First Blood (1982)

Source: Lions Gate: Blu-ray, 2008.

Year: 1982

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Action Stars

Richard Crenna

Brian Dennehy

Sylvester Stallone

Genre: Combat

Country: United States

Story Duration: 01:29:46

Act Duration:

1st Act: 00:22:29

2nd Act: 00:25:49

3rd Act: 00:20:18

4th Act: 00:21:07

Plot Turns:

1st: Teasle orders hunt for Rambo

2nd: Colonel Trautman warns Sheriff Will Teasle

3rd: Rambo escapes from mine

ASD Ratio: 68%

AAD Ratios:

1st Act: 75%

2nd Act: 66%

3rd Act: 30%

4th Act: 98%

Action Structure: 3124

Action Scenarios


Daring Leap Variant









Total Action Moments: 21

1. The capture scenario and the tracking police posse.
2. Rambo’s decoy tactics.
3. Capturer becomes the hunted.
4. The capture scenario fully inverted.
Action Structure

Notable Action Sequence: 2nd Hunt for Rambo

Duration: 00:07:48

Act: 2nd

Action Scenarios:





Description: While the first sequence in which Rambo is hunted down by the pursuing police posse in First Blood (1982) showcased his survival skills, the second capture sequence focuses upon highlighting Rambo stealth fighting abilities. This narrative emphasis on Rambo’s guerrilla tactics introduces an ambiguity as to the status of the action scenario underlying the sequence itself. Notably, the sequence initially plays to the expectations of the capture scenario, in which a pursuing posse is led by dogs in an effort to track down a fugitive [Figure 1]. But these expectations begin to be undermined when the posse is tricked into perceiving Rambo in the distance, prompting Orval, the dog handler, to release two of his Dobermans, which are promptly shot by Rambo. Orval is next shot in the leg by Rambo, diminishing the capturing capacity of the posse. With a lightning flash, the figure in the distance becomes more visible to the police, who now see they were tricked by a scarecrow constructed from a raincoat to act as a decoy [Figure 2]. Orval releases his remaining dog, but it is also dispatched through a blow heard offscreen. The police posse leave Orval behind and spread out through the woods individually to search for Rambo, but in doing so make themselves more vulnerable. As Deputy Rogers searches for the fugitive, he steps under a fallen tree and carefully investigates the space. Rambo, hiding on the ground and camouflaged with foliage, suddenly arises and stabs Rogers with a wooden spike [Figure 3]. Through this unexpected event, the capturers become the hunted, while Rambo assumes ascendancy by hunting down the remaining members of the posse through a series of traps and surprise attacks. Eventually Sheriff Teasle, the leader of the posse, and the obstinate antagonist of the film, is the last member standing, but he too is subjected to a surprise attack by Rambo, with a knife to his throat [Figure 4]. The sequence ends with the capturer becoming captured, and the fugitive becoming the hunter, fully inverting the expectations of the capture scenario through which the sequence commenced.


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