A ONE-MAN WAR.
John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a Vietnam vet, arrives in a small town and is subsequently harassed by the police and hunted into the forest where he exacts revenge. Having made three Rocky flicks, Stallone launched his other commercially successful franchise. The first Rambo movie is not exactly believable, but the California woods stand in pretty well for the jungles of Vietnam; the whole movie is an allegory about that war. As long as it remains a straight action picture, everything’s fine, but the sentimental ingredients near the end don’t really work. Stallone is fine as the misunderstood veteran.
1982-U.S. 97 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Ted Kotcheff. Screenplay: Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, Sylvester Stallone. Novel: David Morell. Music: Jerry Goldsmith. Cast: Sylvester Stallone (John Rambo), Richard Crenna (Sam Trautman), Brian Dennehy (Will Teasle), David Caruso, Jack Starrett, Bill McKinney.
Trivia: Mike Nichols was allegedly considered for directing duties, with Dustin Hoffman as Rambo and Kirk Douglas as Trautman. Followed by four sequels, starting with Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).
Quote: “God didn’t make Rambo, I made him!” (Crenna)