This year marks the 40th anniversary of Rocky — and to help commemorate that momentous event, star Sylvester Stallone recently decided to share some photos from the franchise installment that, in the opinion of at least one writer (i.e., me), stands head and shoulders above them all.
We’re talking about Rocky IV, Stallone’s 1985 Cold War sequel in which his Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa, is compelled to take on the Soviet Union’s steroidal killer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) after the behemoth kills Rocky’s pal Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in a promotional fight. Featuring a Stars-and-Stripes-themed James Brown performance, the big-screen debut of Paulie’s robot butler, and arguably the greatest training montage in cinema history — not to mention a coda in which Rocky singlehandedly bridges the chasm between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. — the film stands as the most cartoonish, and thus purely entertaining, of the series’ many chapters. And now (per Slashfilm) Stallone has debuted on Instagram a series of pictures from the set that, as he admits, even he had never previously seen:
Hopefully, Stallone will continue celebrating Rocky’s 40th birthday by premiering more archival behind-the-scenes pics onto social media — or, better yet, compile them into a lavish collector’s book that spans the franchise’s entire four-decade history. No doubt fans would eagerly snatch one up; as Creed ably proved last year, there remains an enormous audience for anything having to do with Philly’s most famous (fictional) pugilist.