Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down Rocky IV! Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Brigitte Nielsen, andMichael Pataki. Rocky IV remained the highest grossing sports movie for 24 years before it was overtaken by The Blind Side. It is the fourth and most financially successful entry in the Rocky film series In the film, the Soviet Union and their top boxer make an entrance into professional boxing with their best athlete Ivan Drago, who initially wants to take on World Champion Rocky Balboa. His best friend Apollo Creed decides to fight him instead, but is fatally beaten in the ring. Enraged by this, Rocky decides to fight Drago in Russia to avenge his friend and defend the honor of his country. Critical reception was mixed, but the film earned $300 million at the box office. This film marked Carl Weathers’ final appearance in the series. The film’s success led to a fifth entry released on November 16, 1990.