKEY Rocky, d'ya know what I done?

ROCKY (uneasy) ... What?

MICKEY (driving each word hard) I done it all. I've done an' seen everything'. Believe what I'm tellin' ya -- Ya shoulda seen the night in Brooklyn, I smacked 'Ginny' Russo outta the ring, September 14, 1923 -- same night Firpo knocked Dempsey outta the ring. But who got the Press? He did. He had a manager -- September 14, 1923.

ROCKY (softly) Ya got a good mind for dates.

Mickey deafly continues, becoming more engrossed every second.

MICKEY Look at this face -- twenty- one stitches over the left eye, thirty-four over the right -- my nose was busted seventeen times, the last being the Sailor Mike fight New Year's Eve, 1940, in Camden, New Jersey -- What a professional pastin' I give him. Here, read about it. (MORE)


MICKEY (CONT'D) (shows a tiny press clipping; points to cauliflower ear) An' he give me the vegetable on the ear. I got pain an' experience... an' you got heart -- kinda remind me of Marciano, ya do.

Rocky points to his most prized possession.

ROCKY Nobody ever said that -- There's his picture.

MICKEY Yeah, ya kinda remind me of the Rock. Ya move like 'im.

Mickey has rung the bell. Nothing could please Rocky more than being compared to his idol.

ROCKY Really think so?

MICKEY Ya got heart.

ROCKY Heart, but I ain't got no Tocker.

Rocky shifts against the wall and lowers himself into a crouch.

MICKEY Christ, I know this business. Rocky, when I was fightin' it was the dirtiest racket goin', see. Pugs like me was treated like fightin' dogs -- throw ya in the pit an' for ten bucks ya try to kill each other. We had no management... (MORE)


MICKEY (CONT'D) fought in boxcars, in whorehouse basements, any joint with a floor -- October 1931 I fought a bum who put a tack in the thumb of his glove an' punched so many holes in my face I had spit shootin' outta my cheeks -- I never had no manager watchin' out for me -- See that picture outside the gym -- 'Mighty Mick,' that's me in my prime. I had all the tools. I coulda starched any lightweight husky on the East Coast -- But I had no management. Nobody ever got to know how slick I was, but I had a head for business an' stashed a few bucks an' opened the gym -- It's a dirt hole, I know it, but that an' a lotta scars is what I got to show for fifty years in the business, kid -- now you come along with this shot an' I feel like it's me gettin' the shot I never got... Yeah, we was treated like dogs -- like them Dago's, no offense, in the Colosseum in Rome there -- An' now I got all this knowledge, I wanna give it to ya so I can protect ya an' make sure ya get the best deal ya can!

Rocky rises and opens a window.

MICKEY (continuing) Respect, I always dished ya respect.

ROCKY ... Ya gave Dipper my locker.

MICKEY (almost begging) I'm sorry, I -- I made a mistake. Kid, I'm askin' man to man. I wanna be ya manager.


ROCKY The fight's set -- I don't need a manager.

MICKEY Look, you can't buy what I know. Ya can't. I've seen it all! I got pain an' I got experience.

ROCKY I got pain an' experience too.

MICKEY Please, kid.

ROCKY (tightly) Whatever I got, I always got on the slide. This shot's no different. I didn't earn nothin' -- I got it on the slide... I needed ya help about ten years ago when I was startin', but ya never helped me none.

Mickey drops the ashtray and kneels to pick it up... He remains on one knee.

MICKEY If ya was wantin' my help, why didn't ya ask? Just ask.

ROCKY I asked, but ya never helped nothin'! -- Like the Bible sez, ya don't get no second chance.

MICKEY (yells) Rocky, I'm seventy-six years old. Maybe you can be the winner I never was -- your shot is my last shot!

Rocky is choked and goes into the bathroom and closes the door.

Mickey struggles to his feet and, like a beaten man, leaves.

Several moments later Rocky steps out and lowers himself into bed. Springing up a second later, he runs outside.



Rocky races up the block toward the shadowy and hunched form of Mickey. Way in the distance, we SEE Rocky stop the old man beneath a street lamp. He places an arm around his shoulder.


The following morning, Rocky's ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF at exactly four A.M. Not accustomed to rising this early, with great difficulty Rocky staggers to his feet and wavers to the bathroom. He turns the light on and roaches scatter.

At the top of the mirror hang the telegrams. Rocky fills the basin and submerges his face in cold water.

Rocky sways to the icebox and removes a dozen eggs. He cracks five raw eggs into a glass and downs it in one swill... his body quivers.


Rocky steps outside. He is dressed in a well-worn sweat suit with a hood, gloves and sneakers. It is pitch dark and his steaming breath attests to the cold.

He begins running down the center of the deserted street. He can only be clearly SEEN as his form passes beneath the street lamps.

Two garbage men stop hoisting cans to watch him pass.


Rocky stands at the base of an overwhelmingly steep flight of stairs. He stares up at the stairs that nearly disappear into the morning gray. Taking a deep breath, he starts up. From the start, he looks out of shape and halfway up his legs give way. Standing, he brushes off and descends the stairs.


Rocky passes City Hall and veers to the river. He pauses, heaving great gusts of exhausted breaths. He throws several lazy jabs in the air and walks awhile with hands on his aching sides. Men delivering the morning papers observe with amusement.

Rocky forces himself to begin running again.



Heading along Spring Garden Street, Rocky passes beneath an elevated train station. The ROARING TRAIN overhead seems to blend perfectly with his muscular running style.


The sky is beginning to lighten. The fighter now runs along the piers and past anchored freighters.


It is five-thirty and Rocky approaches the loading platform belonging to Eastern Packing Company. Alongside the loading platform come several boxcars.

Rocky mounts the ramp and knocks on the metal door. It soon opens and Paulie guides him inside. Paulie is drunk.


PAULIE How ya feelin'?

ROCKY (panting) ... Tight.

PAULIE I got whiskey here.

ROCKY ... No.

Rocky notices TWO PUERTO RICANS lounging alongside theshipping office.

PAULIE This is the guy who's fightin' Apollo Creed.

JOSE (heavy accent) Good luck -- Kill him, man.

PAULIE (as though rehearsed badly) Hip -- Hip -- Hooray! C'mon -- Hip -- Hip --


JOSE (walks away) Hooray, man.

PAULIE Rock'll be comin' by every mornin' to pick up some Prime -- can't train on that store crap.

Rocky smiles and Paulie leads him out of the office and to the large metal door of a walk-in refrigerator.


They enter. The freezer resembles a modern torture chamber... row after row of hanging slabs of beef stretch into the darkness to the far end of the refrigerator. The blower overhead causes the men to speak loudly.

PAULIE (teasing) If ya don't pay Gazzo, ya end up hangin' on the hook, right?

ROCKY Gazzo's a good man.

PAULIE How 'bout you talk to 'em about me? (tightly) Please do me that favor.

ROCKY Keep this job, ya eat better.

Paulie opens a jackknife and idly jabs the hanging meat. He swills whiskey from a pint bottle.

PAULIE Y'know, d'ya think you an' my sister -- Ah, doin' good together?

ROCKY Whatta you think?

PAULIE Ain't sure, what's the story?



PAULIE The story -- what's happenin'?

Paulie speaks like a man who has been mulling this over for quite a while.

PAULIE (continuing) Ya really like her?

ROCKY Sure I like her.

PAULIE (nervous laughter) What's the attraction? I don't see it?

ROCKY I dunno -- she fills gaps.

PAULIE What gaps?

ROCKY (shrugs and takes meat) She got gaps. I got gaps -- together we fill the gaps.

PAULIE (sharply) You ballin' her?

