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 --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
Drawing First Blood, First Blood : A Look Back, Audio Commentary With Sylvester Stallone, Audio Commentary With Writer David Morrell, Alternate Ending, Humorous Ending, 2 Trailers, Deleted Scenes : Dream In Saïgon, The Real Nam : Voices From Within, Forging Heroes : America’s Green Berets, Guts and Glory, and How To Become Rambo. --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?
In this first film, impression was far worse than truth; Rambo kills no one, and the only obvious death (and later, an implied death in a car crash), are not directly caused by anti-hero Rambo. However, the film was (and still is), accused of being flooded with violence and killing.
If you take a moment and think past the stunts and the action, Rambo's search for place in a country unwilling to acknowledge his sacrifices is a poignant and striking portrayal of what Vietnam vets really faced upon their return home. No one wanted to think about the war, and our vets were a painful reminder to a nation's fragile ego that we had lost.
In the 1980's, acceptance gradually dawned, and Vietnam became a popular subject for movies. The movies became a sort of national catharsis, allowing us to heal through fantasies, such as a Special Forces vet going back to 'Nam and killing a bunch of VC, freeing POWs, and taking revenge in a typically red, white, and blue fashion. The second Rambo film and Chuck Norris' "Missing in Action" series are typical of the war as portrayed by Hollywood in the 80's.
"First Blood" was one of the first films to deal with the scars of Vietnam intellegently.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It was supposed to be used. It looked new to me, including the box it came in.
The price was good and delivery was prompt.
Really enjoyed the movie.
First Blood is an incredible blend of action and story. At the heart is a battle of wits and a clash of ideals between a small town sheriff played to perfection by Brian Dennehy... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steve G
The movie that started the film industry in British Columbia in the early 80s. Even to this day you can drive through Hope and see some landmarks that were used in the filming. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
You need to remember to turn your mind off while watching, but very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Read morePublished 16 months ago by drew allum
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