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Sylvester Stallone, 1985
USA | Format: 35mm | 91 minutes
The Cold War was nearing the end of its Reagan-era upsurge in 1985, when Sylvester Stallone made this theatrical, circus-like, and unabashedly entertaining vision of U.S.-Soviet relations at their most cartoonishly divided. The plot of Rocky IV centers on the Italian Stallion’s revenge match against the impassive Russian “mountain of muscle” Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren, in his breakout role) after the latter kills his friend and rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring. But the highlight is Creed’s entrance near the start of the film, with James Brown standing in the flesh at the front of the ring as the fight’s master of ceremonies.