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Rocky to me was a love story. Period. It just happened to be based around a boxer. When writing Angel I knew we had to have not only a love interest but someone who would help soften Mickey’s harsh demeanor and restore his belief in humanity to show the character’s evolution that would put him, hopefully, on the path to a brighter future. Angel is, when all said and done fundamentally a love story – albeit a tragic one.

Fans note: Angelina Carmino is Mickey’s trainer Angelo’s daughter (he became Father Carmine in Rocky 2!) whom Mickey has partially nurtured since she was a child (with help from Adrian and Paulie’s father, Enzio Pennino) and is now a woman… well, as Rocky once said, “Nature’s smarter than people think.”

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MASSIMO GAZZO That’s what you think, Goldmill.


The rain pours from cimmerian clouds. A gaggle of SOAKING CHILDREN scurry along the sidewalk.

Rain streaks down the window frame as Mickey rests on a sofa. Angelina sits in the far corner of the room reciting poetry.

ANGELINA “Yet if hope has flown away in a night or in a day, in a vision or in none, is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

MICKEY You always got a way wit’ words, Angel. I always did know you’d make like a good teacher. When did you wrote that?

ANGELINA I didn’t. Edgar Allan Poe, did.

MICKEY Edgar Allan Poe? I’ve heard that name somewhere. Isn’t he the guy who delivers Enzio’s bananas?

Angelina giggles.

ANGELINA I used to read him to you in the gym. Remember? I taught you to skip, too – ya’ three-legged flat foot.

MICKEY I guess you don’t remember much when your tongue’s hanging outta’ your ears. Say, how’s your bruises, huh? They healing good?

ANGELINA It’s been three weeks, Mickey. They’re healing just fine. It’s my heart that needs mending.

Angelina sits up and wanders over to the window frame and looks out thoughtfully at the rain pounding the sidewalk.

ANGELINA (CONT’D) “A dream within a dream.” What’s really a dream, Mickey?

Mickey turns on his side and appears reflective.

MICKEY Well, I don’t know for sure, Angel. I used to dream about being the champion of the whole world. I was gonna’ hang that shining belt on the wall of the gym for everyone to see. But all that fightin’? Those
hopes and dreams? They’re over for me. But, you know, I kinda’ came to realize that some dreams ain’t always meant to be reached, they’re just meant to be kinda’ aimed for. They’re there to give you like a’ sort of a’ purpose in ya’ life. And along the way, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll find the real reason to be hangin’ around this place.

Mickey carefully studies Angelina’s shapely figure that is silhouetted against the window. She turns back around. Mickey averts his gaze.

ANGELINA How come you never found a girl or got married or nothing?

MICKEY What would anyone want with a punched-out punk like me? I ain’t none-too smart. I can’t read or write and I ain’t no oil painting that’s for sure. I can’t do no Charleston, either. My body moves like some kinda’ printing press.

ANGELINA You always make me smile, Mickey. You always have.

Mickey breaks into a very flat Jolson.


ANGELINA You can’t sing none either.

MICKEY Ain’t that the truth?

Angelina ambles over to the living room table. She twiddles a fork in a small plate of stale pasta.

ANGELINA I remember the first time I fell down in the schoolyard and scraped my knee. You were the first one to pick me up and make me laugh again. You made me feel safe. Protected.

MICKEY You know, you’ve been pretty good to me, too.

ANGELINA I’ve been nothing but trouble. I nearly got you shot, didn’t I?

MICKEY I’d take a lead sandwich over one of Enzio’s pepper jobs any day.

Angelina smiles knowingly.

MICKEY (CONT’D) You know, there was a time in my life when I didn’t believe in nothin’ or nobody. I didn’t care if I went to sleep and never woke up again. But seeing you growing up wit’ all them smiles and that love you had for life made me want to live again. You’ve meant more to me than you’ll know. You’ve been like an angel on my shoulder. Guiding me good and givin’ me hope.

Angelina is visibly touched by Mickey’s sincerity.

ANGELINA You’ve never let me down, Mickey. You’ve always been there for me.

MICKEY And I always will be. That’s what friends are for, ain’t they?

ANGELINA Is that what I am to you?

Mickey senses Angelina’s emotional intensity but makes light of it.

MICKEY Sure. You’re one-in-a-million.

Angelina lowers her head before gazing upward through her big brown eyes. Words tumble out like petals from a rose.

ANGELINA I love you, Mickey.

Mickey startles but holds his smile. Angelina walks over and kneels down in front of him. She reaches out to touch his cheek. Mickey pulls away.


ANGELINA Let me in.

MICKEY There ain’t nothing left.

She leans over and places her deep red lips on his forehead.

ANGELINA “Take this kiss upon the brow. And, in parting from you now, thus much let me avow…”

Mickey drops his emotional guard and Angelina kisses him deeply and passionately. Mickey catches his breath.

MICKEY Was that Poe again?


MICKEY (grins) I’m beginning to like that guy.

They kiss and fall into each others arms.

Drunken Angelo staggers into the rest room. It is a vile, piss-caked stink hole with crap for wallpaper and vomit for carpet.

He leans up against the wall and takes a leak with one hand while the other clutches a bottle. He ambles over to a broken sink and stares at himself in the cracked mirror. He is barely recognizable – heavily stubbled and panda-eyed.

ANGELO You know what, Carmine? I think Mickey’s right.