"I could have killed 'em all, I could kill you. In town, you're the law, out here it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go. Let it go."
Description: Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo warns Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy) to back off in the motion picture First Blood (1982).
John Rambo is a former Special Forces soldier who has returned from Vietnam and just wants to wander the roads of the Pacific Northwest quietly as he heads to Portland. Unfortunately, the local constabulary, namely Sheriff Teasle does not want vagrants in his town and so he intercepts Rambo on the road and gives his a ride out of town.
|Teasle:||So where you heading?|
|Teasle:||You said you were heading north. Portland is south.|
|Rambo:||You got some place I can eat around here?|
|Teasle:||There's a diner about thirty miles up the road.|
|Rambo:||Is there a law against me getting something to eat here?|
|Rambo:||Why you pushing me?|
|Teasle:||What'd you say?|
|Rambo:||I said why you pushing me, I didn't do nothing.|
|Teasle:||First of all, you don't ask the questions around here. I do. Second, we don't want guys like you in this town, drifters. Third, you wouldn't like it here anyway. Its a pretty boring town. I get paid to keep it that way.|
After dropping off Rambo outside the city limits, Teasle says "If you want some friendly advice, get a haircut and take a bath. You wouldn't get hassled so much." But Rambo don't play that game, after all he served his country well and he is not about to be pushed around by a hick cop with an attitude problem and so Rambo continues walking in the direction of the sheriff's fair town to get a bite to eat. And so the sheriff arrests Rambo for vagrancy to prove a point that he is running the show in this neck of the woods.
Unfortunately, while processing Rambo, the sheriff's deputies brutalize him during lock up to the extent they direct a stream of pressurized water from a fire hose to wash him down. Rambo does not approve and so he snaps, beats the hell out of the deputies and escapes incarceration. And so the hunt is on, but what the sheriff does not know is that he will soon become the hunted.
|Deputy Lester:||I was just talking to Mitch, and he said that Gault and a couple of the deputies were... a little hard on the guy.|
|Sheriff Teasle:||It doesn't make one goddamn bit of difference, Dave, and you know it! If one of my deputies... gets out of line with a prisoner then the prisoner comes to me with it. And if I find out it's like he says I kick the deputy's ass! ME! The LAW! People start fucking around with the law then all hell breaks loose! Whatever possessed God in heaven to make a man like Rambo?|
|Trautman:||God didn't make Rambo, I made him!|
Enter Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) John Rambo's former commander who has arrived on the scene to "Get my boy." Teasle asks, "YOUR boy?" and Trautman reveals, "I recruited him. I trained him. I commanded him for three years in Vietnam. I'd say that makes him mine."
Sheriff Teasle insists that he doesn't need any outsider to tell him how to do his job. Trautmen pauses, then informs Teasle, "I don't think you understand. I didn't come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him."
The Sheriff seems unimpressed with the Colonel, and says, "Well, we all appreciate your concern Colonel, I will try to be extra careful!" Trautmen continues, "I'm just amazed he allowed any of your posse to live." Angered, Teasle declares, "He was just another drifter who broke the law!" Trautman replies, "Vagrancy wasn't it? That's gonna look real good on his grave stone in Arlington: Here lies John Rambo, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, survivor of countless incursions behind enemy lines. Killed for vagrancy in Jerkwater, USA."
Frustrated Teasle responds, "Now don't give me any of that crap, Trautman. Do you think Rambo was the only guy who had a tough time in Vietnam? He killed a police officer for Christ's sake!" Trautman concludes, "You're goddamn lucky he didn't kill all of you." Before Trautman leaves he adds if the sheriff goes up against Rambo, he better have “a good supply of body bags.”
"You don't seem to want to accept the fact you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who's the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who's been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. Well Rambo was the best." - Colonel Trautman
After an initial scrimmage in the forest, Rambo confronts Teasle, and yells, "There's one man dead! It was not my fault! I don't want anymore hurt!" Teasle shouts, "Freeze! Give yourself up!" But John insists, "But I didn't do anything!" Teasle growls "I'm warning you boy, don't make a move or I'll blow your head off!" Rambo repeats, "I didn't do anything!" Again, Rambo escapes into the woods.
|Trautman:||It's good to hear your voice Johnny, it's been a long time. Look John, you've done some damage here, they don't want anymore trouble. That's why I've come. I want to come in there and fly you the hell out. Just you and me. We'll work this thing out together. Is that fair enough?|
|Rambo:||Where did you come from Sir?|
|Rambo:||I tried to get in touch with you, but the guys in Bragg never knew where to find you.|
|Trautman:||You know I haven't been spending much time there lately, they've got me down in D.C. I'm shining a seat with my ass.|
|Rambo:||I wish I was back in Bragg now.|
|Trautman:||We'll talk about that when you come in.|
|Rambo:||I can't do that Sir.|
|Trautman:||Look John, we can't have you running around out there killing friendly civilians.|
|Rambo:||There are no friendly civilians!|
|Trautman:||But I'm your friend Johnny! I was there with you knee-deep in all that blood and guts. I covered your ass more than once. Seems like baling you out of trouble's got to be a life-time achievement for me.|
|Rambo:||There wouldn't be no trouble except for that king-shit cop! All I wanted was something to eat. But the man kept pushing Sir.|
|Trautman:||Well you did some pushing on your own John.|
|Rambo:||They drew first blood, not me.|
|Trautman:||Look Johnny, let me come in and get you the hell out of there!|
|Rambo:||They drew first blood...|
|Trautman:||Rambo, are you still reading me? Company leader to Raven! Rambo! Acknowledge!|
After suffering the chills of cold mountain weather, lack of food and being trapped and then escaping a collapsing cave, John decides to bring the war to the Sheriff in a final showdown. In the dark, and amidst the blazing barrels of gunfire, John rains hell on the sheriff and property of his small town. It becomes apparent that John is the better of the two men in combat, but it also becomes evident that if he continues his one man war, he will die.
