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December 02, 2015

Fact-checking a scene from 'Creed'

This subhead serves as a spoiler-alert warning that plot points from the newest Rocky film appear below

Movies Creed
Creed Rocky Stallone Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures

Sylvester Stallone, as Rocky Balboa, and Michael B. Jordan, as Adonis Johnson, are pictured here in a scene from the film 'Creed.'

Have you seen the new movie “Creed” yet? If not – and you’re unfamiliar with plot-line specifics – let this paragraph serve as a warning that spoiler alerts will follow. 

I’ll give you a few moments to decide whether you’ll continue ahead. Everybody good? Good.

In the seventh installment of the Rocky franchise, the movie’s namesake ends up training the son of his former friend/ring-foe Apollo Creed. Balboa is also diagnosed with an early case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

As this diagnosis arrives at a pivotal point in the film, Balboa is forced to train Creed – for a brief few moments – from a chair in his hospital room where he’s undergoing chemotherapy. (That scene is not pictured atop this post.)

Creed is shown shadow boxing, doing pushups and running the stairwells inside a Philadelphia hospital. That got us wondering whether, in fact, Philadelphia-area hospitals would permit this if “non“ were added to the front of the phrase “fictional movie.”

In the spirit of getting to the bottom of a whimsical peculiarity from film, we reached out to several Philadelphia-area hospitals with what is likely the oddest question their public-relations teams have fielded this week.

While Jacqueline Kozloski, director of public relations at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said she didn’t “believe we have rules ‘per se’ that would pertain to this setting,” it wasn’t the kind of scene that could play out across the Delaware River in Camden.

“While this kind of scene makes for good drama in the movies, a patient undergoing chemotherapy would not be allowed to train another individual on the premises at the same time,” said Wendy Marano, public relations manager for Cooper University Health Care. 

“Healthcare providers have an obligation to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care in an atmosphere conducive to healing and privacy,” Marano continued. “A training session going on at the same time would most likely be disruptive to other patients and staff.”

All of which is to say it doesn't look like Balboa would've been allowed to train Creed inside a hospital in town. But whatever. It made for good cinema anyway.