The Rambo franchise got its start with the relatively gritty, more psychologically-oriented take on the Rambo character in 1982. First Blood was adapted from David Morell’s novel of the first name and strikes an excellent blend between the source material’s darkness and its muscular star Stallone.

This is the scene that follows when Rambo, after being arrested for vagrancy after wandering through a small American town, escapes from the local police station is still explosively exciting. Stallone’s visceral performance (he broke the nose of one of the extras) and Jerry Goldsmith’s thunderous score always manages to get the heart racing.

First Blood was directed by Ted Kotcheff and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, who also stars as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. It co-stars Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The film follows Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam veteran who must rely on his combat and survival senses against the abusive law enforcement of the small town of Hope, Washington.