First Blood (1982)

First Blood (1982)

Taglines: He just wanted something to eat.

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.

First Blood is a 1982 American action adventure film directed by Ted Kotcheff. It is co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam veteran who must rely on his combat and survival senses against the abusive law enforcement of a small town. It is based on David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name and is the first installment of the Rambo series. Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna also appear in supporting roles.

The film was released in the United States on October 22, 1982. Despite initial mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, grossing $47.2 million at the box office. Since its release, First Blood has received reappraisal from critics, with many praising the roles of Stallone, Dennehy, and Crenna, and also praising its action sequences and has been recognized as a cult classic and an influential film in the action genre.

First Blood (1982)

About the Story

Seven years after his discharge, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) travels by foot to visit one of his old comrades, only to learn upon his arrival that his friend had died from cancer due to Agent Orange exposure during the war.

Distraught, Rambo continues to travel, wandering into the small town of Hope, Washington. He is intercepted by the town’s arrogant and abusive Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), who considers him an unwanted nuisance. When Rambo asks for directions to a diner, Teasle drives him out of town and tells him not to return. Rambo returns anyway, so Teasle arrests him on charges of vagrancy, resisting arrest, and possessing a concealed knife.

Led by sadistic chief deputy Art Galt (Jack Starrett), Teasle’s officers bully and abuse Rambo, triggering flashbacks of the torture he endured as a POW in Vietnam. When they try to dry-shave him with a straight razor, Rambo snaps, overwhelms the police force as he fights his way outside, and flees into the woods. A furious Teasle organizes a search party—complete with automatic weapons, dogs, and a helicopter—to recapture him.

During the search, it is learned that Rambo is a former Green Beret who received the Medal of Honor for his service. Galt spots Rambo and resorts to lethal force in defiance of orders, attempting to murder Rambo from the helicopter. Trapped on a high cliff over a rocky creek, Rambo leaps into a tree to break his fall, significantly hurting himself in the process. Galt hangs from the outside of the chopper continually trying to hit Rambo from a hiding spot behind a tree. Rambo throws a rock at the helicopter’s windshield, fracturing it; the pilot is surprised and his sudden reaction causes Galt to lose his balance and fall out of the chopper to his death.

Rambo attempts to persuade Teasle and his men that it was an accident and that he wants no more trouble, but the police open fire and pursue him into a wooded area. Rambo disables the deputies non-lethally one by one using his combat prowess, until only Teasle is left. Holding a knife to his throat, Rambo threatens to fight back much harder if he doesn’t “let it go”, giving him a war, he claims, that he won’t believe.

First Blood Movie Poster (1982)

First Blood (1982)

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey, Alf Humphreys
Screenplay by: Michael Kozoll
Production Design by: Wolf Kroeger
Cinematography by: Andrew Laszlo
Film Editing by: Joan E. Chapman
Costume Design by: Tom Bronson
Set Decoration by: Kimberley Richardson
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: October 22, 1982