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First Blood (1982)

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Former Green Beret John Rambo is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills.

Director:

Ted Kotcheff

Writers:

David Morrell (based on the novel by), Michael Kozoll (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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817 ( 313)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Rambo
Richard Crenna ... Trautman
Brian Dennehy ... Teasle
Bill McKinney ... Kern
Jack Starrett ... Galt
Michael Talbott ... Balford
Chris Mulkey ... Ward
John McLiam ... Orval
Alf Humphreys ... Lester
David Caruso ... Mitch
David L. Crowley ... Shingleton (as David Crowley)
Don MacKay ... Preston (as Don Mackay)
Charles A. Tamburro ... Pilot (as Chuck Tamburro)
David Petersen ... Trooper
Craig Huston Craig Huston ... Radio Operator (as Craig Wright Huston)
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Storyline

John J. Rambo is a former United States Special Forces soldier who fought in Vietnam and won the Congressional Medal of Honor, but his time in Vietnam still haunts him. As he came to Hope, Washington to visit a friend, he was guided out of town by the Sheriff William Teasel who insults Rambo, but what Teasel does not know that his insult angered Rambo to the point where Rambo became violent and was arrested. As he was at the county jail being cleaned, he escapes and goes on a rampage through the forest to try to escape from the sheriffs who want to kill him. Then, as Rambo's commanding officer, Colonel Samuel Trautman tries to save both the Sheriff's department and Rambo before the situation gets out of hand. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He just wanted something to eat. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Instagram

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rambo: First Blood See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,642,005, 24 October 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$47,212,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$125,212,904
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scene when Rambo, on the stolen motorcycle, is being chased by the police, the stuntman representing Sheriff Teasle who was driving the patrol car (Bennie E. Dobbins) suffered a broken back (a compression lumbar fracture) as a result of a seventy mile per hour first take that launched the car to a remarkable height on the ramp assisted steep approach to the railway crossing. The vehicle slammed down flat on its chassis, causing the injury to Dobbins, and it rolled several hundred feet further up the road before coming to a stop. When Dobbins opened the door to exit he found himself unable to walk and he fell to the ground. This original high jump and landing was re-shot and replaced in the final cut, with a more modest and believable car jump and landing, using a different car and stunt driver. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the gas station explodes, an Esso station can be seen further down the street. The film was supposed to be taking place in Hope, Washington, US, in 1982. The Esso name was changed Exxon for US stations in 1972 but remained Esso in Canada, where the picture was actually filmed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rambo: Can you tell me if Delmar Berry lives here?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The USA network version has new scenes cut from the original including: a scene after the posse is injured, paramedics putting the posse in ambulances, and Galt's body into a helicopter, just as Kern arrives; an extended conversation between Trautman and Teasle about Rambo taking out his posse; a second extended conversation about the capture of Rambo; a scene where Teasle and Trautman land at the spot where Rambo is "killed". Shortly after, Teasle is congratulated for "killing" Rambo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Eric Andre Show: Tichina Arnold; Steve Schirripa (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long Road
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Arranged by David Paich and Marty Paich
Produced by Bruce Botnick
Sung by Dan Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A taut exercise in suspense that bears little relation to its silly sequels...
10 October 2001 | by Howlin WolfSee all my reviews

Surprise, a "Rambo" movie that tries to say something profound about the plight of its main character and his mental state. For the most part it succeeds. Not for this movie the ridiculously oiled pectorals of part II, where Rambo is transformed into a grunting, soul-less killing machine. He actually begins the movie as a fairly nice chap, someone we can sympathise with, and it's his unnecessarily rough treatment at the hands of small-town sheriff Dennehey and his crew that is likely to shift audience sympathies firmly in the direction of the 'misunderstood' Vietnam vet.

Here, Rambo is also a character who is reluctant to kill unless he absolutely has to. A far cry from the eventual homicidal maniac he was to become, who is seemingly responsible for more death than World Wars 1 & 2 combined. So, to those expecting bucketloads of gore and senseless killing, you'd probably be better off watching the news. "First Blood" is actually more akin to those 'survival in the wilderness' programs you might see on the Discovery Channel; with Rambo having to rely more on guile and cunning than brawn and an M-16 to get him out of tricky situations.

That's not to imply that this is boring. Far from it. Director Kotcheff shows a keen awareness of pace, it's never by any means certain that Rambo will survive (if you discount the other films, of course!) and the supporting characters are all wonderfully unsympathetic. Even Trautmann, Rambo's supposed mentor, has a touch of the villain about him for being complicit in the ultimate dehumanisation of Rambo during the war. By far the best character here is played by Dennehey; always watchable, but Stallone too is good; nicely restrained, more "Cop Land" than "Cobra"

Not an action film as such, it sits better as suspense. In that sense, it does exactly what it says on the tin; rendering John Rambo a far more interesting character here than his incarnation in the other two films. That is basically just wet-dream material for inadequate, spotty faced adolescent boys everywhere. This Rambo is recognisably human. Having said that, neither should you view expecting a solemn Vietnam protest movie in the vein of "Platoon" or "The Deer Hunter". It's different in tone and style to the both of those movies, but in my view at least, is better than either of them.


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