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The Toughest Man in the World (1984)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Drama  -  7 November 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 186 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Mr. T's first starring made-for-TV movie role has him playing a tough and scowling, but softhearted, nightclub bouncer who finds himself involved with a bunch of kids after being conned into taking over a youth center.



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Title: The Toughest Man in the World (TV Movie 1984)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
John P. Navin Jr. ...
Lynne Moody ...
Joe Greco ...
Tom Milanovich ...
Wally Engelhardt ...
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Fox (as Jimmie Skaggs)
Frank Rice ...
Tina DeLeone ...
Diane Dorsey ...
Billy's Mother
JoBe Cerny ...
The Mayor's Adie


Mr. T's first starring made-for-TV movie role has him playing a tough and scowling, but softhearted, nightclub bouncer who finds himself involved with a bunch of kids after being conned into taking over a youth center.

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

7 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Toughest Man in the World  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Toughest Man in the World
Written by Laythan Armor, Patrick Henderson and Kip Saginor
Performed by Mr. T
Courtesy of Columbia Records
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User Reviews

One for Mr T fans only
4 January 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Nightclub bouncer Bruise runs a youth centre for kids in a run-down city block. When funding is revoked the centre faces closure and Bruise combines with young thief Billy to put together a plan to raise the money. With time running out Bruise prepares to enter the "Toughest Man in the World" competition with a prize of $100,000. Can he raise the money and save the underprivileged children?

Whenever the film opened with the theme song (rapped by Mr T) I thought "this is going to be bad" and indeed I was quite right. The story is quite lame, basically to save the centre they try grants, a carnival and several other ways to raise money - unsurprisingly they all fail only to have Bruise resort to entering the contest. However, as the title reveals, the competition is the focus of the film and the other plans feel like they were put in just to fill the first hour of the film. It's all quite predictable, however if you are a 2 year old I won't spoil it by telling you if he wins the contest or not.

The plot is weak and the action is laughable - all the fights are pure WCW. Mr T lumbers round as baddies line up to be thrown or clotheslined. I didn't expect anything else but did it have to be so staged looking? The script also becomes tiresome because Mr T wants to be seen as a role model - his character must take a stand on everything. In the course of 90 minutes Mr T essentially preaches against drugs, child poverty, thugs, Government bureaucracy, smoking, violence and eschews the importance of literacy, going to school, hard work and honesty etc. Any flaws his character had are used to show how he learnt from past mistakes. It feels like some scenes are set up to have Mr T preach to the camera - at some points it's like he's not even interacting with the other actors, rather he's just preaching directly to the audience.

Mr T is not a great lead (he can't act, rap, do comedy or fight convincingly) but he's not without a certain charm (although it's buried quite deep here). Navin Jr is unbelievable as Billy and looks like a classically trained child actor playing a poor ghetto criminal. Some of the support deliver their lines with such pantomime cheese that it's laughable - the official in the council offices is the worst. Some interest was raised by the site of mob-film regular Frank Vincent in a 5 second cameo but it wanes again pretty quickly.

Overall a poor TV movie set up to continue the star power of Mr T. Even for his fans there isn't much to enjoy here.

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