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First Blood

Year: 1982
Production Co: Elcajo Productions
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy, Chris Mulkey, David Caruso
The one that started not just a film franchise, but - if you believe Rambo's influence on the Republican administration during the day - a whole isolationist foreign policy movement of shooting first and asking questions later.

Ironically, Morrell's novel upon which the film is based was a quite different beast. The father/son relationship was between Rambo and the character of Sheriff Will Teasle (played in the film by Brian Dennehy), whom Rambo saw as someone who belonged, a state he found himself rudely pushed out of thanks to America's response to returning Vietnam vets.

In the film, made from Stallone's screenplay, Rambo's father figure is his military mentor Colonel Trautman (Crenna). It's a subtle shift from it being about a man looking for peace to a man waging war, and it would grow into the bloated one-man army archetype of Rambo II, destined to drown the characters' original motivations in a sea of flag waving and the depiction of absolute American military power, one even Stallone himself has since somewhat disowned, declaring himself a Democrat.

When Rambo returns home and starts drifting through small towns of America, a local Sheriff who doesn't like strangers runs him out of town. Rambo, already smarting about wanting 'his country to love us as much as we love it', turns back to town and follows his original path. Not impressed with being defied, the cop locks him up.

Rambo breaks loose and uses his military skills to go feral, fighting back from the surrounding forests while the police hunt him down, calling in the only man he trusts, Colonel Trautman to advise them.

In a lot of ways it's a very different film to the ridiculous sequels, and should be ashamed of what it spawned.

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