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Rambo:First Blood

4.5 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett
  • Directors: Ted Kotcheff
  • Writers: Sylvester Stallone, David Morrell, Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim
  • Producers: Andrew G. Vajna, Buzz Feitshans, Herb Nanas
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Alliance (Universal)
  • VHS Release Date: July 1 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0784011370
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,556 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

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.

Special Features

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was sceptical on getting this because I have the original blu ray which isn't very good quality, and I heard a few people say that this was just another double dip rerelease. I took the plunge anyway, and did my comparison. The old version has 5.1 DTS HD audio but sounds really weak in the low end, and the picture quality is very muddy, and soft due to too much digital noise reduction. The new release from Mongrol Media is like a breath of fresh air. Nice clear picture, light layer of grain for that film-like quality, colours really pop, sharpness is just right, greater detail than before, and the audio is a way better upgrade, lots more bottom end but not great compared to today's standards. Still an amazing remaster. Highly recommend this blu ray release of my favourite movie of all time!
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Format: DVD
The Rambo franchise began not as a mindless, flag-waving action saga, but as a thoughtful exploration of post-Vietnam America. Unfortunately, the second and third installments in the franchise were cheesy 80's action, which is how the character of John Rambo has been remembered; a cartoonish killing machine. Initially, Rambo was an innocent man, shocked by redneck local cops into reliving his Vietnam experience, and could not stop himself from reacting. Yet even so, Rambo knows right from wrong, prefering clear demonstrations of his military training in place of simply killing his enemies.
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.
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