First Blood is the Sylvester Stallone film that unleashed "Rambo" onto an unsuspecting world. Wandering into a small, hostile town, ex-Green Beret John Rambo (Stallone) is targeted for persecution and abuse by potbellied Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy). When he can stand no more, Rambo goes bonkers, killing a deputy and heading into the surrounding hills, armed to the teeth. Only after Rambo has picked off practically every law enforcement officer within a radius of 50 miles do the local authorities bring in his former commanding officer, Trautman (Richard Crenna), for advice. Trautman's response -- that the locals had better get a lot of body bags ready -- is hardly encouraging. First Blood proved to be one of Stallone's biggest non-Rocky hits. Kirk Douglas had originally been cast as Trautman, but he quit the project when the producers refused to cave in to his demand that Trautman kill Rambo in the finale.
by Hal Erickson synopsis