ROCKY (turns around) Don't talk dirty 'bout ya sister.

PAULIE (tersely) C'mon, ya screwin' her?

From across the room Rocky looks him hard in the eyes.

ROCKY That's why I can't put ya together with Gazzo, cause ya talk too much -- big mouth.

Paulie reddens. He steps forward and slams his fists in a hanging beef.


The punching of the beef is a muted challenge and Rocky responds.

Rocky walks up to a beef and slams his fist into the ribs.

The grotesque object swings in a wide arc like a hanging corpse. Rocky moves to the next one and hooks.

Rocky's face reveals a never before seen concentration, as though he were locked in total battle.

PAULIE Hit the rump. The rump! Ya'll break the ribs!

Rocky speeds up and continues pounding on the second row of beef. Paulie's eyes widen and his face grimaces with every punch, like he were receiving it. Rocky moves into the dark recess of the refrigerator. Only the dull SOUNDS of his POUNDING FISTS can be HEARD.

Rocky works his way to Paulie again. Every hanging beef swings and appears surrealistically alive.

PAULIE (continuing) We do that to Creed an' they'll take us to jail for murder.

Rocky looks at his hands. They are drenched in red up to the elbows with beef blood.

Paulie hands him a package of beef.

ROCKY Don't talk dirty 'bout ya sister.

Rocky takes the package and runs out. Paulie's bleary eyes reveal a fearful respect and slight resentment.


The gym is filled to capacity. The NOISE is DEAFENING. Rocky pounds a heavy bag.

Mickey steps forward and removes a piece of string from his pocket.


MICKEY (passionate) Stop! Stop! I can't stand it! It's clumsy. You're off balance.

He motions to his bullish helper, Mike. He hands him the string.

MICKEY (continuing) Tie it to both ankles -- Leave two feet slack.

ROCKY I never had good footwork.

Mike completes the task.

MICKEY Forget the footwork -- You're off balance. The legs are sticking everywhere. Marciano had the same problem, an' the string cured it. When you can hit and move without breakin' the string you'll have balance.

MIKE You'll be a very dangerous person.

Two young boys in street clothes interrupt Mickey.

BOY Rocky, could we have your autograph?

ROCKY ... Sure.

MICKEY (irate) Don't you boys ever interrupt when I'm conductin' business, or I'll kill you both -- Go away.

The boys depart.


MICKEY (continuing) Autographs! Ya wanna be a writer or a fighter? Let's work.

Mike looks off across the gym.

MIKE ... we got visitors.

Mickey strains his eyes to see a group of REPORTERS and NEWS CAMERAMEN entering his gym.

MICKEY (approaching) Can I help you guys?

REPORTER (to Cameraman) Set the camera up over there. (to Mickey) We're from Channel Seven -- Covering the pre-fight training.

MICKEY I own the place.

The Reporter has a hundred things on his mind... he turns from Mickey and nods to his crew... the other television crews rush to set up.

CAMERAMAN Rolling here.

SOUND MAN Speed here.

REPORTER (to the camera) We're here at Goldmill's Gym -- A Philadelphia landmark of sorts since 1929 -- The stench of toil permeates every corner. The sweat a trademark of a unique profession... Yet, the most unique fixture is an unprecedented 50 to 1 underdog heavyweight named, Rocky Balboa.

The camera turns to Rocky.


ROCKY (to Mickey) Should I do this?

Mickey nods and Rocky faces the glaring lights.

REPORTER So much has happened lately -- Has it changed your life style much?

ROCKY ... People talk to me more.

REPORTER How're you preparing for this Bicentennial bout?

A young punchy fighter yells out:

FIGHTER Readin' fuckin' history books, man!

The gym explodes with laughter.

REPORTER (flushed) We can cut that out later. Apollo Creed says he'll let you stay three rounds before he puts you away.

ROCKY (honestly) Apollo's a great fighter.

REPORTER Do you feel you have a chance?

ROCKY Maybe --

He faces Mickey. Mickey whispers in his ear.

ROCKY (continuing) I'll tear his head off.

REPORTER Do you have anything derogatory to say about the Champion?


ROCKY Derogatory? Yeah, he's great.

Apollo Creed and his entourage enter the gym.

APOLLO (bellowing) I am the Champion of the whole world!!!

The gym freezes... everyone turns and stares in wonderment... Mickey Goldmill shakes his head in disbelief. He now realizes it is a publicity stunt.

APOLLO (continuing) (approaching Rocky) Italian Stallion, I come over to tell you to be very smart an' after this fight donate what's gonna be left of your body to science, cause after this fight what's left won't fill a tuna fish can!... So beware, Mon Cher!!!

Apollo turns to the cameras... Rocky is speechless.

APOLLO (continuing) This classic fight -- Tha's right, this bicentennial fight's goin' down in the history books 'cause January first I'm gonna be the first man to bounce another man offa the planet Pluto!

Dipper stands in the far ring... the attention Rocky is receiving makes him a killer.

APOLLO (continuing) Now I gots a special announcement, y'hear. For the first time in alotta years this championship fight is gonna be on your home T.V.! Free -- 'Course that's just for Philly -- My present to the city... (MORE)


APOLLO (CONT'D) Now some ya'll ain't much on likin' me, but ya gotta admit Apollo Creed is one DAMN generous, 100% pure, government inspected, Afro-American Folk Hero!!!

Everyone laughs... Dipper moves across the room like a large snake. He brushes people aside and steps behind Rocky. He nudges him... Rocky thinks it is an accident and ignores it.

Dipper pushes harder and Rocky looks questioningly at him.

DIPPER (loud) Ya nothin', Boy!

Apollo stops his sales pitch in mid-sentence... The television crew faces Dipper.

DIPPER (continuing) I say ya nothin'!

MICKEY What's happenin' here?

DIPPER I'm happenin'! This pig is takin' my shot -- I iz a contender. He's nothin'.

ROCKY (dumbstruck) Yo', Dipper, why're ya --

DIPPER (shaking his fist) Spar me in front of these here TV dudes -- I knock ya ass to Jersey!

Dipper's fat black trainer holds out his hands and Dipper slaps them soul style.

MICKEY (to Dipper) You can forget about sparring, kid.

DIPPER Yo' know I iz the best man here! Yo' said so yoself!


MICKEY (almost apologetically to the crew) Why let Rocky here take a chance on cuttin' or breakin' a hand? -- Take a shower, Dipper.

DIPPER Don't mouth me, old man, I'll knock yo' out too. C'mon, wop, spar me, let everybody see who's got the heat around here.

Silence looms over the gym... Apollo is apprehensive. The scene is becoming too real. The frightened television crew slyly begins putting away their expensive equipment.

DIPPER (continuing; insanely) Man, yo' best keep them cameras out! Fight me, boy! Let Creed here see the kind of punk he's fightin'!

Mike forces his way through the crowd and stands behind Rocky.

MIKE Don't chance it, man -- He's sick.

MICKEY This is gettin' outta hand -- Rocky will fight in the ring January first, not here!

DIPPER Yo' yellow, old man.

MICKEY Not yellow, cautious. (to the crew) See, it's very easy for a fighter to accidentally hurt --

Dipper suddenly steps forward and slaps Rocky very hard across the side of the head... The gym becomes stone cold. Dipper is in total command and enjoying every moment of it.


DIPPER If yo're afraid to fight me, then get down an' kiss my feet, boy.

Mickey looks nervously around and knows it's only seconds before the blood will run... Rocky stands motionless.

MICKEY (softly) Let's take a walk, Rock. Please, don't take a chance. He wants to hurt you so you can't fight.

