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Will Teasle

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"You know, wearing that flag on that jacket, looking the way you do, you're asking for trouble around here, friend."
―Will Teasle to John Rambo
Sheriff Will Teasle

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Full Name
Wilfred Teasle (novel)
William Wright Teasle (films)
Weapon of Choice
Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver, HK93 rifle, AR-15 SP1 rifle
Appeared in
Occupation
Town Sheriff
Goals
Keep Hope, Washington respectable, kill John Rambo
Motive
Revenge, justice
Hair Color
Grey
Gender
Male
Portrayed by
Fate
Unknown. Presumed either crippled, wounded or dead. Assuming he is alive, his reputation would be ruined and he would likely retire on disability from the police force and move away in disgrace.


Will Teasle is the sheriff of Hope, Washington and main antagonist of First Blood. He is best described as a redneck and a control freak that is willing to abuse his power under what he believes is "The Law" to keep people he judges to be undesirable out of his town. Although he is the film's main antagonist and shows no remorse for his heartless actions, he is far more civilized than his old friend, Art Galt, who is the only individual to perish in the film.

In another sense of irony in the film, a scene in Teasle's office shows he owns a shadow box with medals, which means he is a veteran as well. It is unknown why Teasle would show such bias towards Rambo, although one explanation could be that it is likely Teasle's original view of veterans was not that of unemployed scruffy men like Rambo, but rather that of clean-cut men returning home from the Korean War and who immediately got jobs, which had contributed to the 1950s, one of the most vibrant economic times in American history.

BiographyEdit

Early LifeEdit

According to the Survival Mode on the First Blood DVD, William Wright Teasle was born on March 31, 1930 in Walla Walla, Washington. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Walla Walla in 1948. He then went on to attend Wenatchee Community College, graduating in 1950 with an associate's degree in criminal justice. Teasle is married to an unnamed wife, but has no children. It was mentioned on Teasle's medical record that he was treated for chronic fatigue in 1978. Teasle had many affiliations in the Hope area and was a beloved member of the community, as shown in the film when he seemed to know everyone who walked past. Teasle at one point won the Hope Little League Coach of the Year award, as well as the Kiwanis Service Award in 1968, a Hope community service award in 1973 and a Mayor's Circle award in 1978. He was a member of the local Hope Kiwanis and Elks Clubs, the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Rifle Association. Teasle had no criminal record prior to the events of First Blood. Teasle was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 and saw combat at the Chosin Reservoir that same year. Teasle would go onto do many more combat missions. He trained extensively for night patrol in Korea and went on to win the Distinguished Service Cross for conspicuous and valiant leadership. Upon returning from Korea, Teasle served on the Ketchum, Idaho police force as a patrol sergeant from 1956 to 1964. He then returned to his home state, Washington, and became a detective in Wenatchee, where he graduated from college. He did this from 1965 to 1972, when he transferred to the Liggett County Sheriff's Department, where he remained until the events of First Blood. Teasle was elected Sheriff in 1976 and was in the process of serving his second term as Sheriff during the events of First Blood. Teasle would have been up for re-election in 1984, two years after the events of First Blood

NovelEdit

The Will Teasle of the novel is far different than the adaptation of Teasle in the film. In the novel, Teasle and Rambo are equals. Teasle himself served during the Korean War, which has largely been forgotten and overshadowed by veterans of other wars, and he isn't really as much of a villain in the book as he is in the film. Also, his wife, Anna, left him, which only contributes to his angst. In the film he isn't necessarily a bad guy, just a paranoid sheriff who wants to keep undesirables out of his town and avenge the death of his friend, Art Galt. But he is still a pretty despicable character who victimizes Rambo despite the fact that he did nothing to deserve it. The book also helps to explain why Teasle has a bias against Rambo in the first place: because he is not just a drifter making his town look bad; but also a Vietnam veteran, which being more recent in American history has had more attention than Korea. Teasle's ultimate anger, however, was against veterans of the Second World War, as they ultimately defeated their designated enemies; the Japanese, the Germans and the Italians, whilst Korea's fighting was suspended in a stalemate with the Korean Pensinula divided amonst the North and South Koreans. In addition, World War Two veterans were treated well by a civilian population who fully understood the Axis threat and had worked hard to supply and support their war effort, whilst this same population later had little understanding of Korea, hence the name "Forgotten War".

David Morrell has stated that the key to his novel working is the way scenes alternated between Rambo’s and Teasle’s viewpoints so that the reader doesn’t know who to cheer for. Also, in the book Rambo really was as much to blame as Teasle was, because he was angry and looking for a fight. Rambo in the film is a more reasonable man who doesn't want any trouble, just some lunch. All in all, in the novel both Rambo and Teasle are technically the villains, as Rambo is a psychotic while Teasle is confused on what he wants exactly. In the film, he has less screen time than Rambo, and therefore, less development. Teasle also succumbs to his wounds inflicted by Rambo and dies.

