436 user 193 critic

First Blood (1982)

2:21 | Trailer
A formidable but unstable veteran Green Beret is forced by a cruel Sheriff and his deputies to flee into the mountains and wage an escalating one-man war against his pursuers.


Ted Kotcheff


David Morrell (based on the novel by), Michael Kozoll (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
518 ( 323)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he'd want to return - the jungles of Vietnam.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier
Rambo III (1988)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Rambo mounts a one-man mission to rescue his friend Colonel Trautman from the clutches of the formidable invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Director: Peter MacDonald
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge
Rambo (2008)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of mercenaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden
Rocky IV (1985)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rocky Balboa proudly holds the world heavyweight boxing championship, but a new challenger has stepped forward: Drago, a six-foot-four, 261-pound fighter who has the backing of the Soviet Union.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky III (1982)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky falls into a hole and finds himself picked up by a former enemy.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky II (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rocky struggles in family life after his bout with Apollo Creed, while the embarrassed champ insistently goads him to accept a challenge for a rematch.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky Balboa (2006)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Thirty years after the ring of the first bell, Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight; against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason 'The Line' Dixon.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia
Rocky (1976)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky V (1990)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Reluctantly retired from boxing, and back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protege who betrays him, as the champ's son must adjust to his family's new life after bankruptcy.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Director: Adrian Grunberg
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Cobra (1986)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far reaching plans.

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni
Tango & Cash (1989)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Framed by their ruthless arch-nemesis, a mismatched LAPD crime-fighting duo has to put its differences aside to even the score with the evil kingpin who put them behind bars once and for all.

Directors: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Albert Magnoli
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Rambo
Richard Crenna ... Trautman
Brian Dennehy ... Teasle
Bill McKinney ... Kern
Jack Starrett ... Galt
Michael Talbott ... Balford
Chris Mulkey ... Ward
John McLiam ... Orval
Alf Humphreys ... Lester
David Caruso ... Mitch
David L. Crowley ... Shingleton (as David Crowley)
Don MacKay ... Preston (as Don Mackay)
Charles A. Tamburro ... Pilot (as Chuck Tamburro)
David Petersen ... Trooper
Craig Huston ... Radio Operator (as Craig Wright Huston)


John J. Rambo is a former United States Special Forces soldier who fought in Vietnam and won the Congressional Medal of Honor, but his time in Vietnam still haunts him. As he came to Hope, Washington to visit a friend, he was guided out of town by the Sheriff William Teasel who insults Rambo, but what Teasel does not know that his insult angered Rambo to the point where Rambo became violent and was arrested. As he was at the county jail being cleaned, he escapes and goes on a rampage through the forest to try to escape from the sheriffs who want to kill him. Then, as Rambo's commanding officer, Colonel Samuel Trautman tries to save both the Sheriff's department and Rambo before the situation gets out of hand. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This time he's fighting for his life. See more »


Action | Adventure


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

22 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rambo: First Blood See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,642,005, 24 October 1982

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


George Miller had been offered to direct but passed on it. George Miller was offered to direct mostly due to the Box Office success of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). The film was a sequel to Mad Max (1979) which was about a policeman (Played by Mel Gibson) who succumbs to madness, and sets out to hunt down the motorcycle gang that murdered his family and his partner. See more »


After Rambo jumps through the police blockade at the bridge with the stolen Army truck, he drives through town at night with the windshield wipers on (implying that it is raining), but immediately after when Rambo rams into the gas pumps, it is no longer raining. See more »


[first lines]
Rambo: Can you tell me if Delmar Berry lives here?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The USA network version has new scenes cut from the original including: a scene after the posse is injured, paramedics putting the posse in ambulances, and Galt's body into a helicopter, just as Kern arrives; an extended conversation between Trautman and Teasle about Rambo taking out his posse; a second extended conversation about the capture of Rambo; a scene where Teasle and Trautman land at the spot where Rambo is "killed". Shortly after, Teasle is congratulated for "killing" Rambo. See more »


Referenced in The Angry Video Game Nerd: Dirty Harry (2018) See more »


It's a Long Road
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Arranged by David Paich and Marty Paich
Produced by Bruce Botnick
Sung by Dan Hill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

