When Rambo is driving the truck and pushes the cop car into the path of the broken down car, the explosion starts the second the cars make contact. In the next shot during the fireball, the two cables that held the static vehicle in place are visible.
Col. Trautman lectures the sheriff, describing Rambo's tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery as saying "Here lies John Rambo ... killed in Jerkwater, USA". In reality, Arlington does not inscribe tombstones with such sayings. Stones simply bear name, rank, dates of birth, death and a Cross, Star of David, or Islamic crescent. (May count as "intentional goof" as Trautman may have been simply making a point to sheriff).
Rambo steals the 2 1/2 ton truck. It has an M60 machine gun in the back. Rambo jumps the cop cars with the truck. The truck lands and the tail gate flips open with no gun. When the truck drives away the tail gate is up. When Rambo stops the truck he gets out and the M60 is just sitting in back with ammo ready to grab.
In the cliff scene, where Galt is shooting from the helicopter, the rock formation of the cliff Rambo is hanging on to changes to two different shapes. Rambo does not move from the time he is being shot at until he jumps.
After Rambo hijacks the convoy truck and forces the driver out, the driver jogs away from the opposite direction Rambo drives in the truck. In the next scene, Teasle drives up the road, approaching the jogging cop from behind. Teasle would have met Rambo on the road from the direction he was driving.
When Rambo picks up the tarpaulin to use as a coat he throws away the sheath from his knife. You then see him pick the knife up from the tree and run off. Later in the film he is seen using the sheath again.
Rambo is hiding on the hillside above the road waiting for an opportunity
to jump onto the canvas top of the last truck in the convoy. As that truck approaches the canvas sides are unrolled and "down". Seconds later when he jumps on top, the canvas is rolled "up" halfway. Seconds later as the same truck in shown going down the road the sides are back down.
When Rambo is running from the police, just before the jump to the tree, he has a decent amount of stubble on his face, which is why the cops wanted to shave him earlier. When he comes back from seeing the cliff, there is a close-up of his face and he is clean-shaven.
When Rambo falls through the trees after jumping off the cliff, he becomes caught (impaled) on his left arm. He hangs for a few seconds by his left arm before the branch breaks and he falls the rest of the way to the ground. When he rolls over, he is clutching his right arm, which is covered in blood.
In the cave, Rambo is making his way through the water. There is nothing on his back going around the corner. Rambo rounds the corner and there are several rats on his back. They are crawling all over him. Several seconds go by before he actually notices them.
After Rambo jumps through the police blockade at the bridge with the stolen Army truck, he drives through town at night with the windshield wipers on (implying that it is raining), but immediately after when Rambo rams into the gas pumps, it is no longer raining.
When John Rambo first steals the motorcycle and begins to ride away the first cop jumps into the patrol car and chase him. In the first camera view from the police car takes place from the rear seat and you can clearly see that the rear-view mirror is missing and you can see where it was supposed to be, but in the following chase scenes you can see the police car NOW with a rear-view mirror.
In the final scene in the police station, when Colonel Trautman says "This mission is over" and tells Rambo to look out the window at all the police outside, his rank insignia badge (silver eagle) disappears from his shoulder in the shots where he is facing away from the camera.
When we first see Rambo listening in on the police transmissions, it is night time. When the scene then cuts to Teasle trying to convince Trautman to talk Rambo out of hiding (or at least giving away his position) it is the middle of the afternoon. When Trautman actually gets round to talking to Rambo via the radio, it is night again.
Even though the movie takes place in the USA, there are several speed limit signs through the movie that are labelled in KM per hour. Also, the clearance on the bridge at the roadblock scene is marked in meters.
The film is supposed to portray a fictional town in Hope, Somewhere, USA, but is in fact filmed in real Hope, B.C. Canada. A revealing indication of its true location is the Turbo gas station appearing in the town shots. Turbo Gas was a Canadian-only franchise that had a logo with a Canadian maple leaf in it.
This movie is set in America. There is an American flag hanging in front of the police station. The police wear American police uniforms, with American flags on them. During one scene, an officer says "Why don't you let the state police handle this." Yet, during the scenes filmed in town, you can see signs all over the place that say "Hope" and "Kettle Valley" which are parts of the province of British Columbia, Canada, where this movie was filmed.
Improper Military "RTP" (Radio-Telephone Procedure): When COL Troutman tries to make initial radio contact with Rambo, he does not use the proper military procedure that would have been second-nature to both Rambo and him. A full colonel would not have made such a mistake, since it was a "civilian" method depicted. Rambo should have been suspicious of such a mistake, as an unthinkable error by his former commander.
Troutman uses the format "Covey Leader to Raven"; i.e., "caller to callee." Proper military RTP, which Troutman would have used, should have been "Raven, this is Covey Leader"; i.e., "callee, this is caller."
Colonel Trautman wears the Combat Infantryman's Badge and ribbons with battle stars indicating combat service in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But his uniform has no overseas bars at the bottom of the sleeve.
Colonel Trautman mistakenly wears a U.S. Army Special Forces *crest* on the patch of his "green beret". As he is an officer, he should be wearing the insignia of his rank, i.e. a silver eagle, on his beret patch. The error was corrected for the next two films in the series, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III.
After the carnage in the woods, and killing a wild pig, Rambo is shown 'scoping' his surroundings, before entering the deserted mine. In the background (and also at other times), crickets or cicadas can be heard, and yet there's snow on the ground, and the opening sequence shows a 'Merry Christmas' garland hanging in the Sheriff's office. Crickets would be long dead by the turn of the year.
When the sheriff brings Rambo into the police department in the first 10 minutes of the movie, the lock used is much smaller than the distance between the door handles, i.e. too small to be able to lock the door.
At 1:17:37, near the start of his rampage in town, Rambo, moving from our right to left rounds an alley corner with a building edge to his immediate right, a 6 foot high wooden fence in the near distance behind his left shoulder, and two Post office boxes, a drop box and a bulk storage box such as a carrier would put excess mail in while he finishes his rounds in front of the wall, under his right elbow. At 1:19:40, the film editor flipped that shot, and everything in the shot from 2 minutes earlier is there, just reversed.
At the police station Deputy Ward is about to dry shave Rambo. At the sight of the razor Rambo starts having flashbacks of Viet Nam and his Vietnamese captors slicing a large diagonal cut across his chest. It's the type of deep wound that would leave a permanent scar but throughout this movie there is no evidence of Rambo's chest ever having been knifed.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
In the end scene, with Rambo and the Colonel in the police station,
Rambo is talking about how he came home from the war and was met by protesters at the airport and he makes the comment "So I come back from the war and I see all those maggots at the airport, protesting me, spitting, calling me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap". However, when the audio says "crap" at the end, his mouth can clearly be seen forming the word "shit".
Deputy Galt is seen to be wearing buckskin-colored cowboy
boots while seated in the helicopter. However, when he falls out, the stuntman is wearing low-top black shoes with white socks. His hair is a different color from Galt's, too.
Rambo picks up Galt's body to see if he is still alive. Rambo turns his head for a split second. If you look closely when Rambo turns his head, you can see the "fog" from Galt letting out a breath of warm air, indicating that he is still breathing.