First Blood (Rambo: First Blood) is a 1982 American action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, who also stars as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. It co-stars Richard Crenna as Rambo’s mentor Sam Trautman and Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Will Teasle, and is the first installment in the Rambo franchise, followed by Rambo: First Blood Part II.
The film is based on the 1972 novel by David Morrell, which many directors and studios had unsuccessfully attempted to adapt in the 1970s. In the film, Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam veteran, must rely on his combat and survival skills when a series of brutal events results in him having to survive a massive manhunt by police and government troops near the small town of Hope, Washington.
The first rough cut of the film was between 3 and 3.5 hours long. According to Stallone, it was so bad that he wanted to buy the movie and destroy it thinking that it was a career killer. After heavy re-editing, the film was cut down to 93 minutes; this version was ultimately released in theaters.
First Blood was released in the United States on October 22, 1982. Despite initial mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, grossing $156 million at the box office against a $15 million budget. In 1985, it also became the first Hollywood blockbuster to be released in China. Since its release, First Blood has been reappraised by critics and recognizing it as an influential film in the action genre.