First Blood (1982)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Gritty and kind of dark

Very different from the other Rambo movies

Movie Info

Movie Name: First Blood

Studio: Anabasis Investments N. V.

Genre(s): Drama/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): October 22, 1982

MPAA Rating: R


I will break you if you touch me again!

John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is a Vietnam vet, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a green beret finding it hard to fit in back in the United States.  When passing through Hope, Washington, Rambo finds himself harassed and arrested by Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy) for passing through the town. Rambo escapes the police and hides in the woods.  Rambo is now in a stand-off and the police drew first blood.

Directed by Ted Kotcheff, First Blood is sometimes known as Rambo:  First Blood once Rambo:  First Blood Part II became a hit.  It was based on the 1972 book of the same name by David Morrell.  The movie’s relatively low budget became a big hit and was well received by critics.  It also has a very young David Caruso as Mitch (one of the officers).


It’s the Great Escape 2!

First Blood is such a radically different movie from the other Rambo films.  When Rambo II was released, Rambo became an American institution…an American fighting for America.  In this film, Rambo is a screwed up vet struggling with his reintroduction to society.  He is unbalanced and goes completely crazy when he begins to suffer flashbacks of his imprisonment in Vietnam.

The movie went through a lot of changes before making it to the screen.  The movie originally had Rambo killing himself at the end (it was filmed and available on DVD and Blu-Ray).  This ending actually works a bit better than Rambo’s big breakdown before being talked down by Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna).  Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Nick Nolte, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, James Garner, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Douglas, and Terrance Hill were all considered for Rambo (with many of them turning down the role because of the violence).  Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall were contacted about Sheriff Teasle, and Kirk Douglas and Lee Marvin were offered Richard Crenna’s role.


I just stopped by to let you guys know that you are pretty much screwed.

First Blood is a pretty good movie and many might forget this with the institution that Rambo became after it.  His name became a noun and he was name-checked by President Reagan.  First Blood feels like it has heart and a gritty realism that the other Rambo movies lack.  First Blood was followed by Rambo:  First Blood Part II in 1985.

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Related Links:

Rambo:  First Blood Part II (1985)

Rambo III (1988)

Rambo (2008)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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