After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.
The story focuses on a man who suffers "anesthetic awareness" and finds himself awake and aware, but paralyzed, during heart surgery. His mother must wrestle with her own demons as a turn of events unfolds around them, while trying to unfold the story hidden behind her son's young wife.
This movie holds the record of the shortest theatrical run of any film with a general release. It was released worldwide on 20 January 1970. In accordance with the conditions laid down by the distributor, bonded guards collected all prints after a single showing and took them to be incinerated. See more »
This is definitely a must for any boxing, Ali or Marciano fan. It is something that I had heard about but never thought that I would have a chance to see.
A Miami radio producer, in the late 1960s, put together a series of radio fantasy fights among the all-time great heavyweight champions. A computer determined the outcome and Rocky Marciano defeated Jack Dempsey in the final. Muhammad Ali lost earlier in the tournament and sued for defamation.
Murry Woroner, the producer, settled the suit by agreeing to have the computer do a fight between Ali and Marciano. In addition, he convinced Marciano and Ali to film the fight. Ali, then 27, was an undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, who had been suspended from boxing for refusing induction into the military. Marciano, 45, was the retired heavyweight champion of the world, thirteen years and sixty pounds removed from his ring days. Rocky lost the weight and got back into decent shape, training as if it were real. the two men sparred 70 rounds, pulling their head shots, but the body shots were real. Many different endings were filmed. It was edited together into what the computer created.
Three weeks after filming ended, Marciano died in a plane crash. The film aired one time only on January 20, 1970. All prints were collected and burned afterward. Some theater owners attempted to keep their print and show it again, but these were eventually collected and burned. Woroner alleged that a number of theater owners cheated him out of profits and because of this he allowed the film to be shown once on ABC's Wide World of Sports. There was also a Super 8 film, but it soon disappeared too. One print was given to the Library of Congress and in 2005, the Woroner family petitioned for access to it to create a DVD. The DVD includes a new documentary , an alternate ending to the fight, the radio fantasy fights and other extras.
The film is enjoyable, but dated by today's standards. You can tell, particularly early in the fight that the punches are being pulled. You hear a crowd, but do not see them. Some of the prefight footage is of less than good quality.
Both fighters put on a great show. Ali is at his dancing, jabbing best. Marciano is in decent shape and seems to enjoy being back in the ring and performs with great gusto, throwing punches to the body that greatly resemble the blows he threw in his youth. However, if you look closely, you can see he is older than in his ring days, wearing a toupee and not in the great shape that he had been.
Who wins? I will not spoil it for you, but I will say the DVD shows the one and only version of the fight to be previously aired and one of the alternate endings filmed. There is a myth that different versions, one with Ali winning and one with Marciano winning were shown in different cities. This is not true.
Does the film get it right? Who can say? This film supposes both fighters were at their best. Fighters are seldom or never both at their best when they meet in the ring. Also, the fight is done from a 60s perspective of Ali, much faster and able to keep dancing and slicing apart an opponent for a much longer period of time. Does this Ali cut up Marciano and win on a TKO? In the 70s, we learned that Ali could take a tremendous amount of punishment from punchers like Frazier, Foreman and Shavers. This information was not available in the 60s. That super fast Ali had never taken big shots. Does the computer think he would be knocked out? Marciano had been cut up and nearly TKoed by much older and slower fighters than Ali. Could Rocky, with his much shorter reach get to Ali before being sliced to pieces. You be the judge and enjoy the chance to see this forgotten classic.
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