First Blood part 1: why the anger on Rambo?


Im not from the US, and one thing that I respect and even wanted my country to have is the respect the general people have for the military. Often when you meet someone in military outfit you say "thanks for your service" to me this sounds so cool and respectful. But what happens on Rambo has twisted my mind: why did the police despise Rambo so much for using an army jacket? I understand the Vietnam war is a delicated subject but personal opinions aside, the boys were sent to fight and die so... I didn't expect this unkindness towards Rambo. Anyone cares to explain a little ?

I've always felt the sheriff's issue was more with Rambo's overall appearance, which was more akin to a hobo than a soldier/veteran, and him walking by disrupting any status quo he might have on his little town.
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The responses to Vietnam, specifically, were very different than the responses to other military conflicts or military service in general.

It's also probably made a bit more over the top (which is literally the title of another Stallone film, appropriately enough) simply because that's the kind of movie it is.

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Veeeery different social views in two very different times.

At risk of reading cynical (and stepping on some potentially taboo topics?), I feel it's become politically fashionable to actively show gratitude to service-men and -women the last two decades. At least that's from my own point of view, anecdotal that it is. I feel there was a cultural shift on that front after U.S. September 11.

Vietnam, on the other hand, was external relative to the events of 2001. Less relatable to the average citizen? Not to mention all the cultural and political divides of that time, hippy associations, deserter "draft dodging" flag burners, drug abuse, freeloading homelessness and all the cliches. It's been forever since I've seen this movie but if I remember correctly, wasn't much of the initial conflict with his appearance and lack of cooperation when questioned and arrested? In vs Outgroup type stuff? "How dare you question my authori'tay!?" attitudes.

Prejudices were defined before they knew who he was, I think. And honestly, I think knowing would have only reinforced those stereotypes given his appearance and attitude. 'Yeah, druggy deserter hippy trash.... Let's beat/break 'em down to respect his place in our small community hierarchy!!'

Just opinion tho. But these are two very different times to compare.