Rocky swallows his pride. He still has the string around his ankles. He starts to shuffle away with Mickey... Dipper steps forward and viciously slaps Rocky again.

Mike jumps forward.

MIKE Why you tryin' to cut 'im, man! Back off, scumbag, or I'll bite your face!

Dipper cuts loose with a hook and knocks Mike flat. The room reeks of fear... Apollo's eyes flick back and forth between Rocky and Dipper. Apollo taps his bodyguards and they begin to ease away.

DIPPER ... Now, boy, kiss my feet.

Rocky eyes his friend lying on the floor. He shuffles forward and stands before Dipper.

DIPPER (continuing; almost in a whisper) ... Kiss 'em.

Rocky looks at Mickey, then lowers his eyes to Dipper's feet... Dipper smiles. Rocky starts to bend towards the shoes. Without warning, he explodes with a pair of combinations into Dipper's exposed ribs. A CRACK is HEARD and Dipper sinks to the floor writhing in pain... The room is silent except for Dipper's moaning.

Apollo is stunned by the scene. The gym has become a very gloomy place. He eyes Rocky with admiration and a hint of apprehension... He leaves.


Mickey is the first one to shake off the chill... He shakes his fists at the Reporters, and puts his arm around Rocky.

MICKEY The kid's got cannons -- Print that.

The crowd disperses, leaving Dipper a pathetic and broken figure lying on a dirty gym floor.


They enter the dismal apartment... On the floor are at least ten telegrams. Rocky scoops them up and tosses them aside. Next to the door is a pile of over a hundred telegrams. ADRIAN Don't you open them anymore?

ROCKY They either say, 'Kill the nigger' or 'Hope you die, Honky.' -- What ya got in the bag?

Adrian steps to the window. She pulls a pair of short but lovely curtains from a shopping bag... The colorful curtains glare in the dark room.


ROCKY Sharp -- Real nice.

ADRIAN Really -- You don't think they're overly feminine?

ROCKY No... Sharp -- You look great.

Adrian smiles and pulls out a small Christmas wreath... Rocky smiles. His eyes show what he feels for this woman.

ROCKY Adrian, you really look great, y'know -- But I can't fool around durin' trainin' -- makes the legs weak.

ADRIAN Don't want weak legs.


ROCKY Can't fool around -- You look very great.

ADRIAN -- The legs.

ROCKY Yeah... But I think weak legs ain't bad sometimes, y'know.

Rocky approaches in a seductive manner. Adrian uncharacteristically removes her sweater. Underneath is a T-shirt that reads "Win, Rocky, Win."

ADRIAN I thought it might be cute.

ROCKY Ya right -- (laughs) Mebbe we best just hold hands -- the shirt made me feel guilty, y'know.



Rocky is running... for extra weight he carries his huge dog, Butkus. After a half a block he sags under the weight, and laughing, begins to wrestle with the dog on the pavement... Rocky tries to sneak away from the dog, but after a few steps the beast sees him and chases him down the street.


It is early morning and as usual Rocky jogs to the meathouse. He is followed by his new dog, Butkus. He is stopped short when he notices several television news vans parked out front.


He and the dog enter the freezer area and see several reporters and men with mini-cameras milling around... Paulie is waiting for him -- Rocky is upset and goes outside. Paulie follows.



PAULIE Yo, Rock. I made a few phone calls an' thanks to me ya goin' to be a big man -- Thatta dog?

ROCKY Whatta these guys want?

PAULIE To see ya train.

ROCKY Yo, what's with you? -- It was suppose to be private.

PAULIE I thought I was doin' ya a favor -- C'mon inside -- Y'know, my sister really likes ya.

Rocky follows Paulie inside.


A REPORTER points in Rocky's direction and suddenly he is surrounded and led into the freezer area and positioned beside a slab of hanging beef. The camera lights go on.

COMMENTATOR Just relax, Mr. Balboa -- (to the camera) Today we're here with heavyweight challenger, Rocky Balboa. The reason we are standing in a refrigerated box is that Mr. Balboa has an unusual method of training and in a moment he is going to demonstrate it for our viewing audience -- But first, Rocky, how did you ever come to train in an icebox?

ROCKY Ah -- My buddy Paulie let me in one day an' I hit the beef here an' liked it -- An' since I become a challenger, the owner don't mind neither.


COMMENTATOR Is this a common training method -- I mean do other fighters pound raw meat?

ROCKY I think me and Paulie invented it.

COMMENTATOR Would you give us a demonstration?

Rocky steps over to a hanging beef and begins pounding with incredible intensity... Everyone present is taken aback. Rocky completes hitting the meat and stands there with his hands dripping beef blood.

The Commentator is unnerved and Rocky looks straight into the camera lens and holds up his bloody fists.

COMMENTATOR ... Diane Lewis in the meathouse with the Southpaw, Rocky Balboa.


Apollo sits behind Jergens' desk. Jergens is not present. Four middle-aged and younger types and Creed's lawyer sit around the desk. The desk is flowing with forms and charts.

APOLLO How much is being channeled into West Coast closed-circuit advertising?

LAWYER Three hundred thousand.

APOLLO Make it four hundred an' fifty. (to younger man) Send two hundred roses to the mayor's wife from me, get a picture an' make sure it gets all the papers.

BUSINESSMAN #3 Do ya want to run the fifteen radio spots in the mid-west? I think you could spend the money better in Canadian publicity.


APOLLO Yeah, I'd like to get Canada -- see, if we can get a tax break -- Gimme the figures on the Program Concession.

Meanwhile, the trainer sits across the room in a darkened corner looking at a small television. He is watching Rocky's bloody exhibition on the news...

He waves at Apollo.

TRAINER (worried) Apollo, you oughta come see this boy you're gonna fight on TV -- looks like he means business.

Apollo is still engrossed in his paperwork.

APOLLO I mean business, too -- (to men) The gross rental of the arena is gonna include the four hundred ushers, right? -- Gimme some coffee.


It is a moonless night and Paulie staggers across the street and enters his building... He staggers up the stairs.


Paulie removes his coat and tosses it listlessly in a chair... He rubs his red eyes and sways into the kitchen.

He takes a bottle of wine out of the icebox. As he swills the wine he hears the SOUND of Rocky's and Adrian's VOICES traveling from his sister's room. Paulie's face tightens and he staggers towards the bedroom.

He stands outside the bedroom door and peers through a crack... Rocky, Adrian, and the dog are watching TV in the otherwise darkened room.

ADRIAN ... And he called the reporters --

ROCKY Yeah... Threw my whole day off.


ADRIAN Don't be mad at him -- He just wants to help.

ROCKY Yo -- I ain't mad. I'm just outta joint when reporters are around -- They take cheap shots an' Paulie knows it.

ADRIAN ... Are you going to say anything to him?

ROCKY ... What's to say? I dunno what he wants from me --

Filled with uncontrollable anger, Paulie smashes into the room.

PAULIE Nothin'! I want nothin' from you!!!

ADRIAN Paulie!

PAULIE Shutup! I want nothin' -- I ain't no charity case! Get outta my house!

ADRIAN It's not your house --

PAULIE You ain't no friend no more -- Go home! Outta my house I want ya!

ADRIAN Don't talk like that to him!

PAULIE Get outta my life both of ya's.

Paulie kicks the door out of frustration and appears to be bordering on a nervous breakdown.

PAULIE (continuing) Outta my house I want ya!!


ROCKY ... It's cold outside, Paulie.

Paulie goes to the living room closet and removes a baseball bat... Rocky and Adrian quickly follow.

PAULIE I don't want ya messin' up my sister no more -- He's scum from the corner, I don't raise ya to hang with no bum!

