First Blood (1982)

First Blood (1982)

First Blood 1982Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

Written By: Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, Sylvester Stallone

Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 33 min

Two cents:

Over thirty years after its initial release First Blood still resonates, and while it’s primarily a well made piece of commercial action entertainment, you’d be wrong to assume this was all mindless machismo dialog and huge explosions. First Blood has a lot more to offer, and asks the audience to consider the poor treatment of veterans returning home after years fighting in Vietnam.

As Rambo, Sylvester Stallone is perfectly cast. Credible as a ex-green beret as he throws himself physically into the part, and believable as a haunted Vietnam veteran mentally scarred after many years at war. Brian Dennehy is also good as Teasle, the xenophobic small town sheriff who takes on more than he can handle when he pushes Rambo too far. Richard Crenna as Colonel Trautman is really the only weak link in the cast. Not so believable as the commanding officer that supposedly trained Rambo, and nearly every line of dialog he had is delivered with all the weight and emotional resonance of a movie poster tag-line.

With the beautiful Golden Ear provincial park in British Columbia as backdrop, the movie looks amazing. Jerry Goldsmith’s score also adds a great dramatic tone to the film. The action is well staged, and never becomes over the top or cartoonish. It’s violent, but in a controlled way that serves the story rather than try to dazzle or shock the audience. First Blood is a true action classic.

Movie Prep:

If you’re looking for mindless over the top action nonsense, this movie isn’t for you. If you like your action films to be a little more than a huge pyrotechnic fireworks display, give this a viewing. You won’t be disappointed.

Best Format:

The British Columbia back drop is fantastic, and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is superb. If a screening was available at a theater near you then I suggest you take advantage. At home, a HD viewing brings out the best in this film.

Best elements for me:

Stallone’s performance and Jerry Goldsmith’s score.

References: IMDBRotten Tomatoes

Linked To:

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Rambo III (1988)


  1. djblake

    After completing the movie poll, I decided I would look for one of my favorite movies of all time – First Blood. I am glad I found this review. Although this movie does look dated, the story still holds up extremely well, and is just as relevant now as it was back when it was first released. The first, and best, Rambo movie. Great review.

  2. My favourite movie in the Rambo franchise. This is a lot more raw and down to Earth than it’s sequels, which I think is what makes me like this best. Stallone is superb in the lead, and like you say, he is believable as the troubled Vietnam Vet. I love it once the get into the forest, Rambo gets into his own environment and is at his stealthiest best picking off the police who are hunting him. It is hard to pick, but I think I would pick Rambo over Rocky. Great review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *