Essay: Rocky Ends the Cold War

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More and more modern films resort to geopolitical tricks to diversify the movie and increase the audience to increase the box office. This trend was maintained even back in the early 90s. So, the movie ‘Rocky IV’ released in 1985 from the Rocky series directed by Sylvester Stallone used a parallel between the box and the Cold War to somehow rescue the Rocky franchise. Although the movie Rocky IV appears to end the Cold War in the movie, it attaches great importance to making a comparison between the two nations in a detailed way by highlighting the claimed supremacy of political ideology in American society. By comparing two main characters Rocky and Drago who symbolize their countries and by analyzing some scenes and speech of minor characters the transcendence of America’s ideology can be verified.

Throughout the film, American and Soviet ideologies were shown based on the two main characters where Rocky “looked better”. Starting with the main characters of the film Rocky and Drago who symbolize their countries, can be seen clearly set opposite between them. Rocky is characterized as a free man with the individual will of a fighter and the desire to help his comrades while Drago is a machine created by Soviet scientists and government for the sole purpose of defeating America’s best boxer. From here, the directors show limited democracy and the imposition of goals in the USSR. A great example is that in one of Drago’s famous lines before the last battle, he says ‘I must break you’, not will or want to break you (Ciecka 2015). During the whole movie, Drago is shown as a caged animal whereas Rocky is fully opposite. In the training, Drago is controlled by scientists and representatives of the government and uses all possible means such as steroids and technologies to reach the goal imposed on him. Moreover, in the press conferences, all decisions and speeches are made disregarding him. Drago shows the reality of a country with a communist ideology where all decisions are made without the participation of the people. Rocky being in another country and being an outsider puts himself against the terrible weather, but he is still American and free to make decisions. This uncovers the American enthusiasm and assurance to accomplish achievement and point high. Comparing the two boxers clearly shows the superiority of America formed on concepts of democracy and individual liberty over the communist and anti-democratic USSR.

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Secondary actors and decisions taken in some scenes also showed the superiority of the political ideology of America over the USSR. The best friend of Rocky Apollo can be taken as a great example of American liberalism. During the fight between Apollo and Drago, the first one is on the verge of death when Rocky could save him by throwing a towel into the ring, but Apollo makes decision to fight to the end and stops Rocky from doing so. It represents respect for the rights and choices of each person as the highest value in American society. Also, in the press conference before this fight, Rocky’s brother-in-law Paulie says: “Hey, we don’t keep our people behind a wall with machine guns” by defining the USSR as a violent and anti-democratic country. As the film comes to a logical conclusion, during the fight angry and losing Drago overcomes a collectivist ideology as he spurns the disappointed and dissatisfied government’s spokesman and embraces “American” individualism by hollering: 'I fight to win! For me! For me!'(Lopes and Brock ). Additionally, the communist ideology of the USSR becomes an object of bullying as Drago fans begin to support Rocky, shouting his name out loudly. This, in turn, is the fall of Soviet ideology and the adoption of more superior capitalist ideologies after (UKessays). Endless whoops ‘Rocky!’ essentially declare America as the single superpower. This moment clearly shows the defeat of Soviet political ideologies against the USA.

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Essay: Rocky Ends the Cold War. (2024, January 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
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