34 user 31 critic

The Challenge (1982)

R | | Action, Drama | 23 July 1982 (USA)
A down-and-out American boxer becomes involved in a feud between two Japanese brothers.




Cast overview, first billed only:
Donna Kei Benz ...
Atsuo Nakamura ...
Calvin Jung ...
Kiyoaki Nagai ...
Kenta Fukasaku ...
Shôgo Shimada ...
Father of Yoshida
Yoshio Inaba ...
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Old Man
Yoshida's Wife
Akio Kameda ...
Hisashi Osaka ...

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Rick, a down-and-out American boxer, is hired to transport a sword to Japan, unaware that the whole thing is a set up in a bitter blood-feud between two brothers, one who follows the traditional path of the samurai and the other a businessman. At the behest of the businessman, Rick undertakes samurai training from the other brother, but joins his cause. He also becomes romantically involved with the samurai's daughter. Written by <scrow@chop.isca.uiowa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He has trained every thought, every muscle, every nerve, for the moment of truth!


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 July 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Equals  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Scott Glenn, the original script was about a ruthless club fighter from California with no family and no real background who gets involved in bringing a sword to Japan, and through a lot of crazy adventures he winds up with a martial arts sensei. The core of the movie would have been about father and son finding each other from completely different cultures. After shooting started, Glenn became aware very quickly that all those character-driven scenes were either being cut or shortened to almost non-existence, and that he was doing a martial arts movie. Toshirô Mifune came to him and told him: "Look, this is what's happening. I'm disappointed, and I know you are, but this is what it is. So you can either have your heart broken every day, or you can use this experience as an opportunity to be spending an interesting time in Japan with me as your tour guide." Glenn accepted Mifune's offer. See more »


After Akiko disappears at the street festival, Rick runs into a guy with a walkie-talkie. As they're talking, people passing in the background look at the camera, duck, and run out of frame. See more »


Referenced in P & B (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Frankenheimer actioner with Scott Glenn
10 May 2002 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This action film from 1982 is pretty long in running time but the film is interesting and it is skillfully directed. (Sword)fighting scenes are great but not as great as in Hong Kong or Japan films.

Scott Glenn plays an American boxer who is thrown in the middle of a fight for two old swords. Two men who are enemies want the swords and Glenn has to decide on whose side he is..

This is not a classic but definitely not a bad film especially for fans of this kind of films. Action scenes and training scenes are great and Glenn is okay with his strong presence. He is great in Michael Mann's masterpiece The Keep, too.

6 out of ten and recommended to action fans only.

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