We're not hunting him, he's hunting us…First Blood
30 January 2008 | by jaredmobarakSee all my reviews

If I'm going to see the fourth installment of a film franchise, I should at least check out the one that started it all. That fact brings me to finally seeing the 80's classic First Blood. It wears its decade on its sleeve with the acting, broad humor at times, and cheesy credit song "It's a Long Road." Despite all that, though, the movie lives up to the hype and fires on all cylinders. I had no clue that the story pitted one Green Beret against a hick town of bigot cops. When I thought Rambo and I had visions of one-man wars versus countries or platoons of soldiers, not civilians out with a vendetta. Rambo just wanted a friend in the world that saw him fight for his country with honor and return home to heckling and protest. All he did overseas was spit on by his return and he became a stereotype drifter, an untouchable to society. The truth of that comes out when a Sheriff in Oregon sees him crossing the street and escorts him out of town, refusing to allow him to even have one meal. He kept pushing and pushing, enough so that Rambo just couldn't take anymore.

As far as the premise goes, this one is quite effective. Based off a novel, I can see where the story would be strong despite the subsequent sequels for which I hear are horrible. To have a man beaten, on the brink of giving up on life, find his way back to the horrors he has been trying his hardest to forget is a clichéd setup for sure, but it is all we need to set this thing in motion. With some nice quick cuts, we are shown the torture he endured in Vietnam juxtaposed with the handling by the local authorities on a trumped up vagrancy charge for looking unclean. They drew first blood and it is up to him to get himself out, with or without taking other people with him. Rambo understands that these people are civilians and decides to only incapacitate them rather than kill all in his wake. These are not the Viet Cong, they are like him, however, they know nothing about what he has gone through in order to allow them to sit back at home feeling free. If nothing else, this film is here to show people that no matter what your views on a war may be, no matter how much one thinks it is not our fight, if our troops are there, they deserve our full support. They are doing a job and a service that we are not willing to do ourselves as we sit and watch TV feeds, shaking our heads that it is all for nothing. If we give even one inch, they will take a mile, you can't lay down, ever. They fight for us and deserve to be treated as heroes.

With all that said, can one really condone what John Rambo does in this film? No. Not even his old superior Colonel Trautman, brilliantly portrayed by Richard Creena, can accept what he is doing. He doesn't come in to set his boy free; he arrives to get him into custody so the fight will stop. The private war that has commenced needs to come with consequences. The punishment just needs to fit the crime. Rambo does nothing wrong except to hope for some shred of decency from humanity. That idealism is what causes all the trouble. Sheriff Teasle happens to be the straw that breaks the camel's back and all hell breaks loose. It is a matter of survival at first, but with the unrelenting pace, it soon turns into a search for justice by a warped mind doing the only job he knows how. I laughed when I heard the stats that the character kills just one person in this film. I mean how can Rambo, the ultimate badass, kill just one person? The laugh is on me, though, because I don't even count that one as his, it was the helicopter pilot's fault for jerking the aircraft. Rambo may destroy an entire town, but a cold-blooded murderer he is not—at least not until part two (with the great name of Rambo: First Blood II, a dual title that confuses the heck out of people on what the original truly was called).

First Blood has become so entrenched in popular culture and the lexicon of cinema that even though I had never seen the film, I could swear I knew Creena's monologue about Rambo verbatim. I'm sure it was parodied multiple times and probably shown at sporting events or something, but I just knew the entire speech—pretty crazy since I had never seen it before. Besides his nice turn during and after that sequence, we get a powerhouse performance from Brian Dennehy as the sheriff. This guy is good and it is too bad he was never used to full potential in the industry. Sure he did a lot of films, but nothing that he stood out from the pack with. As for the star, Sylvester Stallone shows why he was pound for pound the best action star of the 80's. Between this series and Rocky, he was stellar. From the charisma and shy modesty with which he begins the film, searching for his friend, to the stoic killing machine on the warpath, to the broken man unable to believe what has happened to the world around him, Sly runs the gamut effectively and perfectly. By far one of the best action films I've seen, First Blood stands the test of time and delivers on the cult status it holds. Surprisingly, I am now really looking forward to Rambo (part four) and definitely checking it out in a couple of days.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 436 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed