Three years ago, the 24 days leading up to Christmas, Strangers and Aliens presented 24 Christmas movies that aren’t Christmas movies, but really kind of are, for various reasons. And now, we’re doing it again! Here’s 24 more Christmas movies that are set around Christmas or use Christmas to set tone or set up a theme . . . but weren’t made to be Christmas movies . . .
#28 — First Blood
What it’s supposed to be: John Rambo’s first cinematic outing, the now classic tale of a Vietnam vet who, as he walks into a town with an angry jerk of a sheriff, finds himself pushed to his limits. Welcome back to the list, Sylvester!
Why it’s a Christmas movie: It never gets named, but this movie makes it evident that it happens at Christmas time. There are Christmas decorations in various locations in the buildings of the town of Hope, where John Rambo makes his unfortunate entrance. It’s not just decor that makes this a Christmas movie, it’s overall theming.
Thoughts: Hope. That’s the name of the town where Rambo wanders in after learning his friend has died from exposure to Agent Orange in ‘Nam. He does not find hope. He finds abuse. He finds pain. He finds discrimination. He finds hate. And things escalate. As he fights back, defending himself, things get worse and worse. No one backs down. And everything leads up to the explosive conclusion. Unlike the sequels it spawned, this is less an action movie and more a social commentary.
Some weak connections could absolutely be made here. The director and set designer included Christmas decorations for a reason. Is it to draw parallels to Mary and Joseph, who also walked into a town and were not welcome? Is it to drive home the idea that John Rambo was a man, a soldier, a savior who was not accepted by his own people? Is it just for irony, the town being named Hope and being destroyed utterly for Christmas? Maybe none of the above, maybe all of the above.
Is It Naughty or Nice? An effective film, this is a classic for a reason. While the sequels may actually be counter to the “message” of this one, First Blood has a message to go along with the action.
Santa Ben’s Verdict:
Your verdict? Let me know below in the comments!
Next: The Sword in the Stone
Previous: The Princess Bride
You can follow this series of posts by clicking here: Strange Christmas Movies
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