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FIRST BLOOD – Jerry Goldsmith

September 21, 2015 Leave a comment

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

First Blood was adapted from the David Morrell in 1972 novel of the same name, although an alternative ending was shot that preserved the story’s protagonist for future tales. Sylvester Stallone plays John J. Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran who gained honor and distinction serving as a member of the elite United States Special Forces, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet all is not well as he is haunted by the horrors of war and cannot find inner peace as he tries to adapt to civilian life. As Rambo hikes through Hope, Washington, to visit a friend he arouses the interests of the xenophobic local Sheriff, William Teasel (Brian Dennehy), who promptly escorts him out of town. Outraged as his treatment as he has not done anything wrong, Rambo returns to the town; Teasel takes his return as a personal affront and promptly arrests him on false charges. When Rambo is further disrespected and physically abused by Teasel’s minions he snaps and switches into his special forces combat mode with predictable and devastating consequences for his abusers. After pummeling his abusers, he escapes the jail and then flees on a motorcycle to the safety of the woods. Teasel, of course, organizes a hunting party to bring Rambo in “to face justice.” What follows is a rampage of killing and destruction as Rambo brings Teasel and his city to the brink of defeat. Thanks to the timely intervention of his commanding officer Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), Rambo’s release and free passage is negotiated to save the town further carnage. The movie served as a potent commentary on the alienation and estrangement felt by many of our soldiers as they returned from a deeply unpopular war and attempted to re-assimilate into society. Read more…