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New Escapist Column! “Rambo” and the Re-Staging of the Vietnam War…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine yesterday, looking at an aspect of American pop history that I find fascinating.

In the seventies and eighties, American pop culture seemed preoccupied with restaging the Vietnam War. While a lot of that was reflected in films like Rambo: First Blood, Part II, which sent elite combat units abroad to enact brutal vengeance and to settle accounts, one of the more interesting trends was the way in which action movies like Star Wars, Predator, Red Dawn and even Die Hard very aggressively reframed their protagonists in the style of the Viet Cong; as insurgents squaring off against tactically and numerically superior foes who were often invaders or occupiers. This dynamic was best expressed in Rambo: First Blood, which found a Vietnam veteran waging a one-man war against a local police department in the forests of Washington.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.