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The Alternate Ending and the Saigon Bar Scene

The Alternate Ending

In David Morrell's book "First Blood" John Rambo dies at the very end. Shot by a self-inflicted gunshot. This version of the ending was also in the movie. But after a failed test screening, the producers decided to let him live.

Some crew members about the alternate ending:

Sylvester Stallone: "In the original book, John Rambo did die, because he was at the point of no return. He had been so damaged by all his dramatic experienes that he incured in Vietnam, that he became non-refundable."

Director Ted Kotcheff: " Sly said to me: You can't kill Rocky! I said: It's not Rocky, it's Rambo! We had a test screening in Las Vegas with this ending and the audience was very enthusiastic, we thought immediately that we had a success on our hands. And suddenly there was a dead silence when he got killed and a voice from the audience said: If this director is in the audience, he should be strung up from the nearest lambpost!"

Richard Crenna: "That was not that sort of ending that an audience would want to see. We were so much on Rambo's side at that time that we didn't want to see him die. We want to see him successfully get on with his life."

Cinematographer Andrew Laszlo: "There were many discussions about an alternate ending. By the time we filmed the ending the movie was released with the consensus was that we had a good film on our hands, and that it would probably be successful enough to generate sequels. Because of that assumption, Rambo killing himself, or being killed by the guardsmen or the State Troopers would create difficulties with sequels. One suggestion was, I no longer remember the source, that we see a muzzle flash in the building and hear the report of a single shot. The connotations could be that Rambo killed himself, that Col.Trautman killed Rambo, or that Rambo killed Col. Trautman, or, somebody, perhaps a guardsman or a State Trooper killed Rambo."

The Alternate Ending in pictures:

Rambo stands up...
He takes Colonel Trautmans gun
Rambo says: " You know, sometimes... think you're goin' crazy

..and if I gotta die, I want you to do it...
you trained me, you made me, you'll kill me"
Rambo gives the gun in Trautman's hand:
"Do it!"

Rambo shoots himself, as Trautman hesitates..
The impact throws him back against a desk
He breaks down
The Colonel goes away without saying a word

The Saigon Bar Scene

This scene, which was cut out of the final version of "First Blood" shows Rambo in the cave where he's got a flashback.

The Webmaster: "Johnny is sitting in the cave, eating his boar. Then he is staring at his self made fire..some seconds later music sets in: it sounds like a typical 70s Rock song..we see him going in a bar called "Lucky" (diffused, red light inside)..there are a lot of his vietnam buddies hanging around. Then he picks up a vietnamese girl, they dance. Cut. They make love in some back room. After 2 minutes, the scene is over. The reason why he has this flashback may be, that he was feeling comfortable, eating the first meal since he came to Hope (the meal he didn`t get there!!), and it was warm around him. Perhaps he was thinking of better times."

The Saigon Bar Scene in pictures:

Rambo in the cave, eating the boar.
He gets a flashback, thinking of..
..a Vietnam bar with its neon lights.
70's music is playing in the background

Soldiers hugging Vietnamese girls..
A beautiful girl is looking at Rambo.
So they dance..
..and embrace...

In some back room they prepare for making love...
I think I don't need to comment on these pics ;-)

...and love...
Suddenly the dream is over and the brutal...
...reality sets in, making him to cry.