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Drama - Survival

First Blood (1982)


Duration 1h 33m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A book of the same name by David Morrell
Director Ted Kotcheff
Writers/Script Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso, Bruce Greenwood,

Elevator Pitch: John Rambo, a Vietnam vet, living on the road arrives at a small town to visit a former colleague, who it turns out has died of cancer. He soon finds himself in confrontation with the local policemen, who rough him up and reawaken the trauma he suffered as a prisoner in the war. He escapes and is chased into the mountains by the policemen, where he uses his combat skills of overcome the opposition, escalated to include more police forces and the National Guard. His former commanding officer arrives to try to persuade him to surrender. Will he be successful and will Rambo survive?

Contents: There is a bit of beer drinking, I think the waitress in the bar says something – the only female part. Rambo is stripped and hosed down by the police, and there is a lot of violence as he escapes. Thereafter a motor bike and car chase and then much sneaking about in the woods punctuated by screams as the policemen are disabled. The former CO discusses things with the sheriff and eventually Rambo makes it back to the town where there is machine gun fire and numerous explosions.

A View: This was quite well liked by the critics, since there is a message in that it presents the attitude of the American public towards the vets, post the Vietnam war, and sort of shows a veteran fighting back. I like films where we have a hero who can always overcome the opposition, although I was constantly irritated by Stallone’s dour expression which never changed. Probably not a watch if you are an American policeman but otherwise worth an hour and a half for action enthusiasts.

Additional Info: Apparently the first three hour cut was so bad that Stallone tried to buy the film to bury it, but it was successfully re-edited and made a lot of money, hence prompting a number of sequels.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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