A New Doc Goes Behind the Scenes of the ‘Rocky IV’ Director’s Cut

The theatrical cut of Rocky IV ran 91 minutes. The new director’s cut of the film — officially titled Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut — premieres in theaters later this week via Fathom Events. It includes some 40 minutes of new footage and also removes some elements from the original cut (like Paulie’s infamous robot).

In the fall of last year, writer/director/ star Sylvester Stallone holed up in an editing room in Los Angeles and reworked the film to his current specifications (i.e. no more of that damn robot). Before this new cut even premieres you can actually watch Stallone go through the film in a new documentary, The Making of Rocky vs. Drago By Sylvester Stallone. In it, Stallone explains his feelings about the Rocky franchise, Rocky IV, his life, and director’s cuts in general. At 93 minutes, the doc is actually longer than the theatrical cut of the film whose making it chronicles.

Directed by John Herzfeld, it’s not the most polished making-of film you’ll ever see. (A title card indicates the whole thing was shot on an iPhone.) But it is an unusually intimate and candid look at what happens in an editing room, with Stallone sitting on a couch in an empty L.A. office building where he looks at his monitor, and pontificates about all kinds of subjects, including the art of montage, how to shoot and cut boxing scenes, and the magic of movies that allow filmmakers to revisit and relive moments in time. If you’re a fan of Rocky or curious about the editing process, it’s actually a really interesting 93 minutes. Watch it below:

Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut plays in theaters this Thursday.

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