First Blood (12/28, 9:20pm)

Since the fall of 1982, there’s only been one perennial Christmas movie that altogether has a tremendous amount of heart, never fails to deeply affect its audience — and also happens to have more than its fair share of deadly combat. In honor of its 30th anniversary, Cinefamily is ecstatic to present a special one-week run of First Blood! Delivering what’s easily his career-best, post-Rocky performance (both physically and emotionally), Sylvester Stallone is Vietnam vet/lone drifter John Rambo, who, after being unnecessarily harassed and run out of a small logging town during the holiday season, unleashes upon the local constabulary the kind of sweet ‘n lethal retribution usually reserved for teeming Charlie hordes. This epic slice of monumental filmmaking, featuring superbly deft direction by Ted Kotcheff (Wake In Fright), singlehandedly revamped the American action film landscape with its groundbreaking mix of deep social commentary and creatively brutal ass-kicking —- and inspired a literal thousand imitators, none of which (not even its own bloodthirsty sequels) match its efficient prowess. You’ll cheer, you’ll get misty-eyed, and you’ll have the time of your damned life seeing this stone-cold classic on the Cinefamily big screen.
Dir. Ted Kotcheff, 1982, 35mm, 97 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “First Blood”!