With his 1976 cult film Rocky, for which he wrote the script himself, actor and bodybuilding enthusiast Sylvester Stallone rose to the rank of international star. His Italian-American character returned in the film’s first sequel in 1979, and it was only a few months after the release of Rocky III (in 1982) that Rambo - First Blood, directed by Ted Kotcheff, hit the theaters.
Adapted from a novel, this feature film follows the story of John Rambo, a Vietnam War hero who wanders from town to town seeking out old war buddies. When he is arrested for vagrancy, Rambo is thrown in jail and mistreated by abusive police officers. Becoming enraged, he escapes into the forest after injuring numerous officers, and the manhunt begins… The story of Rambo - First Blood inspired traumatized American veterans who, after their defeat in Vietnam, were faced with numerous difficulties readjusting to American society.
As in Rocky, Sylvester Stallone impressed the audiences of Rambo - First Blood with action and combat scenes that helped him get his nickname "Sly". He is one of the few actors who has played the role of two internationally known action-film heroes.