Features and Columns · Movies

28 Things We Learned From the ‘First Blood’ Commentary

“I think ‘First Blood’ is the best action film I’ve ever done.”
First Blood
Orion Pictures
By  · Published on August 16th, 2012

Welcome to Commentary Commentary, where we sit and listen to filmmakers talk about their work, then share the most interesting parts. In this edition, Kate Erbland drifts with John Rambo, a.k.a. Sylvester Stallone as he discusses First Blood.

It’s debatable who the biggest action star of the modern era is. Some say Schwarzenegger. Others say Stallone. Some people even make a claim for Tom Cruise, but chances are they aren’t reading this anyway. With The Expendables 2 hitting theaters this Friday, Sylvester Stallone once again brings together some of the biggest action stars of yesteryear in a massive explosion of a movie. For his determination to keep action alive, Stallone may take the edge on the all-time list.

So this week, we’ve decided to go back to the film that started Stallone’s ascent to the throne of the action star. First Blood and its ensuing – and exceedingly violent – sequels were the films that dropped the word “action” in front of the word “star” when talking about the man. We loved seeing him punch people as Rocky, but seeing him blow people away as Rambo was what did it. Let’s hear the man speak for himself, though, and go through all 28 things we learned from the First Blood commentary.

First Blood (1982)

Commentators: Sylvester Stallone (writer, actor) and the beautiful, melodic sounds of an M60 machine gun.

Best in Commentary

“He’s America’s waif. He’s gone. There is no direction, no plans, no aspirations. Zero. Completely part of the landscape. And it’s almost as though he’s looking for a cause.”

“I think First Blood is the best action film I’ve ever done.”

Final Thoughts

For the most part, this Stallone commentary on First Blood is good but nothing incredible. It certainly has much more to offer in terms of information than anything Schwarzenegger recorded, but let’s be honest. That’s not all that difficult. Stallone goes between anecdotes and insight into the film enough to keep the commentary here from getting bogged down in minutia.

A cruelty towards bit actors in the film does come out at one point, and it makes you feel bad for anyone who worked alongside Stallone who didn’t hit it big. Nevertheless, Stallone is Rambo for a reason, and the love he has for this film comes through loud and clear.

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