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Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) Poster

Trivia

All of the shots of the military base were done on a Mexican Air Force airstrip. The logos have been painted over or obscured, and the real crew always have their backs toward the camera or are far enough away from the camera so no one would notice.
Jump to: Spoilers (4)
The film is dedicated to stuntman Cliff Wenger, Jr., who was accidentally killed by one of the film's explosions.
Co-writer James Cameron claims that he only wrote the first draft of the script and that Sylvester Stallone made many changes to it. When the film was released, the political content of the movie was considered controversial. Many felt the Vietnam War was altered to look and sound heroic. Cameron commented that he only wrote the action and that Stallone wrote the politics.
Dolph Lundgren was initially signed as the Russian Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky (played by Steven Berkoff), when Sylvester Stallone realized that it was the same man who was going to be in Rocky IV (1985), so they paid off the contract.
The only film in the Rambo series to be nominated for an Oscar.
James Cameron's original screenplay began with Colonel Trautman finding Rambo in a psychiatric hospital instead of a prison. The psychiatric hospital concept was instead depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
James Cameron wrote a treatment/screenplay not only for this film, but for Aliens (1986) while production was being delayed on The Terminator (1984).
Rambo's stats, as given in the film: "Rambo, John J., born 7/6/47 Bowie, Arizona of Indian-German descent. Joined army 8/6/64. Accepted, Special Forces specialization, light weapons, cross-trained as medic. Helicopter and language qualified, 59 confirmed kills, two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts, Distinguished Service Cross, Medal of Honor."
First film to appear in 2,000+ U.S. theaters.
To prepare for this role, Sylvester Stallone did eight months of training for four hours a day. He also took SWAT combat, archery and survival courses.
According to the documentary We Get to Win This Time (2002), the producers considered teaming up Sylvester Stallone with his Staying Alive (1983) protégé John Travolta (who was once considered to play Rambo himself in the first film) as Rambo's young partner in rescuing the American POWs. Stallone nixed this idea when he decided it would be better to make the film a solo project.
The original title was First Blood II, but Sylvester Stallone decided he wanted the series to be named after the lead character, just like the Rocky series. So he re-titled it "Rambo: First Blood Part II" so he could name the third film Rambo III (1988) instead of First Blood III.
At the time of filming (1985), there were close to 2,500 Vietnam vets still Missing-In-Action.
The only movie in the Rambo franchise in which Rambo shares an intimate kiss with a woman (the female agent Co). In First Blood (1982) there were flashback scenes of Rambo at a Saigon bar kissing and making love to a Vietnamese prostitute, but those scenes never made it into the final cut.
According to the stats given by Murdock, Rambo has 59 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War. However, Rambo kills 74 people during the course of the film, which spans two days. So, in two days, Rambo kills more people than the whole of the war.
Lieutenant Colonol Padovsky is the only villain to have any lines in English.
George P. Cosmatos was hired after Sylvester Stallone's son Sage saw his film Of Unknown Origin (1983), and recommended his work.
Charles Napier recalled that people would often tell him "I hated you so much" in Rambo: First Blood Part II.
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Despite its anti-government stance, the film had a big fan in then-President Ronald Reagan.
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In First Blood (1982), Colonel Trautman's Green Beret flash is that of the Army's 5th Special Forces Group. In this movie, and the sequel (Rambo III (1988)), he is shown wearing the flash of the 1st Special Operations Command, which means he was reassigned after the events of First Blood.
In the movie, John Rambo's birthday is July 6, 1947. Sylvester Stallone's birthday is July 6, 1946, exactly 1 year earlier.
During a conversation with Co, Rambo says '...I am expendable'. Twenty-five years after the release of this film, Sylvester Stallone directed and starred in The Expendables (2010).
The crew had a hard time finding Asian extras in Mexico. They eventually recruited enough by visiting local Chinese restaurants.
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Before Artisan Entertainment bought the rights to Carolco Pictures, Carolco's logo always used the music of Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) to open their movie credits.
Issue #41 of Fangoria magazine (January,1985) indicated that the first draft of the script was simply titled Second Blood.
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George P. Cosmatos claimed that one of the challenges was "coming up with new ways to kill Russians."
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Firing an RPG from a helicopter would have seriously injured the people in the rear. This is due to the back blast from the rocket being fired.
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In Martin Kove's previous film The Karate Kid (1984), his character John Kreese, the film's main antagonist is a Vietnam Veteran turned corrupt Karate Sensei.
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The red shirt Rambo wears in this movie can also be seen in First Blood (1982) when the cops are searching Rambo's backpack at the police station.