In the book, Teasle isn't Sheriff of Hope, Washington, but the Chief of Police of Madison, Kentucky and his name is Wilfred Teasle. In the movie, he carries a standard-issue law enforcement Smith & Wesson Model 66 stainless steel service revolver, chambered in .357 Magnum. In the book, however, he is said to carry a Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol, chambered in 9 millimeter. He is described as a smaller man, around 5'7 in height and average weight, whereas in the film he is a much more physically imposing man, at 6'3 and probably about 250 pounds.

First BloodEdit

Firstblood3

The overzealous, abusive, and arrogant sheriff is first seen spotting drifter John Rambo, and seeing his ungroomed appearance, assumes him as a hippie, and offers to give him a ride. Rambo, at first, thinks Sheriff Teasle is being courteous to a man on a cold December morning, so he accepts the ride. Rambo asks Teasle if he knows of any eating establishments in order to buy a meal, and Teasle tells Rambo of a Howard Johnson's 30 miles down the highway. Rambo, perplexed by that response, is surprised that no one in Hope would be in the restaraunt business. Teasle's true colors now show in which he tells Rambo that because he is scruffy and long-haired, he is not wanted in the town of Hope. Also, Rambo is warned by Teasle that wearing an army surplus jacket is an additional "black mark" against his demeanor, as that is associated with unemployed veterans or guys who scream nonstop about communist subversion in America. Teasle escorts Rambo to the city limits and orders Rambo out of the car. However, Rambo, thinking he has done no wrong and thinking such banishment to be a violation of his right to travel, does an about face at the border and proceeds back into Hope.

Teasle's chief deputy and old friend, Art Galt, books John Rambo and begins beating him up. Teasle knows about the abuse and, though he does not partake, does not do anything to stop it. Rambo is hosed down with a high-pressure fire hose and beaten with a nightstick, but before he can be dry shaven, Rambo has flashbacks to his traumatic days when he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Rambo snaps and fights his way out of the police station, fleeing into the mountains.

A big hunt starts and Art Galt flies after Rambo in a helicopter, attempting to shoot Rambo in cold blood. Rambo is shot at repeatedly with a rifle, and Rambo is forced to hurl a large rock at the chopper so he doesn't die. Because Galt wasn't wearing his seatbelt, he falls to his death and Teasle vows to avenge his friend. He goes into the woods with a team of heavily armed deputies, but Rambo uses his green beret skills to improvise weaponry and use his survival knife to wound the soldiers. He sneaks up on Teasle and tells him to "let it go", but Teasle's anger seems to only be fueled by this, and he vows to kill Rambo. Colonel Sam Trautman, Rambo's former commander, arrives in town from Washington D.C. and reveals that Rambo wasn't really a hippie, but was actually a homeless veteran that was sleeping in the woods because America hated veterans so much.

Cap075

Brian Dennehy as Teasle in First Blood.

Trautman suggests letting Rambo go so nobody else gets hurt, but Teasle refuses. Rambo finally escapes a rocket blast by crawling through an old mine, hijacks a National Guard truck, and drives through a police blockade back to town. Meanwhile, Teasle believes Rambo is dead and is thanked by the town for "killing him". Rambo takes an M60 heavy machine gun from the back of the truck and blows up the town's gas station and a gun store. Rambo also knocks the power out to the town and begins destroying main street with machine gun bullets.

Teasle gets to the roof of the destroyed police station and attempts to kill Rambo, but then Rambo shoots repeatedly through the roof and a wounded Teasle painfully falls through a glass skylight. A bitter Teasle eggs Rambo on to kill him, only to be stopped by Trautman. A likely injured Teasle is last seen being taken to the hospital with Rambo´s and Trautman´s look of scorn in their faces. 

FateEdit

Teasle is last seen briefly being loaded into an ambulance. Although he is not moving, it can safely be assumed he is alive at this point because he has an I.V. and the paramedics treat him like a patient, not a corpse. But he is not seen after this. His life (that is, assuming he didn't succumb at the hospital to the injuries resulting from Rambo leaving him riddled with .308-caliber bullets) after the events of First Blood is largely unknown, but there are many different theories. Supposing that he did recover, he most likely received a disability retirement, possibly even crippled after the events of the film. Teasle was also likely forced to move away in disgrace for the unjust treatment of Rambo, the bad behavior of his deputies and for his willingness of turning the entire matter into a local war that ruined the town just for the purpose of killing Rambo out of vengeance for Galt's death. He could even be investigated and charged by the D.A. or the Department of Internal Affairs for police brutality and recklessness in dealing with Rambo, leading to the costly destruction of much of Hope, Washington; a town he was sworn to protect. It is also unknown as to how Teasle felt after the events of First Blood, supposing he lived at all. Some feel that his feelings of sorrow and anger at failing to kill Rambo would carry over into his later life, or maybe he would mellow out and regret the decisions he made. 