Adrian is speechless... Rocky moves towards Paulie.

PAULIE (continuing; raising the bat) ... Wanna hit on me? C'mon -- C'mon, I'll break both ya arms so's they never work...

Rocky freezes...

ADRIAN ... Paulie. Stop now!

PAULIE I want 'im outta here -- (to Rocky) Don't think I'm good enough to work for Gazzo? (spits) That's what I think of bums like you an' Gazzo! (spits again) You're goin' up an' don't care enough to throw Paulie some crumbs! (spits) I give ya meat, an' I give ya my sister, too!

ADRIAN Only a pig would say that!

Paulie smashes a small table with the bat.

PAULIE (to Adrian) You forget what I went through to give ya the best.


ADRIAN You gave me what?! Knots! You gave me knots in here every day -- you made me scared of everything!

PAULIE I always seen ya had the best, but did ya ever think of puttin' in a good word for me with this scumbag!

Paulie smashes a large lamp with the bat.

ADRIAN Don't do that again!

PAULIE Get away from me -- I could never even get married 'cause you couldn't live by yaself -- ya'd die by yaself! So instead I put you two together -- Did ya think of puttin' in a good word for me? -- You owe me!

ADRIAN Owe you what?

PAULIE You owe me an' are supposed to treat me good!

ADRIAN Good? Good, Paulie?! I've been treatin' you like a baby. Since I can't remember it's so long -- I'm the only one who feeds you an' puts you in bed when ya can't stand up -- and it's you that made me feel like a loser -- That's what ya use to call me 'Loser' -- What kind of name is that? So can ya blame me for not remembering to talk about you when I'm with Rocky -- I don't owe you, Paulie, you owe me.

The brother flares up and threatens Adrian with the bat.

PAULIE You busted?!



PAULIE You a virgin? -- Ya let 'im in ya pants, didn't ya! Ya pulled down ya pants an' let him have it, didn't ya!!

Mortified, Adrian runs to her room... Rocky steps to Paulie.

ROCKY (fuming) Hey --

Paulie cocks the bat back and tenses... Rocky remains still.

PAULIE (softly) ... I can't haul meat no more.

ROCKY What can I do about it?

PAULIE Christ, I been beggin' ya for a break until I'm sick inside.

ROCKY What break? Huh? What break! Who am I to give breaks! I'm a fighter, you haul meat. You do what you do an' I do what I do best -- that's it -- that's life, man!

Paulie looks ashamed... Rocky walks, then returns.

ROCKY (continuing) ... An' what ya said to my girlfriend ain't right -- Do it again, I'll kill ya.

Rocky goes into the bedroom... Adrian has buried her face in a pillow... She is rocking slightly. Rocky cradles her and kisses her cheek.

ROCKY (continuing) Wanna hear a dirty joke?


ADRIAN (smiles) ... Yes --


Mickey is in his cluttered office above the gym... the room is dark. Blankets are tacked over the windows. Rocky is watching 8 mm movies of Apollo Creed in action... Rocky watches with intense concentration as the fighter moves like a huge dancer around the ring.

MICKEY His defense is great, can't lie 'bout that -- You have a rollin' style. Can't retreat as fast -- But your style ain't retreatin'.

They both watch the flickering images.

MICKEY (continuing) See how he plays sometimes -- Drives his cornermen nuts. Nobody knows his next move -- Him included.

They watch more action... Creed has a fighter helpless against the ropes.

MICKEY (continuing) Killer instinct -- Ya both got the killer touch. Interestin'. See that! -- Right-cross combination. Beautiful. But you got the power to rip the body.

They watch more action.

MICKEY (continuing) Rocky, when ya climb into the square, an' know ya' meetin' the best fighter in the world, ya' gonna be ready, ya' gonna be ready 'cause I been waitin' for fifty years -- Fifty years. When I'm done with you, you'll gonna be able to spit nails. (MORE)


MICKEY (CONT'D) You'll gonna be able to eat lightin' and crap thunder -- You'll be a very, very dangerous person...

The SCENE FADES on Mickey's voice and Rocky staring transfixed at the images projecting on the wall...


Rocky is pounding the heavy bag with intense concentration. As he strikes from all angles, Mickey instructs.


Rocky now works on the incline situp board... While doing situps, he pounds himself in the stomach with a dumbbell. The pain is evident on his face.


Pushups between two chairs as Mike sits on his shoulders... Mickey coaching drives him on.


Mike has on a pair of target gloves and Rocky moves around the ring swinging at them.


Drenched in sweat, Rocky hums the speed bag. His expression is hard and flushed. Mickey clicks a stopwatch and pats Rocky's shoulder... He is very happy.


Rocky has just completed exercising with the medicine ball... Dino hands him a towel... Paulie crosses the gym as Rocky heads to the steam room... A thin man crosses the gym and Mickey nods.

MICKEY What cha say, Benny -- Meet 'The Rock.' This is our cutman, Benny Stein.

ROCKY Yo, Benny.

MICKEY Check the eyes, Ben.


Benny checks the skin around Rocky's eyes.

BENNY Ain't bad. Seen worse -- Cover up an' things should be okay.

MICKEY Take a shower.

Heading towards the shower, Rocky is intercepted by Paulie who traverses the gym. He stops Rocky at the shower room entrance.

PAULIE Yo, Rock, I think I found an angle to make some bread usin' ya name, ya mind?

Exhausted, Rocky studies Paulie's face a moment and nods 'yes.'... Rocky sways into the shower room and Paulie strides off.


Running... Rocky's crowd of trailing boys has tripled. Dashing through the streets, he resembles the Pied Piper.


It is twilight and Rocky is alone at the very bottom of a huge flight of steps that seem to stretch into the heavens... Rocky takes a deep breath and sprints up the never-ending stairs... Halfway up, his body shows the strain. Nearing the top, Rocky pumps with all his strength and arrives at the very top... He looks down the steep stairs and swells with pride... He is ready.


Rocky is led into Mayor Rizzo's office by an aide... Rocky is very nervous as he approaches the mayor, who is seated behind his wide desk.

MAYOR Sit down, Rocky.

Flips open a thick file that lays in front of him.


MAYOR (continuing) I've been going over your record -- You've been the busy type -- (reading) Nineteen arrests -- probation three times -- expelled from seven public schools in 1964 and '65.

Rocky tries to sink into the chair.

MAYOR (continuing) I'm a very busy man, but I just wanted to remind you that you'll be setting an example for thousands of guys like yourself and maybe start them off in a new direction and give our police force a break -- I also hope you try your very best and bring pride to Philadelphia.

ROCKY ... I'll try.

The mayor presses a button and a photographer enters.

MAYOR Would you stand up, please.

Rocky rises and the mayor shakes his hand... Their picture is taken three times... The photographer exits.

MAYOR (continuing) Thank you for coming by, Rocky -- good luck.

ROCKY (turns) Any time.

MAYOR (sitting) Wait... After the fight you'll have nearly a hundred and fifty thousand dollars -- What do you plan to do with it?


ROCKY (smiles) ... Run for mayor.

The mayor is shocked at first but then breaks into a big, friendly laugh, and Rocky exits.


Adrian and Rocky are at his apartment. They are looking at new scrapbooks. Newsweek Magazine: Headline: "The Italian Stallion or Donkey?" -- Philadelphia Magazine -- Rocky stands with the mayor.

ADRIAN Rocky, do you realize everybody in this country knows your face, and after the fight everybody in the world is going to.

ROCKY Yeah...

She flips through Sports Illustrated, The American Sportsman, Ring Magazine, World Boxing, True, and a multitude of other clippings.

