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The Karate Kid (1984)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Family  |  22 June 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 115,912 users  
Reviews: 228 user | 78 critic

A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate and shows him that there is more to the martial art than fighting.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miyagi (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita)
Ron Thomas ...
Rob Garrison ...
Israel Juarbe ...
Juli Fields ...
Dana Andersen ...


Daniel and his mother move from New Jersey to California. She has a wonderful new job, but Daniel quickly discovers that a dark haired Italian boy with a Jersey accent doesn't fit into the blond surfer crowd. Daniel manages to talk his way out of some fights, but he is finally cornered by several who belong to the same karate school. As Daniel is passing out from the beating he sees Miyagi, the elderly gardener leaps into the fray and save him by outfighting half a dozen teenagers. Miyagi and Daniel soon find out the real motivator behind the boys' violent attitude in the form of their karate teacher. Miyagi promises to teach Daniel karate and arranges a fight at the all-valley tournament some months off. When his training begins, Daniel doesn't understand what he is being shown. Miyagi seems more interested in having Daniel paint fences and wax cars than teaching him Karate. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only the 'Old One' could teach him the secrets of the masters. See more »


Action | Drama | Family | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Karate Kid  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$90,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charlie Sheen turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso. See more »


At the end of the movie, as Daniel is advancing through the tournament, the logo on the back of his robe appears on the card his name is on, even though they had no advanced knowledge of the logo. However, Mr. Miyagi (or even possibly Ali) could have brought a copy of it for the tournament staff to use. See more »


Tommy: Must be take a worm for a walk week.
See more »


Referenced in Green Street Hooligans (2005) See more »


Music by Bill Conti
Lyrics by Allee Willis
Produced by Bill Conti
Performed by Joe Esposito
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A classic story of good vs. evil
22 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Karate Kid is a wonderful film that tells the classic story of good vs. evil. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) is obviously the good, along with Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). The bad is the dojo of the Cobra Kai, led by the dangerous Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). The feud between Lawrence and LaRusso is well-scripted and executed, as is the feud between Miyagi and Cobra Kai Sensei, Kreese.

This is the definitely the best film out of the four Karate Kid movies. I grew up as a really big fan of these fans and I'm glad they finally released the DVD set. I've searched the internet looking for good articles about the films and there's a very funny article by humorist Rob Bloom about Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso on Rob Bloom's website.

These movies are very entertaining (even #4) and definitely are required viewing for anybody who believes that the underdog can win in the end.

38 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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