Sylvester Stallone returns to the character which made him famous in this wildly successful sequel. Rocky III starts with the Italian Stallion so famous that his likeness is everywhere, including pinball machines. Fame and complacency soon cause Balboa to lose his title to young thug Clubber Lang (Mr. T), who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's beloved trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), before their first championship bout. After sinking into a depression, Balboa must regain the love and support of his family, as well as the elusive "eye of the tiger," the hungry need to beat the opponent which former foe Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) teaches him during this film's de rigueur training sequence. In the end, Balboa faces off against Lang for a second time. "Eye of the Tiger," the theme song Stallone commissioned from the band Survivor, became a huge hit single. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie GuideRocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a Philadelphia boxer, is but one step removed from total bum-hood. A once-promising pugilist, Rocky is now taking nickel-and-dime bouts and running strongarm errands for local loan sharks to survive. Even his supportive trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), has given up on Rocky. All this changes thanks to Muhammad Ali-like super-boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). With the Bicentennial celebration coming up, Creed must find a "Cinderella" opponent for the big July 4th bout -- some unknown whom Creed can "glorify" for a few minutes before knocking him cold. Rocky Balboa was not the only Cinderella involved here: writer/director Sylvester Stallone, himself a virtual unknown, managed to sell his Rocky script (one of 35 that he'd written over the years) on the proviso that he be given the starring role. Since the film was to be made on a shoestring and marketed on a low-level basis, the risk factor to United Artists was small. For Stallone, this was a make-or-break opportunity -- just like Rocky's million-to-one shot with Apollo Creed. Costing under a million dollars, Rocky managed to register with audiences everywhere, earning back 60 times its cost. The film won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.The third sequel to Sylvester Stallone's boxing blockbuster combines the ringside sports melodrama of the previous installments with the Cold War patriotism of the star/director's other motion picture series of the 1980s, the Rambo saga. Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa, the heavyweight champion of the world and now good friend of his one-time nemesis, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Creed is brutally slaughtered in the boxing ring during a lop-sided exhibition match against the superhuman Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), an event that Rocky takes personally. Vowing revenge against Drago in the name of Creed and the United States, Rocky is invited to the Soviet Union for a matchup and hires Creed's former manager (Tony Burton) to get him in shape. While Drago trains using the latest technology, Rocky's ascetic preparations are a low-key affair of carrying logs up hills through knee-deep Russian snow.