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The Karate Kid (1984)

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A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.


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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

Plot Keywords:

karate | bully | teenager | master | fight | See All (131) »


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
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Did You Know?


The Swedish liberal party Folkpartiet referred to this film in their campaign during the 2010 elections: they proposed a mentoring program for young and new employees. One of their posters read: No Daniel-san without Mr. Miyagi". See more »


When Johnny and his friends arrive at the beach on their dirt bikes and stop at the top of the hill you can see Dutch's helmet fall off the back of his bike and roll on the ground. See more »


Miyagi: Your friend, all karate student, eh?
Daniel: Friend? Oh, yeah, those guys.
Miyagi: Problem: attitude.
Daniel: No the problem is, I'm getting my ass kicked every other day, that's the problem.
Miyagi: Hai, because boys have bad attitude. Karate for defense only.
Daniel: That's not what these guys are taught.
Miyagi: Hai - can see. No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher say, student do.
Daniel: Oh, great, that solves everything for me. I'll just go down to the school and straighten it out with the teacher, no problem.
Miyagi: Now use head for...
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Referenced in The Goldbergs: Shopping (2013) See more »


Young Hearts
Written by Dave Merenda (as David Merenda)
Produced by Dave Merenda (as David Merenda) and Brooks Arthur
Performed by Commuter
Courtesy of Chrysalis Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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