First Blood

First Blood

Infobox_Film
name = First Blood


caption = Theatrical poster for "First Blood"
director = Ted Kotcheff
producer = Buzz Feitshans
writer = Screenplay:
Michael Kozoll
William Sackheim
Sylvester Stallone
Novel:
David Morrell
starring = Sylvester Stallone
Richard Crenna
Brian Dennehy
music = Jerry Goldsmith
cinematography = Andrew Laszlo
editing = Joan E. Chapman
distributor = Orion Pictures Corporation
released = October 22, 1982
runtime = 97 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $14 million
gross = Domestic:
$47,212,904
Worldwide:
$125,212,904
followed_by = ""
amg_id = 1:17472
imdb_id = 0083944

"First Blood" (also known as "Rambo: First Blood"), is a 1982 action / adventure film directed by Ted Kotcheff. The film stars Sylvester Stallone as the unstoppable John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam War veteran, with Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) as his nemesis and Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) as his ally. It was released on October 22, 1982. Based loosely on David Morrell's 1972 novel of the same name, it was the first of the four-film "Rambo" series.

Since its release, "First Blood" has been a critical and commercial success, and has had a lasting influence on the genre. It has also spurred countless parodies. The resulting "Rambo" franchise propelled Stallone to iconic status in the United States, although at the time of its release, Stallone had already gained popularity from the first three "Rocky" films. The film is also notable for its psychological portrayal of the aftereffects of the Vietnam War, particularly the challenges faced by American veterans attempting to re-integrate into society.

Plot

John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is a former member of an elite United States Army Special Forces unit, and was awarded a Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. The film begins after the war, in America. Rambo is searching for his friend, and soon learns that he has died from cancer due to Agent Orange exposure. Although not yet revealed to the audience, Rambo knows he is now the last surviving member of his unit. The scene cuts to Rambo entering the small town of Hope, Washington (filmed in Hope, British Columbia)(some parts of the movie were filmed in Spokane, Washington) on foot. With his long hair and military-style coat, he is quickly spotted by the town's sheriff, Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), who quickly drives Rambo out of town, noting his strong distaste for "drifters". Rambo heads back into town immediately, to Teasle's dismay, who arrests him.

Rambo is generally non-compliant with the officers at the station, and is beaten and harassed by Art Galt (Jack Starrett), the sheriff's sadistic head deputy. This causes Rambo to have flashbacks to his time as a prisoner of war, and he eventually snaps. Rambo fights his way out of the station, steals a motorcycle, and is pursued off-road into the nearby mountains. The deputies are eventually forced to search for Rambo on foot, and he climbs down onto a steep cliff to elude capture. After spotting Rambo from a helicopter, Galt blatantly disregards protocol and attempts to shoot him in cold blood. Rambo drops into a mass of trees, and cornered, throws a rock at the helicopter. The helicopter pitches and Galt, the passenger, falls to his death. Teasle, who did not see Galt's attempt to kill Rambo, vows to avenge his friend's death.

Teasle leads his deputies into the woods in an attempt to capture Rambo. The deputies are inexperienced and bicker, particularly after learning over the radio about Rambo's combat experience and status as a war hero. Rambo quickly disables the small, disorganized team using guerrilla tactics and booby traps, severely wounding- but not killing- the deputies. In the chaos, Rambo isolates and confronts Teasle with a knife to the throat. "Let it go", he warns, before disappearing into the woods. A base camp is assembled near the site and the National Guard is called in. Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) soon arrives, who takes credit for training Rambo. He is surprised to find any of the deputies still alive, and warns that it would be safer to let Rambo go and find him after the situation has calmed down. Teasle refuses to give in.

Rambo is eventually cornered by the National Guard in a mine entrance. The inexperienced guardsmen fire a disposable LAW rocket launcher at him, collapsing the mine, and assume Rambo is dead. Unbeknownst to his pursuers, Rambo has escaped into the tunnels of the mine with an improvised torch, fighting off rats. He is relieved to eventually find an exit, near a main road. Rambo quickly hijacks a passing Army truck and returns to town, crashing it into a gas station, which effectively blocks the highway to anyone in pursuit. Now armed with an M60 machine gun, Rambo effortlessly destroys a sporting goods shop and a few other businesses before making his way to the police station, where Teasle awaits on the roof.

Eventually Rambo enters the police station. Teasle spots Rambo and fires at him, but misses. Rambo shoots back at Teasle, injuring him. Teasle falls through the roof onto the floor. Rambo steps over him, prepared to kill him. Before Rambo can shoot Teasle, Colonel Trautman appears and tells him there's no hope of escaping alive. Rambo, now surrounded by the police, rages about the horrors of war, and the difficulties he has faced adapting to civilian life. He weeps as he recounts a particularly gruesome story about witnessing his friend's death. Rambo then turns himself in to Trautman, and is arrested. The credits roll as he and Trautman exit the police station.

Cast

*Sylvester Stallone as John James Rambo
*Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Will Teasle
*Richard Crenna as Colonel Samuel Trautman
*Bill McKinney as State Police Capt. Dave Kern
*Jack Starrett as Deputy Sgt. Arthur Galt
*Michael Talbott as Deputy Balford
*Chris Mulkey as Deputy Ward
*John McLiam as Orval the Dog Man
*Alf Humphreys as Deputy Lester
*David Caruso as Deputy Mitch
*David Crowley as Shingleton
*Don Mackay as Preston

Production

Various screenplays adapted from Morrel's book had been pitched to studios in the years since its publication, but it was only when Stallone, who at the time had limited success outside of the "Rocky" franchise (most of his non-"Rocky" films either barely broke even or were flops altogether), decided to become involved with the project that it was finally brought into production.Fact|date=July 2008 At least one "First Blood" poster, seen above, references his Rocky success: "Stallone. This time he's fighting for his life."

Stallone’s star power after the success of the Rocky films enabled him to suggest changes to the scriptFact|date=July 2008, to make the character of John Rambo more sympathetic. While Morrell's book has the Rambo character violently kill many of his pursuers, in the movie version Rambo does not directly cause the death of any police or national guardsmen.

Prior to Stallone taking the role, Steve McQueen expressed interest in it. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083944/trivia IMDB] ] [ [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_McQueen Steve McQueen Wikipedia entry] ]

Just before shooting began, Kirk Douglas quit the role of Col. Trautman over a script dispute; Douglas wanted the film to end as the book did, with the death of the Rambo character.Fact|date=July 2007 Richard Crenna was quickly hired as a replacement; the role of Trautman became the veteran character actor's most famous role, his performance of which received much critical praise and talk of an Academy Award nomination.Fact|date=July 2008 A suicide scene was filmed, but ultimately, Kotcheff and Stallone opted to have Rambo turn himself in at Trautman's urging.Fact|date=July 2008The town scenes in the movie were shot in Hope, British Columbia, Canada. The rest of the movie was shot in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Reception

"First Blood", with a shooting budget of $15 million and a total domestic gross of $47 million, [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=firstblood.htm First Blood (1982) ] ] has been a moderate financial success, compared to other films released that year. For example, "E.T.", with a budget of just $10.5 million, brought in nearly $12 million in its opening weekend and has gone on to gross over $350 million. [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=et.htm E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ] ] Similarly, both "Tootsie" and "Porky's" have grossed over $100 million each. [ [http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Years/1982/top-grossing Top grossing movies for 1982 in the USA ] ] Stallone's other 1982 film, "Rocky III", also beat "First Blood" at the box office, pulling in over $12 million on its opening weekend with a total gross over $125 million domestically. [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=rocky3.htm Rocky III (1982) ] ] However, "First Blood" has not been a commercial failure. "Blade Runner" performed comparatively at the box office, and grossed only $32 million. [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bladerunner.htm Blade Runner (1982) ] ] "Poltergeist", although more successful in total sales, brought in similar numbers at the box office.

"First Blood" has received generally favorable reviews [ [http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/firstblood?q=First%20Blood#critics First Blood (1982): Reviews ] ] , and is considered by many to be one of the best films of 1982. [ [http://www.film.com/features/story/10-best-movies-of-1982/15287150 The 10 Best Movies of 1982 - Film.com ] ] [ [http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Years/1982/total-votes Most popular 1982 titles by total votes ] ] Stallone, in particular, has received much praise for his performance. In his 1982 review, Roger Ebert writes that he does not like the film's ending, but that it is "a very good movie, well-paced, and well-acted not only by Stallone...but also by Crenna and Brian Dennehy." He even goes as far to say, "although almost all of "First Blood" is implausible, because it's Stallone on the screen, we'll buy it." [ [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19820101/REVIEWS/201010324/1023 Roger Ebert's 1982 review of the film] In 2000, BBC film critic Almar Haflidason noted that Stallone’s training in survival skills and hand-to-hand combat gave the film, "a raw and authentic edge that excited the audiences of the time." [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/30/first_blood_1982_review.shtml BBC - Films - review - First Blood ] ] . "First Blood"'s release on DVD sparked a series of contemporary reviews, earning it an 85% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 62 ("generally positive") from Metacritic.

However, the film has not escaped criticism. Although Jeremiah Kipp praised Stallone's performance, stating that he "hits his climactic breakdown monologue out of the park” with a performance that was “sweet and moving,” [ [http://filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/First-Blood First Blood Movie Review, DVD Release - Filmcritic.com ] ] , he gave the film two stars out of four, and criticized its “comic book” dialogue and “macho, mindless escapism.” Brian Webster of the Apollo film site called "First Blood", "an embarrassingly sloppy production,” with a weak script. [ [http://apolloguide.com/mov_fullrev.asp?CID=1019 Apollo Movie Guide's Review of First Blood ] ] In general, the film was criticized for its violent scenes and for its supposed glorification of weapons (such as the GPMG M60, which featured prominently in advertising).Fact|date=July 2008

"First Blood"'s portrayal of a Vietnam veteran has also sparked some controversy. Some argue that the film "reflect [ed] a new compassion towards traumatized veterans of the Vietnam conflict," [ [http://filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/First-Blood First Blood Movie Review, DVD Release - Filmcritic.com] ] while others view the film as insulting and stereotypical.

Animal Cruelty

This film was deemed "Unacceptable" by the AHA for the treatments of rats which were killed on and off screen [ [http://www.ahafilm.info/movies/moviereviews.phtml?fid=7213] ] .

Distribution

Infobox movie certificates
Argentina = 18
Australia = M
Austria =
Belgium =
Brazil =
Bulgaria =
Canada =
Canada (Alberta) =
Canada (BC/SK) =
Canada (Ontario) =
Canada (Manitoba) =
Canada (Maritime) =
Canada (Quebec) =
Canada (Home Video) =
Chile = 18
Colombia =
Cyprus =
Czech_Republic =
Denmark =
Finland = K-18
France =
Germany = 16
Greece =
Hong_Kong =
Hungary =
Iceland = 16
India =
Indonesia =
Ireland =
Israel =
Italy =
Japan =
Luxembourg =
Malaysia =
Malta =
Mexico = C
Netherlands =
New_Zealand =
Norway = 18
Peru =
Philippines =
Poland =
Portugal =
Puerto_Rico =
Romania =
Singapore =
Slovakia =
South_Africa =
South_Korea = 15
Spain =
Sweden = 15
Switzerland =
Taiwan =
Thailand =
United_Kingdom = 15
United_States = R
USCCB=
Uruguay =
Author David Morrell recorded an audio commentary track for the "First Blood" Special Edition DVD released in 2002.

Actor Sylvester Stallone recorded an audio commentary track for the "First Blood" Ultimate Edition DVD released in 2004. This edition also includes a "never-before-seen" alternate ending in which Rambo commits suicide (a brief snippet of which appears in a flashback in the fourth film) and a "humorous" ending tacked on afterwards. Lionsgate also released this version on Blu-ray. Both commentary tracks are on the Blu-Ray release.

Momentum Pictures released an HD DVD version of "First Blood" in the United Kingdom in April 2007. Lionsgate also released "First Blood" as a double feature on February 13, 2007, along with the 2004's "The Punisher".

The film was re-released as part of a 6-disc box set, which contains all 4 films in the series, on May 27th, 2008. However the box set is missing the David Morrell Commentary, even though the packaging clearly states it is included. [ [http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_14332.html Rambo (2008) DVD and BluRay Details ] ] In anticipation of the release, the film was shown back in theaters for one night, May 15th, 2008, through Fathom Events. [ [http://www.fathomevents.com Fathom Events ] ]

See also

*Police brutality
*Vietnam veteran
*Combat stress reaction
*Survivalism
*"Son of Rambow" (film, 2007)

References

External links

* [http://sly1982.sl.ohost.de/ Rambotown.net - Pictures and Information about First Blood and Hope, BC]
* [http://www.sylvesterstallone.com/ Sylvester Stallone Official Website]
*imdb title|id=0083944|title=First Blood
* [http://www.dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=1243 DVD Comparison]
* [http://www.moviecheat.com/ShowDetails.php?mid=37/ Detailed synopsis of "First Blood" ] at moviecheat.com
* [http://www.mosdofa.narod.ru/pub/data/first_blood.htm] Official Photo scan Rambo First blood


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • First Blood — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. First Blood, le titre original de Rambo (1982) ; First Blood (1972), un roman de David Morrell ; First Blood, un groupe de hardcore. Catégorie  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • first blood — 1》 the first shedding of blood in a fight or (formerly) a duel. 2》 the first point or advantage gained in a contest. → blood …   English new terms dictionary

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  • First Blood (novel) — First Blood is a 1972 novel by David Morrell, on which the Rambo movie franchise was based.PlotThe book features the character Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran, who becomes the focus of a manhunt that results in the deaths of many police officers and …   Wikipedia


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