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The Rambo Report: Sly Takes Aim . . .

Listen up, John Rambo: The U.S. Army wants YOU!

Or maybe not. . . .

The ad agency that represents the U.S. Army made inquiries of IVE video company about possible “sponsorship” of the “Rambo III” vid, due on shelves about eight months after the film’s May 25 release. But, stressed an IVE spokesman, it was just an inquiry: “They asked us what it would cost to put an Army plug on the tape, we told them, and we haven’t heard back.”

And probably won’t--a U.S. Army Public Information spokeswoman dubbed the feeler premature: “We don’t particularly like the Rambo image. He’s not the kind of soldier we’re looking for.”

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Maybe not in today’s Army. But back in ’85, recalls a rep for Carolco Pictures, the Army wanted Rambo as a poster boy (“They wanted to use a John-Rambo-Wants-YOU! approach”). Carolco said no, but did send lots of “Rambo II” posters to recruitment offices across the country. The Army spokeswoman confirmed that those “Rambo” posters wound up on recruitment office walls--but the Army later ciruclated a memo requesting they be removed.

Added the Army gal: “We’re looking for intelligent, well-adjusted soldiers. Rambo doesn’t fit that image.”

Speaking of which, the “Rambo III” creative team is now mulling two different endings. One finds Our Hero riding off in a Jeep with his mentor Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) after helping Afghan freedom fighters battle invading Russkies, stressing the buddy angle and making Rambo appear less a renegade.

Ah, but that other ending: Sly exits the Jeep, mounts his steed and--are you ready?--rides off into the sunset, with the freedom fighters.

Tidbit: Nearing the completion of filming, Sly decided he wanted to show an arrow--fired from the deadly Rambo crossbow--coming straight toward the camera. So he stood more than 100 yards away and took aim.

Too perfect a shot: His arrow hit the lens dead center.

One crew member estimated the cost of the lens to be about . . . $250,000.


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