Rambo III is a 1988 film directed by Peter MacDonald. The original director Russell Mulcahy was replaced after two weeks of filming MacDonald due to creative differences. The film depicts fictional events during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It is the third film in the Rambo series following First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II. It was in turn followed by Rambo in 2008, making it the last film in the series to feature Richard Crenna as Colonel Sam Trautman before his death in 2003.

In Rambo III, the character Masoud, played by Spiros Focás, is a reference to Ahmad Shah Masoud. He was the real life leader of the Afghani resistance against the Russian occupation. After the Russian occupation ended he became the Defence Minister of Afghanistan and later a leader of the resistance against the Taliban regime.

The film was mainly shot in Thailand and Israel. The Afghan market scene was a decorated set in Peshawar, Pakistan, where the scene took place. The film was nearing completion when they were forced to leave Israel and filmed the ending scenes at the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in Arizona, USA.

For the UK theatrical release of Rambo III, 65 seconds were cut and some later video releases almost tripled the amount of cuts. The original video release had in the end credits: “Dedicated to the brave Mujaheddin fighters”, this was later changed to “Dedicated to the gallant people of Afghanistan.”

At the time of release Rambo III was credited with being the most violent film ever made. It had 221 acts of violence, at least 70 explosions, and over 108 characters killed on-screen. However, the body count of the fourth film in the series, Rambo 4, easily surpassed the kill count, with 236 kills.

The film, although a box office success, was panned by critics and often viewed as a disappointment. Rambo III opened in the US on 25th May 1988 and grossed $53,715,611 in box office taking. Internationally it grossed $135,300,000, giving the film total box office receipts of $189,015,611.

At the time of its release, Rambo III was the most expensive film ever made, with a $63 million budget.


John Rambo’s former Vietnam superior, Colonel Samuel Trautman, has been assigned to lead a mission to help the Mujahideen rebels who are fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the Buddhist Rambo turns down Trautman’s request that Rambo help out. When the mission goes belly up and Trautman is kidnapped and tortured by Russian Colonel Zaysen, Rambo launches a rescue effort and allies himself with the Mujahedeen rebels and gets their help in trying to rescue Trautman from Zaysen.

Rambo III US One Sheet Poster


Rambo III
Year of Film
Peter MacDonald
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Thriller | War
Box Office
Budget: $63,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $16,745,418 (USA) 
Gross: $189,015,611 (Worldwide)


Type of Poster
One Sheet
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Size (Inches)
41″ x 27″
NSS # / Printer Markings
The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it’s to save his friend.

Poster Collector

Simon, is a movie poster warrior who collects far too much. He also writes posts, articles, and guides for The Poster Collector. He also fancies himself a bit of a sports star in his hometown and spends too much time researching and finding new movie posters to acquire. If he’s not typing away at his keyboard or searching auctions, you can probably find him watching James Bond or Star Wars (or both).

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