Why Rocky 4 Directors Cut Removes The Iconic Boxing Glove Opening

Why Rocky 4 Director’s Cut Removes The Iconic Boxing Glove Opening

Rocky IV’s director and star Sylvester Stallone explains why the Director’s Cut doesn’t feature the iconic exploding boxing gloves intro.



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Why Rocky 4 Directors Cut Removes The Iconic Boxing Glove Opening

Sylvester Stallone explained why he altered the iconic boxing glove opening in the Director’s Cut of his hit film Rocky IV. The third sequel to Rocky, 1977’s Best Picture Winner, 1985’s Rocky IV was the most financially successful film in the franchise, hitting #4 in domestic box office for the year right behind another Stallone picture: Rambo: First Blood Part II. This month, Stallone, who also directed the film, released a brand new cut in theaters, titled Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago. One major change in this new cut of Rocky IV is the removal of the original intro, instead adding extra flashback footage from Rocky III.

The original opening shot of Rocky IV is an extremely 80’s moment, in which two boxing gloves spin in front of the camera to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” They slowly reveal that they are decorated with the flags for the Soviet Union and the United States of America, highlighting the nationalities of the fighters the film will follow. The gloves then rocket toward one another and collide in the center of the frame, the explosive moment smash cutting into the events of the film, which explores the rivalry between local Philadelphia boxer Rocky and his Soviet foe, Ivan Drago.

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In the behind-the-scenes documentary The Making of Rocky vs. Drago, which was directed by John Herzfeld, Stallone explains his reasoning behind altering the iconic opening. Ultimately, he explains that he didn’t find the scene aged well, just like an old science fiction movie from the 50’s “where you see the little flying saucers being held by dental floss.” At the time, he thought it was cool and interesting, but now he says he realized “we don’t need this gimmick anymore.” Read the full quote below:

I thought this was so interesting at the time. Wow, look how cool it is. Now I look at it the way you would look at a 1952 science fiction Mars movie, where you see the little flying saucers being held by dental floss. That’s what I felt like when I saw the gloves. I go alright, we don’t need this gimmick anymore. This thing is pretty good without this.

As the Rocky franchise progressed, it certainly leaned more into the stylistic excesses of the 1980s, up to and including featuring glam tracks like “Eye of the Tiger.” It seems like the move that Stallone wishes to make is to bring his follow-up film more into the tone of the original Rocky, which he wrote as well as starred in. That film was a grittier project, more in tune with the on-the-ground dramas of the ’70s than the propulsive blockbusters of the proceeding decade, and certainly would never have featured a moment like the exploding boxing gloves.

However, the original intro to Rocky IV will be missed by fans who adore the franchise in its original glory, silly moments and all. Those who do want to follow Stallone’s lead and take the film a little more seriously all these years later will likely welcome the alteration. More than anything, this Director’s Cut is an excuse for everyone to examine what was popular in the ’80s and whether or not that still holds up for them now.

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Link Source : https://screenrant.com/rocky-4-directors-cut-opening-boxing-glove-why/

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