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This was actress Julia Nickson's first film role. The production found her in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Sylvester Stallone said of the first draft: "I think that James Cameron is a brilliant talent, but I thought the politics were important, such as a right-wing stance coming from Trautman and his nemesis, Murdock, contrasted by Rambo's obvious neutrality, which I believe is explained in Rambo's final speech. I realize his speech at the end may have caused millions of viewers to burst veins in their eyeballs by rolling them excessively, but the sentiment stated was conveyed to me by many veterans.... [Also] in his original draft it took nearly 30-40 pages to have any action initiated and Rambo was partnered with a tech-y sidekick. So it was more than just politics that were put into the script. There was also a simpler story line. If James Cameron says anything more than that, then he realizes he's now doing the backstroke badly in a pool of lies".
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When Sylvester Stallone ranked his preference of the Rambo films on the UK chat show Graham Norton, he ranked this one 4th, his least favorite as it was "like a cartoon".
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Lee Marvin was originally going to play Marshall Murdock but changed his mind.
The technical advisor, Tony Maffatone, insisted that all the guns in the movie be real.
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Temperatures during filming sometimes reached 120 degrees.
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At the end when Rambo is flying the chopper and happens to pull beside the Russian Helicopter, one of the POW's is firing a mini-gun. It shoots a 7.62 round at 3600 rounds a minute. It would have ripped that copter to shreds. The rate of fire is so much, that 2,3,4 bullets hit the same spot with one pull of the trigger, even if you swing it around. The 7.62 round would easily go through the armour and when it killed the guy inside, 500 more bullets going inside would have destroyed all the electronics. When he shoots them from the front, it would have shattered the windshield and punched its way through killing both pilots. That's why it's real name is Bullet Resistant Glass. Enough shots from a .22 would eventually go through let alone a 7.62 firing at such a high rate would penetrate quickly.
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Sylvester Stallone constantly dealt with snakes, spiders and scorpions throughout production.
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At the time of filming, the U.S. didn't have diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Relations were eventually re-established in 1995.
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The handgun used by Banks during the aborted helicopter landing of Colonel Trautman is a SIG-Sauer P226. First feature film using SIG-Sauer handguns.
George P. Cosmatos had Murdock and his men snacking in one of the scenes to show their apathy toward the mission. Oliver Stone showed George W. Bush eating food during meetings in W. (2008) for similar reasons.
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Nicknamed the "baseball grenade," a M68 Fragmentation Grenade is featured in the film. They actually take about 3-7 seconds to detonate, but that would've slowed down the action.
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Despite being an action film, no one dies until the 34-minute mark, over a third of the film's runtime.
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Sylvester Stallone had worked with Martin Kove in Death Race 2000 (1975).
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George P. Cosmatos believes what separates this from the other Rambo movies is his relationship with Co. It makes him "more vulnerable."
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Rambo's female contact is the Vietnamese woman named Co Bao. In English, Bao means protection, and in the movie she rescues Rambo once and saves his life on the river boat, too.
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The jet in which Rambo takes off, and jumps off in Vietnam, is a Rockwell Jet Commander 1121. It doesn't have wingtip fuel tanks or TFE 731 engines like the IAI Westwind 1124.
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In scenes where arrows are being shot, they are attached with wire so they land in the right spot without hurting anyone.
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The film's plot rips off the plot of Escape from New York (1981). John Rambo is released from prison to go into the Vietnam jungle on a mission in exchange for his freedom.
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Rambo tells Co that he thinks of himself as 'expendable'. Sylvester Stallone later goes on to write, direct, and star in The Expendables (2010).
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John Travolta was originally considered to play a wisecracking sidekick whom accompanies Rambo on his rescue mission (in the James Cameron draft Rambo is paired with a partner), but Stallone decided to nix the role to make it more of a solo vehicle. Ironically Travolta was suggested to play Rambo in the late 70's when the first Rambo movie was in pre-production.
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In this movie as well as the first, Stallone pauses in a doorway with the large caliber gun in his hands, as a sort of trademark shot.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

As Co Bao (Julia Nickson) died in Rambo's arms after the ambush, there was supposed to be a triple zoom-in while Sylvester Stallone screams "No!" echoed 3 times. During a test screening, audience actually started laughing. It was quickly re-edited to the present form.
The total body count of the film is 85, 74 at the hands of Rambo.
At the end of the novel "First Blood" by David Morrell, John Rambo dies, which doesn't allow for sequels and ends on a dark note. The ending was changed in the movie, allowing for this sequel to be made.
In a rare alternate take of the ending scene (when Rambo says, "I want, what they want, and every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and gave everything he had, wants! For our country to love us as much as we love it! That's what I want!"), Rambo wept as he told this to Trautman. A behind-the-scenes video of this take can be seen in an episode of Entertainment Tonight (1981) from the mid-to-late 80s.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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