Four Action Movies Every American Needs to See

Never mind the great stories they tell — the great actors who starred displayed rugged individualism and unrelenting courage

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2.) “First Blood,” 1982. “I don’t want our active-duty folks deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan and [then coming] home to a nation that treated them the way our Vietnam veterans were treated,” actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise told “The World Over” host and managing editor Raymond Arroyo in a recent interview.

That treatment of Vietnam veterans is the centerpiece of “First Blood,” one of Sylvester Stallone’s breakout roles as John Rambo. A vet returning home from the war runs into a cop with a chip on his shoulder (played by Brian Dennehy) — and from there things escalate. Rambo soon has an all-out war with local law enforcement.

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It’s partly a fantasy, of course, but the action action had purpose and a completely believable character in Rambo. It was one of the definitive action movies of the ’80s, and one with plenty to say about the way Vietnam veterans were treated after they’d sacrificed so much; many of them needed help and got none.

Related: Five Sequels You Never Knew Existed

Beyond its cultural mission, the film is also wholly original and it was why Stallone was in such demand afterward. Though the sequels got a little ridiculous, Stallone still gets asked today about future Rambo projects and for good reason. Few films made the impact, especially in Middle America, that “First Blood” did. (go to page 3 to continue reading) [lz_pagination]

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