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Rambo:First Blood

Sylvester Stallone , Brian Dennehy , Ted Kotcheff    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

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It's easy to forget that this Spartan, violent film, which begat the Rambo series, was such a big hit in 1982 because it was a good movie. Green Beret vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) wanders into the wrong small town to find a fellow 'Nam buddy and gets the living heck kicked out of him by the local law enforcement (led by Brian Dennehy). The vet strikes back the only way he knows how, leading to a visceral, if unrealistic, flight and fight through the local mountains. Based on the 1972 novel by David Morrell, this film saved Stallone's then-foundering career and the Rambo character became the inspiration for countless political cartoons. But this film is Deliverance without the moral ambiguity. --Keith Simanton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Blood Rambo is Best of Series Sept. 23 2003
Format:DVD
In "First Blood" Sylvester Stallone is John Rambo a wandering ex-Green Beret looking for a former Vietnam buddy in a small hostile town. Rambo is unjustly harassed and arrested by over zealous Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy). When Rambo is pushed to the limit he strikes back and single handedly beats up several officers in route to an escape into the surrounding hills.
Now that Rambo is back in his element things get interesting as a member of Teasle's posse unwittingly draws "First Blood" (hence the title) unleashing the wrath that is Rambo! The subsequent hoopla and bombast that accompanied the remaining two installments to the series really overshadow the quality of "First Blood." Stallone is at his monosyllabic best with a screenplay that keeps the dialogue down and revs the action up. Veteran action director Ted Kotcheff expertly handles the key set piece of the film that shows Rambo deftly ambushing several unsuspecting victims with such precision that none of them is fatally wounded. Finally Rambo comes face to face with his accuser Sheriff Teasle to issue an ultimatum that actually does more to up the stakes rather then cool the situation down. Rambo's former commanding officer Trautmen (Richard Crenna) is brought in for advice but instead issues his own declaration when he tells Sheriff Teasle that if he continues to pursue Rambo he better have a lot of body bags.
"First Blood" is really a study in wills and the stubbornness not to know when to back down. Sheriff Teasle is not able to admit that he is over matched and Rambo uses the injustice he has suffered both in the small town and in Vietnam as a reason to let his fury rage on an unsuspecting populace. Recent films like the disappointing "The Hunted" would have done well to mimic the terse sensibilities that served "First Blood" so well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Legend Begins Sept. 22 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This 1982 film introduced the character "John Rambo", and was followed by other films that portrayed a powerful but misunderstood superhero. Rambo is arrested for walking through a small town, but makes his escape against great odds. He flees into the wilderness, Sheriff Teasel's men in hot pursuit. [Does this remind you of some early Hitchcock films?] The many forces combined against one man prove unequal. ["A Fistful of Dollars" or "Yojimbo"?] Like some Hitchcock films, the visuals are used more than dialog for the story.
Most of the film is devoted to the hunt for Rambo in the cold, rainy forest. Rambo eludes his pursuers, the hunted becomes the hunter. The dead and wounded are brought out of the wilderness. The forces against Rambo are escalated, yet success eludes them. Colonel Trautmann, who trained Rambo to be the best killing machine, shows up to confront the Sheriff, and attempts to end the conflict by a political solution ("let him go, get him later").
The burning gas station echoes that scene in "The Birds", a film about Nature taking revenge. Shooting into electrical transformers creates a blackout that is all too familiar. The explosions and fires are another disaster. Does the ending with the Colonel remind you of Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"? While Rambo walks away, the rest of the story is left to your imagination.
The military trains its guard dogs to be vicious, and to obey only their handler. When the handler leaves the service, his dog is destroyed; it has outlived its usefulness. This film is important as an example of propaganda in the movies. A psychotic drifter who kills police and National Guardsmen is portrayed as a hero! Could this happen in real life? Does the failure of the hunt for Rambo echo the Vietnam war? Does the attack on the town portend future terrorism?
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5.0 out of 5 stars America missed the meaning of this movie July 2 2004
Format:DVD
I remember seeing this movie for the first time on July 4, 1984. I know back then I was into long hair, and alot of 60's and 70's music. Didn't do acid, or any drugs as I was 16, and grew up in a police officer's house. I always knew police brutality existed, but after this movie I suddenly realized that men in short hair aren't always the good guys. I mean after all there are no pictures of the devil with long hair, or at least from what I've seen. I know watching this movie I've developed a intense prejudice of hick folks, and country bumpkins, and the such as I feel that they are self-righteous, and know it alls, and that they are God. I know that the only other people in movies that rubbed me the wrong way were Sherrif Buford T. Justice from "Smokey and the Bandit", and the corrupt sherrif who smacked around his deputy in the movie "Tank". However, don't get me wrong the same way that Sherrif Teasle, and crew are accountable so is Rambo. Rambo still is accountable for murdering an officer of the law even though it was self-defense. He'd have to go to court, and prove it as such. The Veitnam war no doubt has ruffled alot of feathers, and in my opinion while I understand why some ran away to Canada I also understand why some went there. I can only imagine what the soldiers went through there as I was only a baby when this was all going on. Like all veterans of all the wars the Veitnam Veterans should've been given dignity, and respect all along for fighting to keep our freedom. Mind you I'd have to start digging for the whole 30 year war over there, and why it impacted us so much. The same way I feel that the laws back here are to be respected, and a police officer should be given the same dignity, and respect as that of a soldier who went overseas to fight. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
And the mountains chasing scenes is breath taking for an old film this is incredible
Published 14 days ago by Sylvain Béchamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good old classic action movie
Published 2 months ago by William A. Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars Good action movie.
Lots of action and violence but with a good story behind it. This was my kind of movie back when it was made.
Published 12 months ago by David C. McKay
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Movie!
I've seen all the other Rambo movies but there always seemed to be some information missing. First Blood fills in the blanks. I would recommend this movie to all Rambo fans.
Published 19 months ago by Ken
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Rambo
DVDis of good quality. Wanted this product because it was the first Rambo and probably the best one in the series.
Published 20 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars First Blood review
A classic film of it's era. Very authentic acting. Compelling movie set in the mountains of Brittish Columbia. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2011 by NewfoundlanderAdrift
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Didn't Come to Protect Rambo From You,I Came to Protect You From...
In 1982 Sylvester Stallone releases yet another fantastic movie with "First Blood",the first in the Rambo series. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2008 by Tommy Skylar
4.0 out of 5 stars It is like stepping into a nightmare
When your only skill is to kill and you have had enough of that, you tend to wander. This is the circumstance in which we find John J. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) Vietnam vet. Read more
Published on June 29 2006 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous movie....
When Sylvester Stallone is involved....you know youre going to get terrific action. But the movies story and Stallones character of John Rambo are very interesting as well. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Joe Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars First Blood is still best of three Rambo movies
The first Rambo movie called First Blood was released in the fall of 1982. The movie was arguably Sylvester Stallone's best performance since Rocky II. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Terrence J Reardon
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