The lost scenes of "Rocky" part 1
There are a few deleted scenes from John G Avildsen's 1976 mega hit "Rocky" that have never seen the light of day.
In the documentary "Rocky: An American Hero", released in conjunction with Rocky V, Stallone says that when they tried to find some outtake footage from "Rocky" to use in "Rocky V", they found out that all the outtake footage from "Rocky" is gone, literally it was incinerated sometime in the 80's.
Luckily, I have a few original contact sheets which feature some of these scenes, and I will do my best to re-construct them for you here.
PART 1 - THE DIPPER BROWN CONFRONTATION
In the original screenplay, there was a subplot threaded throughout the first two thirds of the film involving a a character named Dipper Brown. Some of this made it to the final cut of the film, some of it didn't.
Basically, this subplot revolves around Dipper being "a real contender" vs. Rocky being a "bum". Dipper is jealous when Rocky is given the chance to fight Apollo Creed.
We first hear about Dipper when Rocky visits the gym for the first time in the film and finds his locker taken over by Dipper.
below: a lobby card from the locker scene
Confused, Rocky goes to Mickey, who informs him that he gave the locker to Dipper because "Dipper's a climber - you're a tomato". Dipper works out in the background and shoots a few mean glances at Rocky. At the end of the scene, Dipper calls out to Rocky as he walks away - "I dig your locker man".
below: Dipper Brown (actor Stan Shaw) gives Rocky a mean stare.
Later in the film, Rocky arrives at the gym to find out from Mickey that Apollo Creed is looking for sparring partners and they've selected him. In the background Dipper is training. (it looks to me that both of these scenes were shot on the same day as everyone is wearing the exact same clothes)
below: Rocky walks away with the card for the promoter, Dipper trains in the background.
In the script, the scene STARTS with Dipper (which is not in the film):
INT. GOLDMILL'S GYM - DAY
Rocky climbs the stairs and enters the gym...
In a matter of seconds, his presence is known and the athletes stare in wonderment...
The big black heavyweight contender, Dipper, throws down his towel in disgust and turns away.
The last scene with Dipper in the script was filmed, but cut entirely from the release print. It's a shame it's lost forever, as it would have been great to see Dipper get his comeuppance from Rocky.
My contact sheets only feature the first half of the scene. To this date, no photos of the last half of the scene (Rocky punches Dipper) have ever surfaced, so I'm unsure if the scene was finished.
Interestingly, the contact sheets from the day the scene was shot feature a few shots of a visibly unhappy John G. Avildsen conferring with the film's producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff. This is admittedly pure speculation on my part, but maybe the scene was never finished due to time or money pressure on this particular day, or just didn't turn out the way Avildsen wanted for the same reason.
below: a lot of stressed faces as the director talks with the producers on the day the deleted scene was shot.
The last Dipper scene would have started immediately after the point in the film where Mickey ties Rocky's shoes together with a string to help him with balance as he trains on the heavy bag with Mike.
Mike looks off across the gym.
... we got visitors.
Mickey strains his eyes to see a group of REPORTERS and NEWS CAMERAMEN entering his gym.
Can I help you guys?
Set the camera up over there.
We're from Channel Seven -- Covering the pre-fight training.
I own the place.
The Reporter has a hundred things on his mind... he turns from Mickey and nods to his crew... the other television crews rush to set up.
(to the camera)
We're here at Goldmill's Gym -- A Philadelphia landmark of sorts since 1929 -- The stench of toil permeates every corner. The sweat a trademark of a unique profession... Yet, the most unique fixture is an unprecedented 50 to 1 underdog heavyweight named,Rocky Balboa.
The camera turns to Rocky.
Should I do this?
Mickey nods and Rocky faces the glaring lights.
So much has happened lately -- Has it changed your life style much?
... People talk to me more.
How're you preparing for this Bicentennial bout?
A young punchy fighter yells out:
Readin' fuckin' history books,man!
The gym explodes with laughter.
We can cut that out later. Apollo Creed says he'll let you stay three rounds before he puts you away.
Apollo's a great fighter.
Do you feel you have a chance?
He faces Mickey. Mickey whispers in his ear. ROCKY (continuing) I'll tear his head off. REPORTER Do you have anything derogatory to say about the Champion? ROCKY Derogatory? Yeah, he's great.
Apollo Creed and his entourage enter the gym.
I am the Champion of the whole world!!!
The gym freezes... everyone turns and stares in wonderment...Mickey Goldmill shakes his head in disbelief. He now realizes it is a publicity stunt.
