First Blood

Still of Sylvester Stallone in First BloodStill of Sylvester Stallone and Brian Dennehy in First BloodStill of Sylvester Stallone in First Blood


A mentally unstable Vietnam war vet, when abused with a small town's police force, begins a one man war with it.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 7.5/10 (81,686 voted)

Critic's Score: 62/100

Ted Kotcheff

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna

John J. Rambo is a former United States Special Forces soldier who fought in Vietnam and won the Congressional Medal of Honor, but his time in Vietnam still haunts him. As he came to Hope, Washington to visit a friend, he was guided out of town by the Sheriff William Teasel who insults Rambo, but what Teasel does not know that his insult angered Rambo to the point where Rambo became violent and was arrested, as he was at the county jail being cleaned, he escapes and goes on a rampage through the forest to try to escape from the sheriffs who want to kill him. Then, as Rambo's commanding officer, Colonel Samuel Trautman tries to save both the Sheriff's department and Rambo before the situation gets out of hand.

Writers: David Morrell, Michael Kozoll


Sylvester Stallone


Richard Crenna


Brian Dennehy


Bill McKinney


Jack Starrett


Michael Talbott


Chris Mulkey


John McLiam


Alf Humphreys


David Caruso


David L. Crowley


(as David Crowley)

Don MacKay


(as Don Mackay)

Charles A. Tamburro


(as Chuck Tamburro)

David Petersen


Craig Huston

Radio Operator

(as Craig Wright Huston)

One war against one man.

Release Date: 22 October 1982

Filming Locations: Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $14,000,000


Opening Weekend: $6,642,005
(24 October 1982)
(901 Screens)

Gross: $125,212,904

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


In the DVD commentary, Sylvester Stallone compares Rambo to the monster of Dr. Frankenstein and Col. Trautman as the doctor, in the respect that Rambo is a war machine monster created by America to do its bidding, but then he escapes and runs amok, but also wanting to fit into a society who shuns him, and Col. Trautman basically was instrumental in making Rambo into what he is and feels remorse for how he turned out and does what he can to help make things right.


When John holds the knife to Teasle's throat in the woods, the placement of the knife changes.


[first lines]

Can you tell me if Delmar Berry lives here?

User Review

Stallone is the most underestimated actor of his age


this is certainly not the greatest film ever made. in fact, it's plot is
predictable and formulaic, and every character is two-dimensional.

having said that, this is a film that is often dismissed as a macho action
flick with no redeeming feature. these are opinions i would

while the only imagination put into the film seems to be the various ways
which John Rambo can kill people, the basic theme is nevertheless a pretty
strong one. this is not meant to be a Fellini-esque commentary on life,
universe, and everything.

the three most important characters in the film are all played by pros.
have Stallone's John Rambo, Dennehy's Sheriff Teasle, and Richard Crenna's
Colonal Trautman.

Brian Dennehy hasn't missed a beat in his entire career; he's been a
character actor since i've been watching movies, and – like Michael
Caine –
he always puts everything into each performance. his Sheriff Teasle is
menacing, bigoted, and protective. he comes across like a man who's
his territory and won't permit intrusions. i won't say he's brilliant,
he is absolutely believable as a small-town sheriff faced with a situation
so far out of his own experience that he cannot figure out why he can't
solve the problem.

Crenna is a patriarchial character, such as he often seems to play. he
gives the Spec Ops Colonal Trautman enough soul to make him seem human,
enough blood and guts to make him seem like a veteran soldier.

of course, the centrepiece to the film is Sylvester Stallone. Stallone
always suffers from the perception engendered by his appearance. he is a
somewhat short fellow with a body of bulging unpronoucable muscles, and a
sad bassett-hound face that looks like it was designed by someone out of
"Oliver Twist."

but the man can flat-out act. he gives John Rambo depth and reality. he
comes across as far too fit and far too silent because Rambo is far too
and far too silent. like his character in "Copland," Stallone is playing
guy who pretty much wants to be left alone and is caught up by a bunch of
people around him who are overly enthused by their own status.

while i can understand the dismissal of this film as just a patriotic
sop, i cannot also accept that Stallone does not give a good performance.
the man has been characatured; he's an easy target. he's a really built
short-guy. but Stallone's intelligence and creativity drove his first
"Rocky," and neither quality has deserted him since. like Michael Caine,
does seem to take any old lame role offered to him. but he always gets
paid, and he always puts everything into his performances.

i'll never campaign for this film to be considered a "great" film, but i
think i'll always defend it's star as a guy who works too hard too often
get the such little credit.

i guess the best way i can put it is, i watched "First Blood," and i
believed him. i believed Stallone.

last time i checked, that is what an actor is supposed to