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The Robot of “Rocky IV”

You know, in retrospect, the Rocky series got pretty silly after the first one (until the last one). The first film is a classic tale about a go-nowhere leg-breaker who goes the distance just to prove he’s not a bum. But by the beginning of the fourth film, Rocky lives in a mansion, surrounded by robots; by the end, he’s single-handedly overthrown the Soviet Union. It’s a bizarre narrative arc, to say the least.

I love theorizing about the studio meddling that produced Rocky IV ‘s robot: "Alright, Sly, how about this: Robots are all the rage. So Rocky buys Paulie a robot, because Paulie doesn’t have any friends, but by the end of the movie, Paulie’s reprogrammed it to be his girlfriend!"

I don’t really recall what happened in Rocky V, except for the revelation that Paulie somehow lost Rocky his family fortune, because Rocky had put him in charge of his Wall Street investments. Unfortunately, that meant the robot had to be sold. He has not appeared in the series since. More the pity.

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