The TELEPHONE RINGS... Rocky rises and walks to the new white object hanging on the wall.

ROCKY (continuing) My first call... Hello? Yeah, speakin' -- Who is this? Bruce? Bruce who? -- Yo, Bruce! How ya been? I ain't seen ya for nine or eight years -- Yeah, things is great, how's things with you upstate -- Ya sellin' real estate, hey, that's a good job... Yeah, I gotta advance, but I bought ringside seats for the guys at the gym. I get the hundred an' fifty grand after the fight...

Adrian overhears the statement.


ROCKY (continuing) ... Yeah, I know it's a lotta money -- Condominiums? Nobody uses them anybody. Listen, I think a pet shop is a good investment, y'know -- I don't care 'bout long hours -- there's no depreciation -- that don't matter none to me -- Yeah, I like animals. Why don't ya give me ya number an' I'll call ya back? Lemme getta pencil --

Rocky makes no motion to get a pencil.

ROCKY (continuing) Okay, what is it -- four- twelve 659-2424. Yeah, yeah, thanks for callin' -- Sure I'll get back to ya, Bruce -- see ya.

Rocky hangs up.

ADRIAN What was that you said about a pet shop?

ROCKY (distant) ... What?

ADRIAN What did you say about a pet shop?

ROCKY I don't want ya cleanin' nobody else's cages no more.

ADRIAN Is everything all right?

ROCKY I gotta go out for a while.

Rocky grabs his coat and moves to the front door.

ROCKY (continuing; to dog) ... Come.



Rocky arrives at Goldmill's Gym... He unlocks the gym's door. Rocky and the dog move through the eerie shadows of the gym.

Rocky moves across the gym with his dog and moves up the steps to Mickey's office... At the top of the stairs he looks down at the ring, reflects for a moment, then enters the office.


After turning on the lights, he quickly cleans the cluttered desk and sets up the projector... He goes to the cabinet and removes a stack of 16 mm films.



The office clock indicates it is several hours later. Rocky is engrossed in watching another Apollo Creed film. He sits motionless.

Rocky sits upright. Something catches his eyes... He springs at the projector. He reruns the scene several times.



Several hours later Rocky is engrossed in watching another Apollo Creed film... He sits motionless. Something catches his eye. Rocky stops the projector as Apollo is delivering a knockout blow to an unfortunate opponent.

Rocky moves right up to freeze frame and inspects it like it was a priceless painting... He backs off and begins writing on a note pad.



The first light of dawn streams through Mickey's filthy windows... Rocky is slumped in a chair and it is apparent he has lost interest in watching the movies.

The film has completed its run through the projector and lazily flops around on the top reel... Listlessly Rocky rubs his reddened eyes.


The door opens and Mickey flips on the light... The two men stare at each other for a long moment. Mickey studies Rocky's despondent expression and knows what is on the fighter's mind.

MICKEY ... I know what you're thinkin'm kid -- At least ya gotta shot -- All ya can do is try ya' best.

Rocky stands and, with his dog, inches past Mickey and exits the room. Mickey walks over and turns off the projector. He idly pushes the machine with a lazy motion until it slides off the desk and crashes to the floor.


After leaving Mickey's gym, Rocky and his dog listlessly move down the street and head for home.


Rocky arrives at his apartment... Adrian is asleep on the couch. He lowers himself beside her. Her eyes open.

ROCKY ... Can't do it.

ADRIAN ... What?

ROCKY ... I can't beat him.

ADRIAN Apollo?

ROCKY Yeah, I can't beat him.

Adrian touches his face.

ROCKY I been watchin' the movies -- studyin' -- He ain't weak nowhere.

ADRIAN What're we going to do?

ROCKY ... I dunno.


ADRIAN Oh, Rocky -- you worked so hard.

ROCKY It ain't so bad, 'cause I was a nothin' before --

ADRIAN Don't say that.

ROCKY C'mon, it's true -- But that don't bother me -- I just wanna prove somethin' -- I ain't no bum... It don't matter if I lose... Don't matter if he opens my head... The only thing I wanna do is go the distance -- That's all. Nobody's ever gone fifteen rounds with Creed. If I go them fifteen rounds, an' that bell rings an' I'm still standin', I'm gonna know then I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood...

Adrian touches Rocky's face... The fighter gently lowers himself beside his woman.

ROCKY (continuing) ... No foolin' around.


It is the night of the Bicentennial fight... The location is the Philadelphia Spectrum.

The Spectrum is filling to capacity... Grandly dressed celebrities and wealthy fight fans lower themselves into their ringside seat. Nearly everyone is holding a red, white, and blue sweater...

The arena is decorated in tons of patriotic red, white and blue. High above the ring are huge posters of GEORGE WASHINGTON - ABE LINCOLN - DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. - BEN FRANKLIN - and APOLLO CREED.


Apollo Creed sits in his dressing room... It is dead silent except for some NOISE that filters under the door from the arena.


It is a CLOSE-UP of Apollo's hand being taped... The RASPING SOUND of the adhesive tape is very pronounced.


The atmosphere is identical to Apollo's dressing room. Adrian watches in silence as Mike wraps Rocky's hand.

Again, the most pronounced SOUND is the RASPING of the adhesive tape.


Apollo's other hand is being wrapped. Dead silence except for the TAPE and APOLLO'S BREATHING.


Rocky's other hand is being wrapped in a CLOSE-UP. The only SOUND is the TAPE and ROCKY'S mounting BREATHING PATTERN.


CLOSE-UP of drops being placed in his nose to help increase his intake of oxygen. The tremendously magnified SOUND of APOLLO TAKING IN AIR.


CLOSE-UP of the drops being placed in Rocky's nose.


A heavy coating of vaseline is applied around the Champion's eyes... In an EXTREME CLOSE-UP, the eyes shine brightly with the grease.


Grease is smeared around Rocky's eyes... In the EXTREME CLOSE-UP several deep scars are SEEN.


CLOSE-UP of Apollo's trainer digging his fingers deeply into the thick neck muscles of Apollo's upper back and neck.


CLOSE-UP OF Mike's arms wrapped around Rocky's waist and lifting his diaphragm up... Magnified BREATHING ROARS from the screen.



Apollo's trainer slips a mouthpiece into Apollo's mouth. Apollo shakes his head and the trainer removes it and places another one in the champ's mouth... Creed nods yes.


Everyone present is motionless as Rocky is in the bathroom. Alone, Rocky is on his knee praying. Completing his silent prayer, he stands and looks at himself in the mirror. Suddenly a wave of emotion sweeps over him as he thinks that in a few moments he will face the most overwhelming challenge of his life.

Out in the dressing room, the door opens and a guard leans in and nods that it is time. He leaves... Rocky steps out.

MICKEY ... It's time, kid.

Rocky nods and moves toward Adrian.

ADRIAN ... I'll wait for you here.

Rocky nods and she kisses him. The fighter leaves with his trainers... Adrian is on the verge of tears.


Rocky, Mickey and Mike start down the long hallway... Up ahead are three security guards... Rocky rubs his bare shoulders.

ROCKY Yo, Mick, can I have my rob?

Rocky puts on the robe... Embroidered across the back in flaming letters is:



Mike helps him into the robe... Mickey is not amused.

MICKEY Don't you care what the people will say?

ROCKY ... I'm doin' it for a friend.


MICKEY Whatta you get outta this?

ROCKY I get the robe an' Paulie gets three grand.

MICKEY ... Shrewd.


TWO RINGSIDE COMMENTATORS sit in front of a panel of closed circuit televisions.

