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.


First Blood is essentially a commentary on the state of American war veterans after they were withdrawn from Vietnam. They were largely neglected upon their return, and were often called “baby killers” for what the American citizens presumed was a part of their duties.

Sylvester Stallone, he looks like a boxer well past his prime. But in actuality, he’s an incredibly talented filmmaker, and in this case, an actor.

Rambo: First Blood (1982)








We like:

  • A classic
  • It transcends the action film genre and has stood the test of time.
  • Rambo is the ultimate underdog.