The Rambo movies are all awesome; that’s the biggest fact of all, however I thought I would search the net (Mostly IMDB and my own memory) for some random tidbits about our favourite Vietnam Vet turned One Man Army.
I managed to dig up a few choice details for all four films in the series.
Other actors considered for the role of John Rambo were Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Nick Nolte, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Ryan O’Neal, James Garner, Kris Kristofferson and Terence Hill. When Al Pacino was considered for the role of John Rambo, he turned it down when his request that Rambo be more of a madman was rejected.
The film was actually filmed in British Columbia, Canada; sadly the iconic bridge was torn down due to ecological issues.
The large piece of rotten canvas that Rambo finds in the woods and cuts into a makeshift coat, was a real piece of rotten canvas found by the film crew during the movie’s production. Since there was only one piece, Sylvester Stallone joked about how the canvas became a treasured prop on the set. After filming ended, Stallone kept the rotten canvas and still has it in his possession to this very day.
Sylvester Stallone hated the first cut of the film so much that he tried to buy the film back and destroy it. When he couldn’t do that, he suggested that the producers cut much of his part and let the rest of the characters tell the story. That cut the movie time in half and set a precedent for future action movies.
A scene was filmed but never used where Rambo, while in the cave after dispatching Teasle and his men, has another flashback: he and his buddies are in a bar in Vietnam, being entertained by the local women. Rambo takes one to a back room and they make love. The scene then flashes to the present, and Rambo begins to cry.
Sylvester Stallone accidentally broke the nose of a stuntman during the prison escape scene by elbowing him in the face, which is why he is seen wearing a band-aid throughout the rest of the film. Coincidentally, this is what Rambo does to a policeman in the novel during the exact same scene.
Rambo’s trademark combat knife was custom designed by the late Arkansas knife maker, Jimmy Lile. The movie popularized knock-off hollow handled survival knives with compasses in the pommel.
Samuel Trautman was named after Uncle Sam, according to author David Morrell.
A plot point that was present in the novel but absent from the film was the primary reason behind Teasle’s resentment and contempt towards Rambo, which was that Rambo was a veteran of the Vietnam War, which gained a lot of attention, whereas Teasle was a veteran of the Korean War; a war which most people had pretty much forgotten at this point in time.
When Rambo is believed to have been killed in a mine attack by the National Guardsmen, Teasle returns to his office. Behind him, you can clearly see a display case that displays three medals. The Silver Star, The Purple Heart, and the Army Distinguished Service Cross Medals. The subtext of the book was a battle of different war tactics, for this reason; this is underplayed in the film.
In the novel, it ended with Rambo killed by Colonel Trautman because, according to Sylvester Stallone on the Special Edition DVD, Rambo had reached the point of no return.
The name “Rambo” came from a variety of apples.
Many of the Monk extras in Rambo III were real Monks from that very temple who were paid to appear as extras.
The original director of Rambo III Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) was replaced after two weeks of filming by Peter MacDonald due to creative differences.
Rambo: First Blood Part II is dedicated to stuntman Cliff Wenger Jr., who was accidentally killed by one of the film explosions.
James Cameron’s original screenplay of Rambo: First Blood Part II began with Col. Trautman finding Rambo in a psychiatric hospital instead of a prison. The psychiatric hospital concept was instead depicted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Maung Maung Khin, who played the Burmese dictator Tint in Rambo (2008), fought for the Karen Rebels in real life. He was afraid his family would be murdered if he took this role, but he took it anyway.
James Brolin was attached to play the Col. Samuel Trautman role after Richard Crenna died of pancreatic cancer in 2003, but the role was written out of the script. Sylvester Stallone considers the character to have died on the same day as Crenna, who appears in an archival flashback in Rambo.
In his commentary for First Blood author David Morell cites the inspiration for John Rambo as being World War 2 hero and later Hollywood actor Audie Murphy.