Rocky II: find out how Sylvester Stallone almost lost his left arm

After the huge success of the first film, Sylvester Stallone returned for a second “Rocky” film. A sequel which also almost turned into a drama because of a room injury inflicted on himself by Sylvester Stallone.

Rocky II : Sly goes back to the ring

In 1980, four years after the release of the first film, Rocky II see the day. Crowned with the success of the first film, which had grossed more than $ 117 million in box office revenue and won 3 Oscars (out of his 9 nominations) including Best Film and Best Director, Sylvester Stallone has decided to return for Rocky II. A sequel that he writes, produces and directs himself, galvanized by its first realization, The Tavern of Hell, released two years earlier.

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Rocky II ©United Artists

Thereby, Rocky II sees the return of all of the original cast. Sylvester Stallone is obviously coming back as Rocky, Talia Shire takes on the character of Adrian, Burt Young is still Paulie and Carl Weathers is back as Apollo Creed. In this sequel, Rocky wants to fight defending champion Apollo Creed once again. The latter accepts, and the two fighters prepare to face each other once again in the ring. However, Rocky II did not receive the same rave reviews as its predecessor. The film is not nominated for an Oscar and is making less money at the box office with $ 85 million in revenue.

Sylvester Stallone almost lost his arm before the shoot

Decidedly, playing Rocky is a dangerous profession. Indeed, many know his story on Rocky IV, where, during his fight with Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone took a bad shot, was emergency transported to hospital, and was in a coma for several days. But this experience was not his first accident in the saga Rocky. Indeed, during its preparation before the shooting of Rocky II, Sylvester Stallone almost lost his left arm.

To live up to his character, Sylvester Stallone trains hard before filming begins. The actor takes a strong muscle mass, but ends up seriously injuring himself. The latter, then on the weight bench, tries to lift 100kg with the strength of his arms. The actor feels as the weights drop on his body, he inflicting several serious injuries. Sly comes out with bruised knees and two tears, one in the pectoral muscle and one in the abdomen. Corn things got worse afterwards.

Rocky II
Rocky II ©United Artists

On May 26, 1981, while Sly was filming Rocky III, the comedian’s mother is questioned by Weekly World News. The latter gave some details about Sylvester Stallone’s injury during his preparation for the filming of Rocky II :

He had to be operated on for six hours. Sly had gangrene and nearly had his arm amputated. He was rushed to hospital at 5 a.m. on a stretcher. After the operation, he couldn’t use his left arm for months. He was hanging down his body, totally useless.

After several months of convalescence, Rocky got back in the ring to face Apollo Creed. However, his arm was not yet fully healed. Sly has therefore reworked the scenario to give extra credibility to his character. Since the actor could not use his left arm, Rocky developed a new technique with his right arm, to surprise his opponents. Balboa, usually left-handed, therefore becomes ambidextrous the time of the second opus. Thus allowing Sylvester Stallone to quietly heal his left arm. Lately, Rocky is also back on American screens since Sly has just offered a brand new version of Rocky IV titled Rocky IV : Rocky vs Drago. The film does not yet have a release date in France:

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