This classic belongs in everyone’s collection. This is what started it all…the first Rambo.
First Blood (also known as Rambo or Rambo: First Blood) is a 1982 action thriller film directed by Ted Kotcheff. The film stars Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam War veteran, with Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) as his nemesis and Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) as his former commander and only ally.
It was released on October 22, 1982. Based on David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name, it was the first of the Rambo series. Unlike the sequels, which were war adventure films set in foreign countries, First Blood was a post-Vietnam War psychological thriller set in the United States. First Blood lacks the gore and violence that would become a trademark of the series.
Since its release, First Blood has been a critical and commercial success and has had a lasting influence on the genre. It has also spurred many parodies. The film is notable for its psychological portrayal of the after-effects of the Vietnam War, particularly the challenges faced by American veterans attempting to re-integrate into society, something not deeply examined in subsequent Rambo movies. In 2008, the film was chosen by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.
John Rambo is a former member of an elite United States Army Special Forces unit, awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. Now in December 1981, Rambo is searching for one of his friends from his unit, Delmare Berry, and soon learns that he has died from cancer due to Agent Orange exposure. Although not yet revealed to the audience, Rambo knows he is now the last surviving member of his unit. The scene cuts to Rambo entering the fictional small town of Hope, Washington. With his long hair and military-style coat, he is quickly spotted by the town’s overzealous and overprotective sheriff, Will Teasle, who decides that Rambo is a “drifter” and drives him out of town in his police car. Rambo immediately heads back towards town, angering Teasle, who arrests him. Once brought back to the police station things escalate and the stage is set for an all out war.
You can now pick this up on Blu-ray which include the following deleted scenes as bonus features:
- A scene where Rambo settles into a cave and while taking a nap, begins to have a flashback that shows Rambo and his friends at a Vietnam night club, in addition to him having an affair with a random woman extra.
- The original ending that shows Rambo killing himself with Trautman’s gun. Test audiences found this ending to be “too depressing,” as Sylvester Stallone had realized they would after witnessing Rambo’s ordeal and developing sympathy for him, so a new ending was shot; this one became the one seen in all versions of the film since its original release.