First Blood

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First Blood is 1982 film about a Vietnam War veteran who's pushed to the limit by a town sheriff indifferent to drifters like him.

Directed by Ted Kotcheff. Written by Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, and Sylvester Stallone, based on the novel by David Morrell.
One war against one man.taglines

John Rambo[edit]

  • [with knife at Sheriff Teasle's neck] I could have killed 'em all, I could kill 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.

Dialogue[edit]

Rambo: There's one man dead. It's not my fault. I don't want any more hurt.
Sheriff Teasle: [on top of a cliff above Rambo] Freeze, or I'll blow your head off.
Rambo: [backing away] But I didn't do anything.
Teasle: FIRE!

Col. Trautman: I don't think you understand. I didn't come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him.
Sheriff Teasle: Well, we all appreciate your concern Colonel, I will try to be extra careful!
Trautman: I'm just amazed he allowed any of your posse to live.
Teasle: Is that right?
Trautman: Strictly speaking, he slipped up. You're lucky to be breathing.
Teasle: Colonel, you came out here to find out why one of your machines blew a gasket!
Trautman: You don't seem to want to accept the fact that you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who's the best! With guns, with knives, with his bare hands! A man who's been trained to ignore pain! To ignore weather! To live off the land! To eat things that would make a billy goat puke! In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel...to kill, period! Win by attrition... well Rambo was THE BEST!

Deputy Lester: [referring to the mistreatment of Rambo] I was just talking to Mitch, and he said that Gault and a couple of the deputies were... a little hard on the guy.
Capt. Kern: Assholes!
Sheriff Teasle: It doesn't make one goddamn bit of difference, Dave, and you know it! If one of my deputies... gets out of line with a prisoner then the prisoner comes to me with it. And if I find out it's like he says I kick the deputy's ass! Me! The Law! People start fucking around with the law then all hell breaks loose! Whatever possessed God in heaven to make a man like Rambo?
Col. Trautman: God didn't make Rambo, I made him!

Sheriff Teasle: He was just another drifter who broke the law!
Col. Trautman: Vagrancy, wasn't it? That's gonna look real good on his gravestone in Arlington: Here lies John Rambo, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, survivor of countless incursions behind enemy lines. Killed for vagrancy in Jerkwater, USA.
Teasle: Now don't give me any of that crap, Trautman. Do you think Rambo was the only guy who had a tough time in Vietnam? He killed a police officer for Christ's sake!
Trautman: You're goddamn lucky he didn't kill all of you.

Col. Trautman: If you send your people in there after him they'll get killed.
Sheriff Teasle: You know, we're just a small, hick-town sheriff's department colonel, but we're expected to do our duty just like our heroes in the Special Forces.
Trautman: In Special Forces we teach our people to stay alive in the line of duty.
Teasle: No shit, I never thought of that.
Trautman: You want a war you can't win?
Teasle: Are you tellin' me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Trautman: You send that many, don't forget one thing.
Teasle: What?
Trautman: A good supply of body-bags.

Col. Trautman: [on the radio] It's good to hear your voice Johnny, it's been a long time. Look John, you've done some damage here ...
Sheriff Teasle: [informed of triangulated signal] He's northwest.
Col. Trautman: ... but they don't want any more trouble. That's why I've come. I want to come in there and fly you the hell out. Just you and me. We'll work this thing out together. Is that fair enough?
Rambo: Where'd you come from sir?
Trautman: Bragg.
Rambo: I tried to get in touch with you, but the guys at Bragg never knew where to find you.
Trautman: Yeah well, I haven't been spending much time there lately, they've got me down in D.C. I'm shining a seat with my ass.
Rambo: I wish I was back in Bragg now.
Trautman: We'll talk about that when you come in.
Rambo: I can't do that sir.
Trautman: Look John, we can't have you running around out there wasting friendly civilians.
Rambo: There are no friendly civilians!
Trautman: I'm your friend Johnny! I was there with you knee-deep in all that blood and guts. I covered your ass more than once. Seems like bailing you out of trouble's got to be a life-time job for me.
Rambo: There wouldn't be no trouble except for that king-shit cop! All I wanted was something to eat, but the man kept pushing sir.
Trautman: Well, you did some pushing on your own John.
Rambo: They drew first blood, not me.
Trautman: Look Johnny, let me come in and get you the hell out of there!
Rambo: They drew first blood... [signs off]
Trautman: Rambo, are you still reading me? Company leader to Raven! Rambo! Acknowledge!

[Trautman tries to convince a rearming Rambo to surrender]
Col. Trautman: Think about what you're doing. The building's perimeter is covered. No exit. They got 200 men out there and a lot of M-16s. You did everything to make this private war happen. [blocks Rambo and grabs M-16] You've done enough damage! This mission is over, Rambo. Do you understand me? This mission is over! [goes to floodlit windows and gestures about barricade] Look at them out there! Look at them! If you won't end this now, they will kill you. Is that what you want? It's over, Johnny. It's over!
Rambo: 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! Then I come back to the world, and I see all those maggots at the airport, protestin' me and spittin', callin' me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to protest me?! Huh?! Who are they?! Unless they been me and been there and know what the hell they yellin' about!
Trautman: It was a bad time for everyone Rambo. It's all in the past now.
Rambo: For you! For me civilian life is nothing! In the field we had a code of honor. You watch my back I watch yours. Back here there's nothing!
Trautman: You're the last of an elite group. Don't end it like this.
Rambo: 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!! [throws machine gun at wall before breaking down] Uhhh!! Wha...I can't...oh, I just, oh my God. Where is everybody? Oh God...I...I had a friend, who was Danforth. What, I had all these guys man. Back there I had all these fucking guys. Who were my friends. Cause back here there's nothing. Remember Danforth? He wore this black headband and I took one of those magic markers and I said to Feron, "Hey mail us to Las Vegas" cause we were always talking about Vegas, and this fucking car. This uh red '58 Chevy convertible, he was talking about this car, he said we were gonna cruise till the tires fall off ... We were in this bar in Saigon and this kid comes up, this kid carrying a shoe-shine box. And he says "Shine, please, shine!" I said no. He kept askin', yeah, and Joey said "Yeah." And I went to get a couple of beers, and the box was wired, and he opened up the box, fucking blew his body all over the place. And he's laying there, he's fucking screaming. There's pieces of him all over me, just...like this, and I'm tryin' to pull him off, you know, my friend that's all over me! I've got blood and everything and I'm tryin' to hold him together! I'm puttin'... the guy's fuckin' insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! He's saying, sayin' "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" He keeps calling my name! "I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!" I said "With what? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!"

Taglines[edit]

  • One war against one man.
  • This time he's fighting for his life.
  • A one man war.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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