COMMENTATOR #1 We would like to welcome our viewing audience to the Grand World Championship Bicentennial Heavyweight Fight -- the first major event of the Bicentennial Year... A point of interest is that the fight is being beamed to more than seven hundred and fifty million fans in theatres in nearly every corner of the world. I would like to welcome an old friend, and co- commentator for this evening's event -- Jimmy Michaels.

COMMENTATOR #2 Thank you, Bob. The electricity is everywhere tonight. Rocky Balboa, a fifty-to-one underdog, is living a Cinderella story which has captured peoples' imaginations all over the world -- to quote a popular sports magazine, 'The fighting style should be 'The Caveman Against the Cavalier.' From the increase in sound it appears the challenger is now approaching the ring... His record is forty-four wins, twenty losses and thirty-eight knockouts.

COMMENTATOR #1 I only wonder if this man has the skill to go past three rounds -- Vegas odds say, 'no.'



A wedge of uniformed guards knife down the aisle to the ring. Many people wish Rocky well as he passes... people also hurl insults. From the expression on Mickey's face it is also the greatest night of his life. In the audience are familiar faces from the gym. From the back of the arena a ROAR goes up... Apollo Creed is in a mock boat dressed like George Washington. He throws silver dollars. The NOISE builds to DEAFENING proportions. Creed's trainer holds the rope and Creed bounds into the ring. He tears off the Washington outfit and it is clearly SEEN that Apollo Creed is garbed in an outrageous Uncle Sam outfit... On his head is a red, white and blue sequined top hat. The robe is sequined red, white and blue. His boxing trunks are red, white and blue silk with stars around the waistband. The boxing shoes match the trunks. On his chin is a pointed white Uncle Sam beard.

COMMENTATOR #2 You could go deaf with the noise -- it undoubtedly means Champion Apollo Creed is heading towards the ring --

COMMENTATOR #1 Am I seeing right? Creed is approaching the ring in a boat. Is he supposed to be George Washington? Obviously so.

COMMENTATOR #2 It's been confirmed that it is definitely an impersonation of George Washington -- a great way to start 1976 off.


Immediately Creed begins gracefully dancing in a wide circle. He passes within inches of Rocky in his Uncle Sam outfit.

APOLLO I want you! I want you!

The crowd loves the taunting. Apollo Creed floats back to his corner.

MICKEY Don't let 'im get you tight.


ROCKY Whatta ya think that outfit cost?


The ANNOUNCER steps to the center of the ring... Several men in suits stand against the ropes... Paulie is dressed nicely and sits at ringside with a pretty blonde escort. Rocky waves at him. Paulie waves back and secretly gestures at his date... Rocky smiles and gestures back.

ANNOUNCER Ladies and gentlemen -- Welcome to the Bicentennial Heavyweight Championship Fight... We are very proud to have with us four former Great Champions... Ladies an' gents, 'The one and only 'Manassa Mauler' -- Jack Dempsey!'

The CROWD ROARS and JACK DEMPSEY waves and goes to Creed's corner, then Rocky's.

DEMPSEY Good luck, kid.

He moves off.

ROCKY (to Mickey) Christ, Jack Dempsey.


The Announcer points and the timekeeper RINGS the BELL.

ANNOUNCER Former Middleweight Champion -- 'The Bronx Bull' -- Jake LaMotta!

JAKE LA MOTTA raises his fist and gives best wishes to both contenders... Timekeeper RINGS the BELL.


ANNOUNCER (continuing) The man with the big punch -- Everybody's favorite, 'The Brown Bomber ' -- Joe Louis!


JOE LOUIS bows and steps to Creed's corner. Creed strikes a boxing pose and Louis tosses a playful punch. ROCKY They must be friends.


ANNOUNCER Now, last but certainly not least -- the former Heavyweight Champion, a son of Philly, Smoking Joe Frazier!

FRAZIER rumbles to the center of the ring. The CROWD CHEERS. Apollo puts on a show... He grimaces and gestures like he's going to attack Frazier. His cornermen hold him back. They laugh. Frazier goes to Rocky's corner.

FRAZIER Save some of him for me.


The Commentators beckon to Frazier as he exits the ring.

COMMENTATOR #1 The former champ looks great -- Can we get Joe over here -- here he comes.

Joe Frazier stands in front of the Commentators.

COMMENTATOR #1 (continuing) Joe, what are your feelings about tonight's fight?

FRAZIER Well, I think any man who works an' trains hard always gotta chance.

COMMENTATOR #2 You look in great shape, Joe.

FRAZIER I'm always in shape.

Joe laughs and exits. The timekeeper RINGS the BELL.



ANNOUNCER ... Now for the evening's main event -- In the corner to my right, The Challenger, wearing white trunks -- At one hundred an' ninety-one pounds, one of Philly's own sons -- 'The Italian Stallion,' Rocky Balboa!



ANNOUNCER In the far corner, wearing red, white an' blue -- Weighing in at two hundred and ten pounds -- Undefeated in forty- six fights -- the Heavyweight Champion of the World -- 'The Master of Disaster' -- Apollo Creed!

The arena EXPLODES and Creed puts on a display of hand speed.


The REFEREE motions to both fighters... They step to the center of the ring. As the Referee explains the rules Apollo and Rocky stare hard into each other's eyes... The Referee's voice fades and the fighters' expressions fill the screen... Something soulful and frightening is being communicated.

REFEREE ... Now come out fighting.

The fighters return to their corners.

MICKEY God bless ya, Rock.

ROCKY Thanks, Mick -- I'm gonna try.


The BELL RINGS... Creed dances forward and boxes Rocky as though he considers the man an amateur.



COMMENTATOR #1 The Champ stings the slower challenger with jabs at will -- Balboa blocks eighty percent of the blows with his face -- Creed doesn't look the best he's ever been but is moving smoothly -- Creed snaps out a triple combination that backs Balboa into a corner -- oh, a solid hook by Creed, a master of fist-men.

COMMENTATOR #2 The Champion is smiling and toying with the man -- trying to give the fans their money's worth and make a show of it with the badly out-classes challenger -- Another left to right combination. I feel sorry for --

COMMENTATOR #1 Creed is down!!!


Rocky suddenly explodes with an upswing hook to the jaw. Creed is dropped. The arena EXPLODES. Creed's eyes show disbelief. So do Rocky's.

Rocky backs into his corner... Mickey and Mike yell at him.

MICKEY You can do it! Goddamnit, you got the power! The body, get the body!!! Ya got him goin'!

REFEREE Six!... Seven!... Eight!...

Creed is up... His playful attitude is gone... he is now all business. His lightning jab stings Rocky's face repeatedly.

APOLLO ... Come at me, sucker!

Rocky charges and a terrific right crashes against Apollo's chin, followed by an uppercut to the liver that causes Creed to cringe...


Apollo counters with jabs and Rocky whips brutal combinations to the body.



ROCKY How am I doin'?

MICKEY Real good.

ROCKY See how fast he is -- damn!

MICKEY Breathe deep -- Keep ya chin down!! Use the legs and drive through 'im. Attack -- Attack -- Attack!


Apollo does not sit. He stands and clowns with the spectators to prove he is not hurt.

APOLLO (to Trainer) ... That boy damn near broke my arm.

TRAINER Sure -- He can hit -- Don't play no more -- Stick an' move, hear?

APOLLO I'll carry him 'till the third.

TRAINER Don't play with this man, he's fightin' hard -- Let 'em feel some real heat!


The BELL for the second round RINGS... Rocky rushes out fast and furious. Apollo melts out a left hook that raises a goose egg over Rocky's eye... Apollo employs footwork that dazzles Rocky. He has class. He studies Rocky and employs his lightning jab with cutting accuracy. Still Rocky shuffles ahead, bombarding Creed's midsection with hooks.



The round ends with Apollo assaulting Rocky with blinding combinations and delivering a stupendous right cross that flings Rocky into the ropes and shatters his nose... The round ends.


Apollo stands in his corner and jokes with the fans, but he is beginning to show the strain from the body punches.

APOLLO Man, I rearranged his face with that right -- The people love what's happenin' tonight.

TRAINER People nothin', you in a fight, my man, -- ya best believe what you hear... Knock that boy out soon an' let's go home.


Rocky sits as Mickey and Benny try to reduce the swelling around his eyes... The nose is shattered.

MICKEY Ya nose is broke.

ROCKY Damn! How's it look?

MICKEY Can't hardly tell. Don't swallow the blood -- Go for his ribs. Don't let 'im breathe.

ROCKY ... The guy's great.

MICKEY Why don't ya tell 'im you're a fan!


The Commentators are caught up in the action. They speak rapidly into their microphones.


COMMENTATOR #2 If you had asked anyone who knows boxing, they never would've predicted a first round knockdown and the second round punishment to the body of the Champion... Most fighters will tell you, receiving a good body punch is the next worst thing to dying.

COMMENTATOR #1 Round three ready to start and should be interesting to see if Creed can put the challenger away -- there goes the bell.


Round three... Apollo comes out dancing. He skips and side- steps Rocky's sledgehammer hooks. An expert ring general, Apollo uses the ring fully. Rocky keeps tearing in and Creed meets the bombing attack that cause thick swelling... Near the end of the round Rocky fires a penetrating punch to the heart.

COMMENTATOR #1 Apollo almost sprints out of his corner -- feints and throws a pair of left-right combinations. Balboa drops beneath a left upper cut and lands a very solid shot on Creed's temple -- not much movement from Balboa, duck a left, a right, another left and explodes with a right hook to the temple -- I mean explodes. The Champ backs off.

COMMENTATOR #2 There's no way Apollo expected this kind of hitting power.

COMMENTATOR #1 No way -- but the brilliant ability of the Champion to master situations like this is one of his most outstanding traits -- Creed tosses a perfect right hand that rocks Rocky. (MORE)


COMMENTATOR #1 (CONT'D) Creed on the offensive -- Balboa takes the punishment and counters with a left flush over the heart... that hurt.

The wallop knocks Apollo off balance... The CAMERA GOES TO A STEEP ANGLE SHOT from the floor, VERTICALLY UP Apollo's body. The SCENE GOES INTO SLOW MOTION... Rocky releases a terrifying uppercut that opens a gash under Creed's eye. Creed's face contorts with excruciation.

TRAINER (yelling) Cover your face! Cover up! (to Assistant) My man's cut, my man's bleedin' -- Get ready!


The BELL SOUNDS. Apollo's corner works frantically to close the wound... The ring DOCTOR inspects the cut.

TRAINER Bad? Talk to me, man!

DOCTOR Deep, but passable.

APOLLO (staring at Rocky) ... That man's takin' his job too serious.

TRAINER He's movin' to your left -- don't let him no more -- dance and stick, hear? Don't play -- I know what ya feelin', but don't play.

APOLLO He got lucky.

TRAINER Luck! You fightin' a crazy man -- but you got him hurt bad. (to Assistant) More ice, now!



Rocky's face is in very bad shape, not cut, but wretchedly swollen around the eyes.

MICKEY How you holdin' up, kid?

ROCKY Fine... That guy's great.

MICKEY Gimme the water! Ya getttin' tagged with his right. I think you should feint left and high hook 'im -- Benny, check the eyes! Can ya see?

ROCKY (standing) See what?

MIKE Ya sappin' his strength -- He's losin' steam.

ROCKY He ain't losin' nothin'.

MICKEY Keep on him -- You're doin' great.


In the next ten rounds, Apollo cuts and slashes Rocky to ribbons, but pays dearly... Both his eyes and lips are cut. Welts across his midsection attest to Rocky's body-battering.


Adrian is unable to remain alone... She is lured by the GROWING ROAR OF THE FANS... She exits the dressing room.


Stepping out of the dressing room she walks down the corridor. The MOUNTING CHEERS make her speed up. She opens the door at the end of the corridor and is hit by a THUNDEROUS WAVE OF SOUND. The guard at the door inspects her and goes back to watching the fight.



Adrian stands at the rear of the arena and watches the battle. She is entranced by the power of it all.

Back in the ring, Rocky keeps grinding ahead. He plants a thumping left over the Champion's heart and Creed winces... Rocky is game but losing.

At ringside Paulie is frantic... He is living the fight from his seat.

Mr. Gazzo and his Bodyguard watch from the second row. Gazzo looks proud. The Bodyguard, impassive.


A huge and lively crowd look up at the television over the bar... They see Rocky driving Creed against the ropes and cheer loudly.

ANDY ... The Rock's got real stones.


The men are fighting with appalling tenacity. Rocky rips and tears into the body... Apollo counters with a ceaseless stream of rapier-like lefts... The Challenger is seriously outclassed.

APOLLO C'mon -- Lemme cut yo'!

Rocky wades in and Creed employs incredible footwork. He sets himself and cuts loose with a thunderbolt right cross to Rocky's already broken nose. Blood sprays from the wound and red droplets drip from his chin...

Rocky takes a merciless beating and is staggered by a torrent of combinations. Rocky's eyes are closed. But Creed cannot drop him... The BELL RINGS.


The Commentators shift in their seats.

COMMENTATOR #1 Without a doubt this is the most punishing brawl I have ever seen -- The ringside audience is spotted with blood. (MORE)


COMMENTATOR #1 (CONT'D) This fight should have been stopped rounds ago but Rocky Balboa refuses to fall --

COMMENTATOR #2 Not only has he refused to fall, but he has beaten the Champion's body without mercy and the bout has become a vicious slugfest.


Apollo's corner is in turmoil... The Champion is definitely hurt.

APOLLO My side.

TRAINER (to Assistant) Get that doctor.

APOLLO No doctor!

TRAINER You're hurtin', man!

APOLLO No doctor!... I'm feelin' good, bro!


In Rocky's corner, things are frantic. His eyes are swollen shut.

MICKEY Wanna keep goin'?

ROCKY Would you keep goin'?

MICKEY ... Yeah.

MIKE No more, ya wanna lose an eye? No more.


ROCKY Open my eyes -- Please, open my eyes!

Mickey nods to Benny. He secretly places a small ring knife between his index and middle finger. In one smooth movement he drags the razor over the blood welts and quickly covers the draining wounds with gauze... It is done so quickly no one is ever aware of the operation.


At the rear of the arena Adrian looks transfixed at the ring. She is caught up in the heat of the battle.


The BELL RINGS for round fourteen. Rocky bores in close, but Apollo still has spring in his legs. He seems determined to end it this round... Apollo catches Rocky flush on the jaw. Rocky is staggered. Like a wolf, Apollo cuts loose with pure savagery. Rocky is driven against the ropes and receives a devastating beating from the Champion... Rocky is dropped.

Rocky sits stunned in the middle of the ring... Everything is a distortion. He looks for familiar faces as though to ask for help... Mickey and Mike scream frantically for him to stay down.

REFEREE Six -- Seven -- Eight --

Rocky gets to his feet and tenses with renewed energy. He is like a wounded wild animal. The tide suddenly turns. Rocky drops low and catches Apollo with a pair of terrific body punches that seem to drive Apollo's diaphragm up to his throat... A CRACK is HEARD. A glaze of pain covers Apollo's eyes. It is only a supreme effort that keeps the Champion upright... Apollo is badly hurt. He is bent over.

