The Story of Rambo Knives: From Cinematic Idea to Worldwide Fame

The Story of Rambo Knives: From Cinematic Idea to Worldwide Fame

The Story of Rambo Knives

Rambo Knives

Explore the evolution of the legendary Rambo knives, from their cinematic origin with Sylvester Stallone to cult objects among collectors. Discover how these knives revolutionized the world of cutlery and cinema.

In 1968, David Morrell, then a university student, began writing the novel "First Blood," which would be published four years later, in 1972. This literary work would mark the beginning of a new era in the world of action cinema. In 1980, Carolco Pictures, struck by the novel's narrative power, decided to turn it into a film, entrusting Sylvester Stallone, already famous for his role in "Rocky," to play the main character, John Rambo.

The name "Rambo" curiously originates from the Rambo apples of Pennsylvania. David Morrell shared an interesting anecdote about the origin of his famous character's name, John Rambo. It all started when Morrell randomly came across a variety of apples called Rambo during a visit to Pennsylvania. This particular apple owes its name to Peter Gunnarsson Rambo, a pioneer who discovered a particular strain of apple seeds. These seeds were later cultivated in various areas, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and the name of the apple spread, taking inspiration from the families that favored its cultivation. When Morrell first heard the name "Rambo," he was struck by the sound that evoked a certain strength and determination. This impression deeply inspired him, so much so that he decided to use "Rambo" as the name for the protagonist of his novel.

Stallone not only acted but also actively contributed to the film's screenplay. Unlike the book's character, who did not possess a knife and had a tragic fate, the cinematic Rambo distinguished himself by owning an imposing survival knife, which soon became an icon in its own right, contributing to creating a following for the character in the sequels.


Cinematic Success

Rambo Knives

The film "First Blood" was a resounding success, generating three sequels: "Rambo: First Blood Part II" in 1985, "Rambo III" in 1988, both with screenplays by Stallone, and "Rambo" in 2008, written and directed by Stallone himself. David Morrell wrote novels based on the films for the sequels "Rambo II" and "Rambo III".

In each film, the character of John Rambo was distinguished by his faithful knife, custom-made for each film. These knives have had a significant impact in the world of knife enthusiasts and collectors.


The Origin of Rambo Knives


Stallone's Enthusiasm for Knives

Sylvester Stallone, known for his passion for custom knives, relied on the skills of two famous knifemakers, Jimmy Lile and Gil Hibben, for the creation of the film's knives. The collaboration between Stallone and the knifemakers was intense and detailed, with numerous exchanges of designs and prototypes until the perfect knife was defined for the film and the character of Rambo.


First Blood - 1980: The Creation of the Knife

Rambo Knives

For "First Blood," it was Jimmy Lile, a renowned Arkansas knifemaker, who received the commission to make the knife. Lile, active in the industry since 1970, was considered one of the best knifemakers globally. The knife designed for the film incorporated innovative features for a survival situation, including saw teeth, screwdrivers integrated into the guard, a hollow handle with a compass, and space for survival equipment. Lile produced 100 numbered copies of the original "First Blood" knife, which became highly valuable objects for collectors.


Rambo II and III: The "Mission" Knives"

Rambo Knives

The sequel "Rambo: First Blood Part II," also known as the "Mission Knife," is a piece that left a mark in the world of cinematic cutlery. This knife, a product of Jimmy Lile's talent, stands out for its larger and more aggressive design compared to its predecessor. The blade, with its pronounced saw, evokes a sense of robustness and resilience, characteristics that align well with Rambo's character in the film.

This knife is not just a tool of the protagonist but has become a true symbol, so much so that Jimmy Lile produced 100 numbered copies, which became highly valuable objects for collectors.

Rambo Knives

With "Rambo III," the change in the knife's design is palpable. Here, Sylvester Stallone collaborates with Gil Hibben, another respected name in the world of knives. Hibben brought a new vision to the knife's design for "Rambo III," opting for an impressive Bowie blade, large and imposing.

This blade, with its angled stainless steel guard and handle designed for a solid grip, reflects the escalation of intensity and action in the third film of the saga. The "Rambo III" knife is not just an accessory but a powerful symbol that represents the strength and determination of the character.





Rambo IV - "Rambo": The Evolution of Design

Rambo Knives

In 2008, for the film "Rambo," Gil Hibben was again tasked with creating the knife. Hibben presented several prototypes before defining the final design, a knife with a paracord-wrapped handle and a rougher, more "brutal" appearance, in line with the evolution of Rambo's character.



Rambo Returns to Action: A Journey Through the Evolution of Survival Knives


Rambo Knives

The Return of Rambo: From "First Blood" to "Last Blood"

When "First Blood" was released in 1982, no one could have imagined that, after 36 years and four sequels, John Rambo would return with "Last Blood." In this latest chapter, Rambo faces a Mexican cartel to save a young woman. For "Last Blood," Stallone entrusted the knife designs to Dietmar Pohl, a German veteran in the knife industry.

Dietmar Pohl and His Experience in the World of Knives

With over 25 years of experience, Pohl has contributed to numerous knife designs, including the Boker Speedlock/Toplock and Kalashnikov series. In 2007 he founded Pohl Force, specializing in combat knives.


Rambo Knives

From Start to Completion: The Creative Process of Dietmar Pohl

Pohl, inspired by the film "First Blood," collaborated with Stallone for "Last Blood," bringing his dream to fruition. Stallone wanted tactical knives with technical elements, and Pohl created both the tactical subhilt fighter (MK-9) and the Bowie (MK-8) for the film.

From Knives to Fans: The Collectible Versions

For fans, collectible versions of the MK-8 and MK-9 knives were produced, with leather cases provided by Galco Gunleather.


Official Reproductions of Rambo Knives

Official Reproductions: A Connection with Cinema

Rambo coltelli

In the world of official Rambo knife reproductions, two names stand out for their importance: United Cutlery and Hollywood Collectibles Group. These companies have played a fundamental role in creating collectible knives that faithfully reproduce those used in the Rambo films.

Hollywood Collectibles Group and Its Passion for Detail

Hollywood Collectibles Group, which currently holds the rights to produce the knives from Rambo I, Rambo II, Rambo III, has gained significant notoriety for the quality and authenticity of its reproductions.

These knives are not just collectible items but true tributes to the Rambo film saga.

Coltelleria Collini of Busto Arsizio is the official retailer of the official reproductions of the Rambo knives produced by Hollywood Collectibles Group.

coltelleria collini busto arsizio
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