It’s been a symbol of toughness and tourism for a small British Columbian town for generations.
On Monday, the famous “Rambo Bridge” comes tumbling down because it’s too rickety and dirty by today’s environmental standards.
The iconic film, First Blood, put the town of Hope, B.C., on the movie-making map, with its steep mountains, lush forests and the rambling bridge used as the back drop to lots of fights and explosions.
“We tried to save it, but because the bridge is made of creosote-soaked timbers, there are some environmental concerns,” said Inge Wilson, manager of the Hope Visitor Centre and Museum Complex. “We had a big send-off to say goodbye, so fans of First Blood could take one last picture.” In the 1982 film, John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, is a Vietnam War veteran and Green Beret.
Rambo wanders into the small town looking for a hot meal and a place to sleep ¬ that’s when crooked Sheriff Will Teasle, played by Brian Dennehy, drives him over the bridge, out of town and tells him to beat it. Rambo doesn’t take that and walks back across the bridge, where he is arrested. Mayhem ensues.
Today, Hope gets 1,000 people per year visiting the famous Rambo sites, including the doomed 1950s-era bridge. Tourism advocates hope federal Heritage Minister James Moore, from B.C., could help get the structure rebuilt so visitors can continue to make the pilgrimage.
“We would like to have it reconstructed as close to the current bridge as possible, we haven’t given up on that,” Wilson said. “We’d like to drop a bug in his ear because we could really use a hand here!” Moore could not be reached for comment.