Rocky moves towards Apollo. Apollo flicks dread jabs into Rocky's eyes... The Italian wades in with punches that seem to bulge out Apollo's back. Creed takes the punishment like a stoic.

Blood is running from Apollo's mouth. In the clinch he leans over Rocky and it drips down the Italian's neck and shoulders. Apollo shields his wound from the ringside judges and continues to fight.



The BELL RINGS. Apollo's men rush out and guide him to his corner.

APOLLO ... Ribs broke --

Blood trickles from the corner of Apollo's mouth. The Trainer feels the ribs.

TRAINER Yo' bleedin' inside, man -- Get that doctor.

APOLLO One more round.

TRAINER Don't kill yourself, man -- Let the doctor stop the fight.

APOLLO ... Stop jivin'!

TRAINER Cover the ribs -- Look here, elbow down, tight -- Tight -- stand straight -- you're the best, you're the best!

APOLLO ... Thanks.


Rocky no longer resembles himself... His face has completely been beaten to jelly, but his mood is buoyant.

ROCKY How I look out there, Mick?

MICKEY (truly worried) Great, kid, great.

The ring Doctor leans over Rocky and checks the eyes.

DOCTOR One more round -- How do you feel?

Rocky is approaching the supreme moment of his life. He cannot be bothered with pain or doctors.


ROCKY Fine -- Go away, I'm gonna make it -- I'm gonna make it!

Everyone is distraught over Rocky's dangerous condition.

MICKEY We gotta stop it, kid.

MIKE Ya gave it ya best shot!

MICKEY Nobody's gonna say ya didn't give ya all. I can't let ya go out.

Rocky stands and eyes them all.

ROCKY (impassioned and quietly) I'll kill ya all... Don't stop nothin' --


The BELL RINGS... Apollo moves cautiously out of his corner and circles to Rocky's right.


The Commentators stare unansweringly at the fighters.

COMMENTATOR #1 The fight has slowed down to a near stand-still -- Creed circles to Rocky's right... The spectrum is nearly silent -- Neither fighter has made a motion to throw... I've never seen anything like it in the last round of a championship fight... Apollo spits blood on the canvas. It appears he is protecting his right side. His ribs were probably injured at the end of round fourteen. (MORE)


COMMENTATOR #1 (CONT'D) It's confirmed, unofficially, Creed's ribs may be broken -- Apollo fakes a left and throws a big tired right -- Balboa's mouthpiece is out! Creed attacks with one hand!


Apollo feints and Rocky falls for it. The Champion unleashes a lethal blow to the side of the head that jolts Rocky's mouthpiece into the second row... Rocky sags against the ropes in a crucified position... The insane crowd leaps to their feet.


Rocky's bloody teeth snarl at Apollo and he waves him to come ahead and fight toe to toe... Apollo obliges with a weary but effective burst of rights and lefts that have K.O. written on every punch. Rocky counters the assault blow for blow.

ROCKY Gimme ya best!!!!

Mickey looks at the clock... TEN SECONDS TO GO.

ROCKY (continuing) Gimme ya best!!!

Blood sprays over the ropes and onto the ringside photographers... They are horrified and wipe away the blood.

The fighters stand toe to toe and drag every remaining bit of strength from their souls and beat each other without mercy. They look hypnotized and have entered a dimension far beyond blood and pain.



The BELL RINGS... The arena EXPLODES with thunderous approval.


Their cornermen rush to their collapsed fighters... In the midst of all the confusion both fighters look at each other with unabashed respect -- They stand like blood-drenched gladiators on the most dramatic night of their lives.

As though reacting to some unspoken command, they both step towards each other and embrace... Apollo whispers in Rocky's ear.

APOLLO ... Ain't gonna be no rematch.

ROCKY ... Don't want one.

Mickey comes over and separates them and leads him back to his corner... Mickey embraces him.


The Announcer enters the ring with a microphone.

ANNOUNCER Attention, please!! Attention!! Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have had the rare privilege to have witnessed the greatest exhibitions of stamina and guts ever in the history of sports.


ANNOUNCER (continuing) Ladies and gentlemen -- We have a split decision!


Apollo did not expect this and tenses. His corner nervously tries to reassure him. It does no good.


Rocky did not expect this either and looks in confusion at Mickey, but Mickey is frozen with anticipation.


ANNOUNCER Judge Walker scores it eight- seven Creed... Judge Roseman scores it eight-seven Balboa.



Apollo is rigid. Fear radiates from his eyes. To lose the crown on this night after the fight he fought would kill him... A silence has blanketed the arena.


ANNOUNCER Judge Conners scores it nine- six Creed... Winner and still Heavyweight Champion of the World, Apollo Creed!


Rocky sorely smiles and looks at the waves of CHEERING fans that circle the ring and reach out towards him... Mickey grabs Rocky's hand and raises it. The CROWD ROARS.

MICKEY I don't care what they say, you're a winner.

ROCKY Yo, can I have my locker back?

Mickey and Rocky look at each other and grin. Mickey hugs Rocky like a son. Mickey raises Rocky's hand again. Rocky turns away from Mickey and pats Benny the cut-man's shoulder... Benny smiles wearily. Rocky stares across the ring at Apollo Creed, who stands victorious, but his face and body are badly distorted... The two men lock stares that reflect admiration.


Apollo climbs out of the ring and the fans crush forward screaming his name and waving red, white and blue banners.


Rocky also climbs out of the ring and waves of frantic well- wishing fans rumble forward... Mickey's eyes show mounting apprehension as the fans become abnormally active.


They shove the police aside and clutch wildly at Creed. Creed's army of bodyguards swing angrily at the crowd but they are soon engulfed by screaming waves of humanity. Apollo is suddenly hoisted into the air and is being carried along by a legion of fans.



On the opposite aisle Rocky is experiencing the same overwhelming adulation by his fans but does not seem to be frightened by it, like Apollo. Mickey tries his best to control things but his voice is drowned out in the growing clamor. The fans shove the guards aside and hoist Rocky to their shoulders.


Rocky's and Apollo's fans are aggressively competing against each other... chanting, 'Creed, Creed, Creed.'

Rocky's fans counter by bellowing, 'Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.'


Paulie tries to get to Rocky but is shoved aside and he starts swinging.


Both Rocky and Apollo are completely at the mercy of the crowd. They are being passed overhead and remain helpless as their bodies float up the aisle on the sea of hands... The CHANTING IS DEAFENING.


Fearful that Rocky is in danger, Adrian tries to move forward. Running headlong into the crowd, she angles through the mass to get to Rocky.


She is manhandled and shoved in a multitude of directions, but she keeps her feet... She sees him. In the distance, Rocky floats INTO VIEW and Adrian flattens against the wall and waits for the procession to pass.

The procession approaches and she clearly sees Rocky's unbelievably battered but smiling face. He appears to be king of the world.

The procession approaches and passes Adrian. She jumps on her toes and waves frantically but is not seen. She screams Rocky's name... Somehow the delicate voice knifes through the racket and reaches Rocky.

Rocky frantically looks in all directions and barely manages to see Adrian jumping up and down waving. The crowd is carrying him away. He attempts to lower himself but the crowd won't permit it.


Rocky instead turns and begins climbing across people's heads and shoulders. He resembles a man trying to go up a down escalator. People are jammed so tightly together Rocky manages to crawl across them to Adrian.

Still suspended in air, Rocky leans down and Adrian jumps up and they lock in an embrace.

ADRIAN I love you -- I love you -- I love you...

The two are swept along into the greatest night anyone can remember...




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