Teasle's ultimate fate in the film, although he died in the novel, has never been officially confirmed, and is up to speculation. 

QuotesEdit

Hope Sheriff's department

Teasle as he is seen in the video game (makes you wonder if the game makers even watched the movie!)

  • "First of all, you don't ask the questions around here. I do. Understand? Second, we don't want guys like you in this town, drifters. Next thing we know, we got a whole bunch of guys like you in this town. That's why. Besides, you wouldn't like it here anyway. It's just a quiet little town. In fact, you might say it's boring. But that's the way we like it. And I get paid to keep it that way."
  • "Dammit, Dave, you think this kid just waltzed into town, announced he was a Medal Of Honor winner, and then I just leaned on him for the hell of it? I tried to do him a favor, I treated him like he was one of my neighbor's kids. I did my job, Dave, I booked him for vagrancy and resisting arrest."
  • "Why don't you go out there and take a look at what's left of my men? You'll see how motivated I am, Dave, and if that doesn't do it for you why don't you go have a talk with Art Galt's widow?"
  • "I'm warning you boy, don't make a move or I'll blow your head off!"
  • (After being told by Trautman that Rambo will kill him) "Everybody dies".
  • "It doesn't make one goddamn bit of difference, Dave, and you know it! If one of my deputies... gets out of line with a prisoner then the prisoner comes to me with it. And if I find out it's like he says I kick the deputy's ass! *Me*! The *Law*! People start fucking around with the law then all hell breaks loose! Whatever possessed God in heaven to make a man like Rambo?"
  • "Well, we all appreciate your concern Colonel, I will try to be extra careful!"
  • "Now don't give me any of that crap Trautman. Do you think Rambo was the only guy who had a tough time in Vietnam? He killed a police officer for Christ's sake!"
  • "Goddammit, what the hell do you think this is? Some kind of a circus?"
  • "If you want some friendly advice, get a haircut and take a bath. You wouldn't get hassled so much."
  • "You know, we're just a small, hick-town sheriff's department colonel, but we're expected to do our duty just like our heroes in the Special Forces."
  • (After being told that he picked the wrong man to push) "No, Trautman. HE picked the wrong man!"

TriviaEdit

  • In the novel, Teasle is proven to have been in the Korean War, as he is said to have served at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The novel explains that Teasle hates Vietnam veterans for upstaging the sacrifices the forgotten Korean War veterans like himself made, and for how Vietnam veterans are usually unemployed and scruffy. The film never states Teasle's backstory explicitly, but it strongly hints at it by showing Korean war medals in Teasle's office, so you can argue that a similar backstory applies to Teasle in the film. The Survial Mode of the First Blood Ultimate Edition DVD release does confirm that he has a very similar backstory to that of the novel even serving at the Chosin Reservoir and seeing combat there. 
  • Teasle is the only lead antagonist in the entire Rambo film series that does not smoke, although in the novel he does.
  • Teasle is also the only lead antagonist not to be shown dying, although his fate is largely left unknown after the events of the film, making him also the only Rambo villain to not have a definite fate.
  • Only chief antagonist in the film not to be associated with a military unit, although being a sheriff is somewhat close as both military and police use firearms. Also the fact Teasle is a Korean War vet. 
  • Only main antagonist to not be a ruthless killer with mental illness. 
  • Due to actually caring for the welfare of his townspeople and his deputies, he is the only main antagonist to not be a complete sociopath. 
  • Only main antagonist to be hinted to be a tragic villain, which the novel makes it clear he was. 
  • Obsessed with getting revenge on Rambo, to the point where he didn't care if he died in the process. This was a characteristic that would later be applied to Colonel Zaysen
  • Teasle's physical potbellied appearance, aggressive characterization and his position as a policeman is akin to that of Batman comic character Harvey Bullock. Like Teasle for detesting Rambo for being a Vietnam vet and a drifter to arrest him for, Bullock detested Batman for being a vigilante and wants to arrest him for it. However, unlike Teasle who only had one appearance, Bullock in later appearances eventually got over it and later on became an ally of sorts for the Dark Knight. 

GalleryEdit

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