First Blood is a 1982 American action film directed by Ted Kotcheff and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, who also plays Vietnam War veteran John Rambo in the film. It is the first installment in the Rambo franchise, and it stars Richard Crenna as Rambo’s mentor Sam Trautman and Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Will Teasle. It is followed by Rambo: First Blood Part II.
The movie is based on David Morrell’s 1972 novel of the same name, which many directors and companies tried and failed to adapt in the 1970s. Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam veteran, is forced to rely on his combat and survival abilities after a series of violent events forces him to survive a large manhunt by police and government troops near Hope, Washington.
On October 22, 1982, First Blood was released in the United States. Despite negative reviews, the picture was a box office hit, making $156 million in its first weekend.
It was also the first Hollywood blockbuster to be released in China in 1985, and until 2018, it held the record for the most tickets sold for an American picture. Since its premiere, First Blood has been acclaimed by critics, with many praising Stallone, Dennehy, and Crenna’s performances and hailing the picture as an influential action film.
The film’s success inspired a franchise that included four sequels (all of which Stallone co-wrote and starred in), an animated television series, a series of comic books, novels, computer games, and a Bollywood version.