Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

First Blood (1982)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

First Blood (1982) (aka Rambo: First Blood)

In director Ted Kotcheff's action thriller - the first and best of the Rambo series, adapted from the 1972 novel by David Morrell - noted for its early examination of the 'Vietnam Vet Syndrome" (later known as PTSD):

  • the scenes of ex-Green Beret Vietnam vet "John" Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) hassled by prejudiced Hope, Washington's town Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), being apprehended (unjustly) as an unshaven vagrant, driven to the edge of town, and ordered to leave
  • the subsequent scene of Rambo walking back to cross a bridge into town, causing Sheriff Teasle to arrest him when he resisted; in the police station, he was treated abusively in jail by police officers, beaten, sprayed with a hose, and subjected to being dry-shaved with a straight-edged razor - amidst triggered horrifying flashbacks of torture he had experienced as a POW during the war
Hosed Down
Abused by Deputies in Police Station
  • Rambo's incredible escape from the police station after subduing multiple officers and fleeing on a motorcycle; the action sequence of Rambo's pursuit by Chief Deputy Art Galt (Jack Starrett) - who shot at Rambo from a hovering helicopter as Rambo clung to a rock cliff; after he jumped free (but seriously injured his arm), Rambo threw a rock at the chopper's windshield, causing the pilot to suddenly pitch around - leading to Galt's loss of balance and deadly fall onto rocks below/ Rambo attempted to surrender himself and admitted to Galt's accidental death (he held up Galt's bloodied body)
Assault by Helicopter on Fugitive Rambo
  • and the sequences of Rambo's tactical defense and use of guerrilla-warfare survival skills against a search party of pursuers in Northwest woods outside the small hostile town; he threatened to become a one-man army to the deputies that were allied against him ("We ain't huntin' him, he's huntin' us!")
  • the sequence of Rambo popping up out of nowhere and holding a large knife to the throat of the Sheriff - the last one to be disabled: "I could have killed them all. I could have killed you. In town you're the law, out here, it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it, or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go. Let it go"
  • Rambo's final confrontation with Green Beret Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna), his former commander and mentor, who saved Rambo from killing the Sheriff after he fell through a building's skylight - Rambo delivered an impassioned, preachy speech to Trautman about his hostile, unjust reception as a returning Vietnam War Vet: ("Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off! It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn't let us win! And I come back to the world and I see all those maggots at the airport, protestin' me, spittin'. Calling me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to protest me, huh? Who are they? Unless they've been me and been there and know what the hell they're yelling about!...For me, civilian life is nothin'! In the field, we had a code of honor: You watch my back, I watch yours. Back here, there's nothin'!...Back there, I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment. Back here, I can't even hold a job parking cars! Where is everybody? Gosh. I had a friend who was there for us. There were all these guys, man. Back there were all these f-kin' guys who were my friends. But back here, there's nothin'!")
Rambo's Confrontation and Breakdown
with Green Beret Col. Trautman
  • the concluding scene of Rambo collapsing to the floor in tears, breaking down and then surrendering while suffering from a PTSD breakdown; Rambo's horrifying account (the film's final words) of the death of his friend Dan Forest during the war, whose body was blown up with the entrails covering Rambo: ("I can't get it out of my head. lt was seven years. Every day it hurts. Sometimes I wake up and don't know where I am. I don't talk to anybody. Sometimes a day. Sometimes a week. I can't put it out of my mind")

Arrival in Hope, WA

Rambo's Arrest and Abuse - Triggering Memories of Torture During Vietnam War

Search for Rambo

Rambo Holding Knife to Throat of Sheriff

Rambo's Ultimate Surrender - Taken into Custody


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