Before Paulie wanders home humming “The First Noel” in a drunken stupor, Rocky and Adrian are enjoying a peaceful Christmas evening at home. Adrian has put together a small Christmas tree where beneath its little branches, a few wrapped packages wait for Christmas morning.

On the black and white television, an old movie is playing, but what is it?

Wonder no more – the movie they are enjoying is MGM’s 1938 version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol“. This version starred British character actor Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge, and is one of around twenty adaptations of Dickens’ classic novel. (You can buy the DVD here.)

Immediately after the opening credits, the scene is set, “more than a century ago, in London on Christmas Eve,” and shows a charming London street view with falling snow and horse drawn carriages. This is the scene shown in the original Rocky. Interestingly, the film’s original audio was replaced with a generic version of “Jingle Bells” for its use Rocky.