|Trautman:||You did everything to make this private war happen. You've done enough damage. This mission is over, Rambo. Do you understand me? This mission is over! Look at them out there! Look at them! If you won't end this now, they will kill you. Is that what you want? It's over Johnny. It's over!|
|Rambo:||Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off! It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn't let us win! And I come back to the world and I see all those maggots at the airport, protesting me, spitting. Calling me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to protest me? Who are they? Unless they've been me and been there and know what the hell they're yelling about!|
|Trautman:||It was a bad time for everyone, Rambo. It's all in the past now.|
|Rambo:||For YOU! For me civilian life is nothing! In the field we had a code of honor, you watch my back, I watch yours. Back here there's nothing!|
|Trautman:||You're the last of an elite group, don't end it like this.|
|Rambo:||Back there I could fly a gun ship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment, back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!|
In the end, Colonel Trautman talks John into surrendering and escorts him out of town where he can be handled by the military. For now, John's battle is over, but Rambo will live to fight another day in a number of sequel movies.
Note: In Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) John is recruited to extract missing in action soldiers from Southeast Asia who are still being held hostage in a remote Vietnamese wilderness. He accepts the assignment, but when he is double-crossed by Murdock, he survives and returns to exact his revenge.
[Reading Rambo's military file] Rambo, John J. Born 7-6-47 in Bowie, Arizona. Of Indian-German descent - that's a hell of a combination. Joined the army 8-6-64. Accepted special forces, specialization: light weapon, medic, helicopter and language qualified. 59 confirmed kills. Two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts. Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor. You got around, didn't you? Incredible." - Murdock
After Murdock reads the file, he fears that Rambo might "crack under the pressure of the "hell" from the upcoming mission, to which Colonel Trautman replies.
"Pressure? Let me just say that Rambo is the best combat vet I've ever seen. A pure fighting machine with only a desire - to win a war that someone else lost. And if winning means he has to die - he'll die. No fear, no regrets. And one more thing, what you choose to call hell, he calls home."
Rambo III (1988)
John Rambo, now living as a Buddhist in Southeast Asia, is approached by his former commander Colonel Trautman to help fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but John refuses. However, when he learns that Trautman's mission fails and he is now being held captive by Russian Colonel Zaysen, Rambo launches a rescue effort and allies himself with the Mujahedeen rebels to rescue his friend.
|Zaysen:||Are you insane? One man against trained commandos... Who do you think this man is? God?|
|Trautman:||No. God would have mercy. He won't.|
|Trautman:||You expect sympathy? You started this damn war, now you'll have to deal with it.|
|Zaysen:||And we will. It is just a matter of time before we achieve a complete victory.|
|Trautman:||Yeah, well, there won't be a victory. Every day, your war machines lose ground to a bunch of poorly-armed, poorly-equipped freedom fighters. The fact is that you underestimated your competition. If you'd studied your history, you'd know that these people have never given up to anyone. They'd rather die than be slaves to an invading army. You can't defeat a people like that. We tried; we already had our Vietnam! Now you're gonna have yours.|
|Zaysen:||Drop your weapons! Now! You have no chance of escape! Come forward! I wish to take you back alive! This is your last warning! The choice is yours!|
|Trautman:||What do you say John?|
|Rambo:||[loading his gun] Fuck 'em!|
Rambo 4 (2008)
In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of mercenaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers, who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit who for sport has his prisoners run through rice paddies booby-trapped with mines.
[raiding a village] "These boys are now our soldiers! They belong to me now! If you try to get them back, your whole village will burn! If you ask the Karen Rebels for help, I will cut out your tongues! If you go against me, I will feed you your intestines! Hear me, believe me, and fear me!" - Major Pa Tee Tint
|Burnett:||I was told it might be possible to rent your boat. We'd like to do that. Is that possible? We need to get upriver.|
|Rambo:||Where are you going?|
|Rambo:||Burma's a warzone.|
|Burnett:||Well, that's what people call it, but it's more like genocide than war. Anyway, this will be my fifth trip in, so we're aware of the risks.|
|Rambo:||I don't go that far north.|
|Burnett:||Let me explain our situation. Our church is part of a pan-Asian ministry, located in Colorado. We are all volunteers who, around this time of year, bring in medical supplies, medical attention, prayer books, and support to the Karen tribes people. People say you know the river better than anyone.|
|Rambo:||They ain't lying.|
|Burnett:||So what I'm asking is that we compensate you for a few hours of your time that will help change people's lives.|
|Rambo:||Are you bringing any weapons?|
|Burnett:||Of course not.|
|Rambo:||You're not changing anything.|
|Burnett:||Well, it's thinking like that that keeps the world the way it is.|
|Rambo:||[walking away] Fuck the world.|
"You know what you are... what you're made of. War is in your blood. Don't fight it. You didn't kill for your country. You killed for yourself. God's never gonna make that go away. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing." - John J. Rambo
|Rambo:||Go live your life 'cause you've got a good one.|
|Sarah:||It's what I'm trying to do.|
|Rambo:||No, what you're trying to do is change what is.|
|Sarah:||And what is?|
|Rambo:||That we're like animals! It's in the blood! It's natural! Peace? That's an accident! It's what is! When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing. When the killing stops in one place, it starts in another, but that's okay... 'cause you're killing for your country. But it ain't your country who asks you, it's a few men up top who want it. Old men start it, young men fight it, nobody wins, everybody in the middle dies... and nobody tells the truth! God's gonna make all that go away? [pause] Don't waste your life, I did. Go home.|