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Rambo III (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  25 May 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 85,463 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 165 user | 81 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Rambo's Vietnam commanding officer Colonel Trautman is held hostage in Afghanistan, and it's up to Rambo to rescue him.



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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc de Jonge ...
Spiros Focás ...
Masoud (as Spiros Focas)
Doudi Shoua ...
Randy Raney ...
Marcus Gilbert ...
Nissem (as Alon Abutbul)
Mahmoud Assadollahi ...
Joseph Shiloach ...
Khalid (as Yosef Shiloah)
Harold Diamond ...
Matti Seri ...
Gun Dealer (as Seri Mati)
Hany Said El Deen ...


John Rambo's former Vietnam superior, Colonel Samuel Trautman, has been assigned to lead a mission to help the Mujahedeen rebels who are fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the Buddhist Rambo turns down Trautman's request that Rambo help out. When the mission goes belly up and Trautman is kidnapped and tortured by Russian Colonel Zaysen, Rambo launches a rescue effort and allies himself with the Mujahedeen rebels and gets their help in trying to rescue Trautman from Zaysen. Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rambo 3  »

Box Office


$63,000,000 (estimated)


$53,715,611 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1988) (heavily cut) (VHS)

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The knife in this film is the first in the series to not be designed by Arkansas knifesmith Jimmy Lile. The blade was designed by fantasy knife designer Gil Hibben and is two inches longer than the one in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and three inches longer than the knife in First Blood (1982). The knife is also the first in the series to not be of a survival knife design. See more »


In the shot of the helicopter exploding, seen through the sight of the heavy machine gun, it can be seen for a fraction of a second that the chopper is actually a relatively crude model suspended from a wire. See more »


[after barely escaping the explosion of a fuel bomb dropped by a helicopter]
Colonel Trautman: That was close John. How are you?
Rambo: Well done.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Film is dedicated to the Gallant People of Afghanistan See more »


Featured in Afghanistan: Land in Crisis (2002) See more »


Produced by Péter Wolf (as Peter Wolf)
Written by Péter Wolf (as Peter) and Ina Wolf
Performed by Bill Medley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not terrible, but...
8 January 2002 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

With the highest budget of the three movies, the movie certainly looks expensive, with an epic scope at times. But you never quite get the feeling that the movie settles into a comfortable groove. Though the action sequences have plenty of gunshots and explosions, the way they are filmed - and edited - doesn't have the right impact or flow, like the action sequences in the second installment.

In another comparison to the second installment, the story - while as sparse as this one - certainly kept moving. Here there are a number of segments that move very slowly and/or don't seem to have much purpose. The movie should have gotten down to business. The uneven flow of the movie also suffers near the end, as if the movie all of a sudden decides it needs to wrap things up in a few minutes, making the final battle almost come out of nowhere.

(In fairness to the director, it should be pointed out that he was a sudden replacement after original director Russell Mulcahy was fired, and had only ONE DAY to prepare to helm the rest of the movie.)

Like the previous installment, there is some dumb dialogue, but this time around it's not delivered in a slight tongue-in-cheek manner. If they had been willing to show this time around that they weren't taking things so seriously, it would have helped. You might say that the actor playing the Russian commander is not playing things seriously, but he goes SO over the top that he's embarrassing.

It's watchable, but disappointing - they had the chance to make a kick-ass action movie here.

By the way, the Afghans that Rambo helps in this movie are *NOT* the Taliban. People seem to forget that Afghanistan is made up of a number of different tribes. You can tell these particular Afghans are not the Taliban, because (among other things), the women are not completely covered, and the men play the traditional Afghan game with horses and a goat's skin (forbidden by the Taliban.)

38 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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