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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 113,892 users  
Reviews: 228 user | 77 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He taught him the secret to Karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the hands. 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?


According to William Zabka, the character he portrays, Johnny, a big bully, still irks many people to this day, many people have tried starting fights and showing him he isn't so tough, to the point he has to convince them that role was specifically written for this movie. See more »


In the beginning scene when Daniel and his mother are driving away down the street, they are said to be leaving Newark NJ. However that street is actually in Harrison NJ and is also a "one way" street going the opposite way. Harrison is a neighboring town. See more »


Daniel: [throwing his bicycle into a dumpster after being beaten up] This damn bike! I hate this bike. I hate this frickin' bike! Stupid bike.
Lucille Larusso: Daniel! What's the matter? Why did you throw your bike away?
Daniel: Because I felt like it.
Lucille Larusso: Please look at me when I'm talking to you.
[sees Daniel's bruised face]
Lucille Larusso: Oh my god!
Daniel: Mom.
Lucille Larusso: Can you tell me what's going on and don't tell me about another bike accident?
Daniel: What do you want to hear mom?
Lucille Larusso: I want to hear the truth!
See more »


Referenced in Club Dread (2004) See more »


Music by Bill Conti
Lyrics by Dennis Lambert and Peter Beckett
Produced by Ron Nevison
Performed by Survivor
Courtesy of CBS Records/Scotti Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wax on...Wax the best movie ever!
31 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a classic coming of age story. A story about a boy who has to face his fears, girls, and moving to a new environment. Daniel, who is a big up stater, clashes with the rich people of the Cali high life and learns that not all people are who they seem. The Kobra Cai, as they are called in the film, bully Daniel and Daniel just seems like he has no choice but to take revenge. So he learns the next best thing--KARATE. Even though he has no idea what hes doing. He goes with the flow. Mr. Mayagi teaches him respect, discipline, and anyone can over come their fears. This is one of the best films of the 80's. It even has classic names of the 80's, like Johnny, Daniel, Tommy, and my favorite, Bobby. So if you don't have anything better to do, then check out Karate Kid. You might even learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

76 of 104 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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