Italian Stallion, I come over to tell you to be very smart an' after this fight donate what's gonna be left of your body to science, cause after this fight what's left won't fill a tuna fish can!... So beware, Mon Cher!!!
Apollo turns to the cameras... Rocky is speechless. APOLLO (continuing)
This classic fight -- Tha's right, this bicentennial fight's goin' down in the history books 'cause
January first I'm gonna be thefirst man to bounce another man offa the planet Pluto!
below: colour photos from the scene, notice Dipper glaring far in the background
Dipper stands in the far ring...the attention Rocky is
receiving makes him a killer.
Now I gots a special announcement, y'hear. For the first time in a lotta years this championship fight is gonna be on your home T.V.! Free -- 'Course that's just for Philly -- My present to the city... Now some ya'll ain't much on likin' me, but ya gotta admit Apollo Creed is one DAMN generous, 100% pure, government inspected, Afro-American Folk Hero!!!
Everyone laughs... Dipper moves across the room like a large snake.
below: colour photo from the scene, Dipper (behind Apollo) is about to nudge Rocky
He brushes people aside and steps behind Rocky. He nudges him...Rocky thinks it is an accident and ignores it. Dipper pushes harder and Rocky looks questioningly at him.
Ya nothin', Boy!
Apollo stops his sales pitch in mid-sentence... The television crew faces Dipper.
(continuing) I say ya nothin'! MICKEY What's happenin' here?
below: colour still (German lobby card), showcasing Dipper's purple shorts
I'm happenin'! This pig is takin' my shot -- I iz a contender. He's nothin'.
Yo', Dipper, why're ya --
(shaking his fist)
Spar me in front of these here TV dudes -- I knock ya ass to Jersey!
Dipper's fat black trainer holds out his hands and Dipper slaps them soul style.
You can forget about sparring,kid.
Yo' know I iz the best man here! Yo' said so yoself!
(almost apologetically to the crew)
Why let Rocky here take a chance on cuttin' or breakin'a hand? -- Take a shower, Dipper.
Don't mouth me, old man, I'll knock yo' out too. C'mon, wop, sparme, let everybody see who's got the
heat around here.
Silence looms over the gym... Apollo is apprehensive.
The scene is becoming too real. The frightened television crew slyly begins putting away their expensive equipment.
Man, yo' best keep them cameras out! Fight me, boy! Let Creed here see the kind of punk he's fightin'!
Mike forces his way through the crowd and stands behind Rocky.
Don't chance it, man -- He's sick.
This is gettin' outta hand -- Rocky will fight in the ring January first, not here!
Yo' yellow, old man.
Not yellow, cautious.
(to the crew)
See, it's very easy for a fighter to accidentally hurt --
Dipper suddenly steps forward and slaps Rocky very hard across the side of the head... The gym becomes stone cold.
Dipper is in total command and enjoying every moment of it.
If yo're afraid to fight me, then get down an' kiss my feet, boy.
Mickey looks nervously around and knows it's only seconds
before the blood will run...Rocky stands motionless.
Let's take a walk, Rock. Please, don't take a chance. He wants to hurt you so you can't fight.
Rocky swallows his pride. He still has the string around his ankles. He starts to shuffle away with Mickey...
Dipper steps forward and viciously slaps Rocky again.
Mike jumps forward.
Why you tryin' to cut 'im, man! Back off, scumbag, or I'll bite your face!
Dipper cuts loose with a hook and knocks Mike flat.
The room reeks of fear... Apollo's eyes flick back and forth between Rocky and Dipper. Apollo taps his bodyguards and they begin to ease away.
DIPPER... Now, boy, kiss my feet.
Rocky eyes his friend lying on the floor. He shuffles forward and stands before Dipper.
(continuing; almost in a whisper)
... Kiss 'em.
Rocky looks at Mickey, then lowers his eyes to Dipper's feet...Dipper smiles. Rocky starts to bend towards the shoes.
Without warning, he explodes with a pair of combinations into Dipper's exposed ribs. A CRACK is HEARD and Dipper sinks to the floor writhing in pain...
The room is silent except for Dipper's moaning. Apollo is stunned by the scene. The gym has become a very gloomy place.
He eyes Rocky with admiration and a hint of apprehension...
He leaves. Mickey is the first one to shake off the chill...
He shakes his fists at the Reporters, and puts his arm around Rocky.
The kid's got cannons -- Print that.
The crowd disperses, leaving Dipper a pathetic and broken
figure lying on a dirty gym floor.
Overall, it's quite an interesting scene, Apollo gets an early glimpse of his future opponent in action, and Rocky takes his first step towards proving he's a legitimate contender. There's also some racial tension that perhaps the filmmakers were a little wary of.
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