Over the past couple of years, I've watched the original movie and its sequels a number of times. They're a great series of action pics and they helped to make Sly Stallone a superstar. Recently, I've read the novel FIRST BLOOD (1972) which triggered off this whole Rambo saga and it turned out to be an intense, gripping and provocative thriller about an escalating battle between two war veterans on opposite sides of the law. Neither of them is a hero or a villain, although Sheriff Teasle did hassle Rambo a bit too much and Rambo eventually resorted to killing some cops and civilians. The book focuses on what is going on inside the minds of both Rambo and Teasle as their rivalry progresses and in the end, they both turn out to be ordinary, vulnerable human beings, destroyed by war, emotionally and physically. In comparison to the book, the 1982 movie pales. It is a very good film, but a lot of elements are left out from the novel, such as Rambo killing his chasers, the final frantic gunfight between Rambo and Teasle and Teasle's relationship with Orval and his estranged wife. Understandably, this was so that the film could be shorter and appeal to a wider audience ( after all, Stallone needed a box office hit away from the ROCKY series ). Apparently, in the mid 70s, there were plans back then to translate FIRST BLOOD into a movie. An ideal Rambo would probably have been someone like Kris Kristofferson and maybe Joe Don Baker could have played Teasle.