Stallone's first post-Rocky movie filmed in Dubuque 40 years ago - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Stallone's first post-Rocky movie filmed in Dubuque 40 years ago

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

It was Sylvester Stallone's first post-Rocky movie, and it brought the film star to Dubuque.

The movie is called F.I.S.T.,  and is about a man who rises through the ranks of a labor union and works to expand its influence.

The movie was set in Cleveland in the 1930's, but filmed in Dubuque because movie executives thought Dubuque looked more like Cleveland in the '30's.

Ann Straley was the production coordinator for the film.

"The people of Dubuque were so excited to have Norman Jewison here, to have Sylvester Stallone here. To be filming a major motion picture," she said.

Straley helped set up the production office and was deeply involved while the film was here.

"I was certainly key to the office operation," she said. "I certainly share credit, and I did get screen credits, which was really cool."

While Straley was involved behind the scenes, Vince Williams was one of many who got involved in front of the camera.

Williams had a small speaking role in the film.

"Mr. Burke was my character name. Actually, it was Norman Jewison who was standing next to my shoulder, who said your name is Mr. Burke. So I said, my name is Mr. Burke, and I got into character," he said.

It's the only feature film Williams has been in during his acting career, and it's an experience he says he'll never forget.

"They transported Melinda Dillon and me in a limousine. And as I thought about it at the time, i thought this is a  little Los Angeles for me. I'm not used to this kind of thing."

The movie was filmed in 1977 and debuted in 1978.  It grossed about $20 million.

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