10. First Blood
The Actual Ending
Just as John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) plans to murder the villainous Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy), Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) appears and, after a lengthy and emotional chat, manages to convince Rambo to turn himself in rather than be shot dead by the police.
The iconic final scene then sees Rambo being taken into custody for his violent rampage, leaving the door open for the glut of braindead sequels that followed.
The One We Almost Got
Much like the source novel, the film originally ended with Rambo's death. An exhausted Rambo tries to convince Trautman to kill him rather than allow him to go to jail, and when Trautman hesitates, Rambo grabs his gun and shoots himself in the stomach. The end.
Unsurprisingly, test audiences loathed this ending, so Stallone went back and conceived a slightly less depressing one.
Why It Would've Been Better
Though the theatrical ending is still very good in its own way, there's a greater sense of realism to the bleaker original ending, which also serves as a far more startling commentary on how society treats war vets when they return home.
Furthermore, Rambo's death would've prevented the (mostly) terrible array of shoot 'em up sequels.