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Rambo

John J. Rambo


In August of 1964, a young man named John J. Rambo joined the United States Army, a legend in the making. Though he was barely 18 years old at the time, Rambo demonstrated a unique temperament and an aptitude for unconventional warfare skills, which led to his acceptance into the Special Forces. He received training as a light weapons specialist and medic, as well as qualifications in airborne operations and linguistics. The young Rambo was sent to Vietnam, where as a part of a close-knit, highly skilled guerilla warfare team, he was credited with 59 confirmed kills and was awarded two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, ​four Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Congressional Medal of Honor. But amid these successes, Rambo experienced soul-searing pain, privation and loss. His friends and comrades were being blown to pieces in front of his eyes, and his young psyche was tormented by the death and horror that surrounded him. Of his combat team, only Rambo and one other survived to return to the United States, and once on U.S. soil, this decorated war hero found himself in nation that did not seem to care about the sacrifices made by its soldiers. When his sole returning comrade died of cancer from his exposure to Agent Orange, Rambo became a rootless wanderer without hope or purpose often in trouble with law enforcement.

Eventually, Rambo came back into contact with Col. Samuel Trautman, his former commander in Vietnam. The Colonel helped Rambo find his way, involving him in special covert operations that utilized his diverse combat skills and astonishing resilience. Through his work as an unconventional warfare operative and his time in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, Rambo seemed to exorcise many of his personal demons. Over time, the name Rambo has become synonymous with a warrior persona characterized by fierce loyalty, merciless determination, self-sacrifice, and brutal enthusiasm for destroying the enemy.



Rambo (2008)


​Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Paul Schulze, Graham McTavish, Sai Mawng, Jake La Botz

Twenty years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has retreated to northern Thailand, where he's running a longboat on the Salween River. On the nearby Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, the world's longest-running civil war, the Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. But Rambo, who lives a solitary, simple life in the mountains and jungles fishing and catching poisonous snakes to sell, has long given up fighting, even as medics, mercenaries, rebels and peace workers pass by on their way to the war-torn region.
That all changes when a group of human rights missionaries search out the 'American river guide' John Rambo. When Sarah (Julie Benz) and Michael Bennett (Paul Schulze) approach him, they explain that since last year's trek to the refugee camps, the Burmese military has laid landmines along the road, making it too dangerous for overland travel. They ask Rambo to guide them up the Salween and drop them off, so they can deliver medical supplies and food to the Karen tribe. After initially refusing to cross into Burma, Rambo takes them, dropping off Sarah, Michael and the aid workers...
Less than two weeks later, pastor Arthur Marsh (Ken Howard) finds Rambo and tells him the aid workers did not return and the embassies have not helped locate them. He tells Rambo he's mortgaged his home and raised money from his congregation to hire mercenaries to get the missionaries, who are being held captive by the Burmese army. Although the United States military trained him to be a lethal super soldier in Vietnam, decades later Rambo's reluctance for violence and conflict are palpable, his scars faded, yet visible. However, the lone warrior knows what he must do...

​Rambo III (1988)


​Director: Peter MacDonald
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Kurtwood Smith

The battle rages on as superstar Sylvester Stallone detonates the third blast in the action-packed Rambo series. Combat has taken its toll on John Rambo (Stallone), but he has finally begun to find inner peace inside a monastery -- until his friend and mentor Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up to ask for his help on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan. A war-weary Rambo declines, but when Trautman is captured, Rambo erupts into a one-man firestorm to rescue his former commanding officer and decimate the enemy. It's an intense, pulse- pounding adventure that boasts unrelenting action and suspense from start to finish!

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)


​Director: George P. Cosmatos
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Stephen Berkoff, Julia Nickson-Soul

He's back! Superstar Sylvester Stallone is John Rambo, the ultimate action hero, in this explosive Oscar(r) -nominated sequel to First Blood that boasts a riveting screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic). Although the Vietnam War is officially over, Rambo remains the perfect fighting machine. But his survival skills are tested with a vengeance on a top-secret mission that takes him back to the jungles of Vietnam in search of American POWs. For when Rambo is double-crossed, this "expendable" hero, armed with just a bow, arrows and knife, must defeat savage enemies equipped with deadly firepower.

Rambo: First Blood (1982)


​Director: Ted Kotcheff
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso, Jack Starrett

He never fought a battle he couldn't win--except the conflict raging within his own soul.Academy Award-nominee Sylvester Stallone stars as war hero John Rambo. An ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam, he was once the perfect killing machine. Now he's searching for peace, but finds instead an over-zealous, small-town sheriff who's spoiling for a fight. All hell breaks loose when an unjustly imprisoned Rambo escapes and becomes the target of a massive manhunt. Now he must use all his cunning, combat skills and weapons training to stay alive and outwit his pursuers. Co-starring Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna, First Blood is an explosive action-thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, powerful frame.


Starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran and former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier who is skilled in many aspects of survival, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla warfare. The series consists of the films First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), and Rambo (2008).


Related Pages: Rambo