This is the only Rocky film that doesn't begin with the word "ROCKY" scrolling across the screen in some shape or form.
Numerous fans have stated that they find this film to be confusing in terms of the title belt, and what exactly happens to it when Rocky is in Russia. This is most likely because the scene explaining what would happen to the belt was cut from the film, and replaced with a newspaper montage. Initially, between Apollo's funeral and the Rocky/Drago press conference, there was to be a scene in which Rocky visits the U.S. boxing board. Whilst there, he is told that they will not sanction the fight, and if he goes ahead with it, he will not be allowed to carry the title. This scene was cut prior to release as it was felt to slow up the film too much, and it was replaced with the much briefer newspaper montage.
This is the only Rocky film where the music is not composed by Bill Conti.
In reality, Soviet Heavyweights were not allowed to box professional fighters during the Cold War.
Europe's 1986 hit The Final Countdown is often falsely stated as being in this film, due in no small part to the song's similarity to Vince DiCola's score. In actuality, this song was released AFTER Rocky IV's theatrical release.
If you look carefully at the very opening scene (the American glove and the Russian glove colliding), you can see that a split second after the gloves collide and a split second before they're covered by the explosion, the Russian glove breaks in half and falls to the ground.
Sylvester Stallone met Dolph Lundgren personally before auditions for the Ivan Drago character were held. Stallone told Lundgren that he had a good chance to get the part, but advised him to gain twenty pounds of muscle.
When shooting the film, Sylvester Stallone decided that for the shooting of the fight, he and Dolph Lundgren should hit one another for real, so as to increase the intensity of the scene. After doing three takes of Rocky taking shots to ribs, Stallone felt a burning in his chest, but ignored it. Later that night, he had difficulty breathing and was taken to a nearby emergency room. It was discovered that his blood pressure was over 200, and he had to be flown on a low-altitude flight from Canada to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, where he remained in intensive care for eight days. What had happened was that Lungren had punched him so hard in the chest, Stallone's heart had slammed up against his breastbone and began to swell, cutting off the blood supply and restricting the oxygen flow throughout the body.
While this film was Dolph Lundgren's break-out role, it wasn't his first appearance on the big screen. He had a minor role in the James Bond film A View to a Kill as one of General Gogol's bodyguards.
The training scenes set in Russia were actually filmed in Wyoming; the farm is located in Jackson Hole, and most of the exterior shots were filmed in the Grand Teton National Park. The fight itself was shot at the PNE Forum at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This is the first film in which Gonna Fly Now is not sung, although a few bars of the song are incorporated into Vince DiCola's score. Rocky V also only features part of the song in instrumental form. It wouldn't be until Rocky Balboa that the song, lyrics and all, would reappear.
The Creed/Drago fight takes place at the MGM Grand hotel/casino. The MGM Grand was sold to Bally Entertainment Corporation and renamed Bally's Las Vegas. A new and much larger MGM Grand was built, opening in 1993. The new MGM makes an appearance in Vegas Vacation (1997.)
Rocky IV was the highest grossing film in the Rocky series, taking some $300 million worldwide.