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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for First Blood can be found here.
Disillusioned Vietnam veteran and Green Beret with a Congressional Medal of Honor, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) walks into the small town of Hope, Washington to get food at a diner and is arrested by town sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) for being a drifter and a troublemaker. Due to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Rambo relives painful memories of being tortured in a prison camp during the Vietnam war and suffers abuse and mistreatment by the cruel Deputy Arthur Galt (Jack Starrett). Rambo escapes from the police station and flees into the woods. Hunted by Teasle and his deputies, Rambo uses his combat skill to overpower Teasle's deputies and warn Teasle to leave him alone. However, The National Guard, the State police, and Rambo's former commanding officer Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) arrive to help in the manhunt and to plead with Rambo to stop the violence. Soon, the town becomes a war zone as Rambo sets out to get his revenge on Teasle, resulting in a violent confrontation.
First Blood is also a 1972 novel by Canadian-American novelist David Morrell. The novel was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Michael Kozoll and William Sackheim along with Sylvester Stallone. First Blood was followed by three sequels: Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), and Rambo (2008).
Delmar died from cancer caused from exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant (it kills plant life) used in the Vietnam War. Chiefly it was sprayed over 100,000s of acres so as to reduce the amount of natural cover used by the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong. Agent Orange is a known carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer in humans.
Due to PTSD, one of the flashbacks he has is of being tied up crucifixion-style and being slashed across the chest with a large knife during his time in Vietnam. When Ward approaches him with the straight razor, Rambo is thrown instantly back to Vietnam and his torture and fought viciously to defend himself.
The United States military sent Colonel Trautman, because they believed that he would be the one man who could possibly stop Rambo and that he would be able to help the Sheriff's department and the National Guard in "defusing" him. Trautman's own motivation, however, was to save Teasle and his people from being killed by Rambo and to reason with Rambo in order to stop the violence.
To "draw first blood" means to strike first in order to gain the advantage against an opponent. Rambo was abused, mistreated and threatened by Teasle, Galt and some other deputies, when Teasle wrongly arrested him for being a "drifter." They abused him physically by striking him in the back with the baton, spraying him with a high-pressure water hose whilst naked and tried to dry shave him with a razor while restraining him with a baton pressed against his throat, all of which set off Rambo's PTSD and caused him to go berserk.
One. (Unless the deaths of three dogs are counted). The one death occurs when Galt accidentally falls from a helicopter while attempting to shoot and kill Rambo.
Colonel Trautman stops Rambo from killing Teasle and shows him that the entire police station is surrounded by over 200 men and a lot of M-16s. "This mission is over," he tells Rambo, warning him that there is no hope of escaping alive. "It's not over," Rambo shouts and starts to break down. He tells Trautman how it's been since he returned from Vietnam, unable to hold a job, protested against, called "babykiller!" etc. While Trautman listens wordlessly, a crying Rambo relates the story of how his friend Joey was blown apart when he opened a shoeshine box he purchased from a boy in Saigon. He then breaks down completely and sobs while Trautman holds him in his arms. In the final scene, Trautman and two guardsmen lead Rambo from the police station, past an ambulance into which Teasle is being loaded, and on down the street.
During the Vietnam war, Rambo and his friends were at a bar in Saigon. A boy carrying a shoe-shine box asked Rambo and his friend Joey whether they would like to either buy the shoe-shine box or have the boy shine their boots. Rambo declined and went to go get a couple of beers. Joey said, "Yes", but the box had been wired with explosives. When the boy opened the box, it exploded, severely injuring Joey. Rambo held Joey in his arms and was trying to hold him together—the explosion had probably not only blown Joey's legs off but might have opened up his abdomen, causing his internal organs to spill out. Joey was screaming and said to Rambo, "I wanna go home!" and that he wanted to drive his Chevy. Joey died from his injuries, and Rambo was deeply traumatized by the death of his friend. He suffered nightmares about him and had never told anyone about what happened to Joey before telling Trautman.
In the original ending, after Rambo has his nervous breakdown. Rambo decides he wants to die. He gives Trautman his gun and tells Trautman to kill him. Trautman refuses, so Rambo grabs Trautman's gun and shoots himself. Rambo dies from his gunshot wound, and Trautman walks away and leaves the police station. The original ending was showed in a test screening, but the test audience disliked seeing Rambo commit suicide, because the audience had been very much on Rambo's side and wanted to see him live. Consequently, the ending was changed to Rambo being arrested.
Rambo returns to the town where his war with Teasle started and is hunted down by Teasle and Trautman. Teasle takes Rambo by surprise and shoots him in the chest but is wounded in the stomach by return fire. A dying Rambo makes a final attempt to escape from town. Rambo decides to commit suicide by detonating a stick of dynamite by his body. But Teasle is following him and continues fighting. Rambo shoots Teasle and hits him but is disappointed that he missed his chance of a decent death and is too weak to light the dynamite fuse. Rambo is subsequently shot in the head by Trautman and killed. Trautman tells Teasle he killed Rambo, and Teasle dies from his wounds.
Chief Art Galt was Teasle's friend and Teasle wrongly jumped to the conclusion that Rambo killed Galt when he fell out of the helicopter and vowed to avenge him.
There were too many people around and the chance were too high that Galt could had killed or wounded an innocent civilian.
"If you don't fly this thing right, I swear to god I'm going to kill you". In other words, Galt flat out threatened to kill the pilot if he didn't keep the helicopter steady so that he could kill Rambo.
Galt: Hit in the face during the cell block fight and then later falls out of a helicopter and dies when Rambo throws a rock at the windshieldLester: Nose brokenOrval: Shot in the legMitch: Stabbed in the back of the legWard: First kicked in the groin during the cell block fight, then Rambo breaks his shoulder and then he is accidentally shot by BalfordBalford: Falls into Rambo's booby trap and is impaled in both legsSingleton: Tied to a treeTeasle: First Rambo holds his knife to Teasle's neck giving him a deep cut then later he is shot in both the legs and falls through a glass ceiling.
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