82 user 46 critic

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)

An officially "dead" cop is trained to become an extraordinarily unique assassin in service of the US president.



(novel), (novel) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Davenia McFadden ...
Cosie Costa ...
J.P. Romano ...
Boomer #2 (as Joel J. Kramer)
Marv Albert ...
Sports Announcer (voice)


An NYPD cop is 'killed' in an accident. The death is faked, and he is inducted into the organization CURE, dedicated to preserving the constitution by working outside of it. Remo is to become the enforcement wing (assassin) of CURE, and learns an ancient Korean martial art from Chiun, the Master of Sinanju. Based on the popular pulp series "The Destroyer," by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There is an Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not get away with it." This Commandment has a name: REMO WILLIAMS. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Remo Williams and the Secret of Sinanju  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some of the actors who auditioned for the part of Remo Williams claimed to be proficient in the martial art of Sinanju, not realizing it was a fiction derived from "The Destroyer" novels on which the movie was based. See more »


When Remo jumps through the plate glass window, the glass shatters (or there is a jump cut) a split second before he hits. See more »


Chiun: Do you know why Americans call it fast food?
[Remo shakes his head "no."]
Chiun: Because it speeds them on the way to the grave.
[Chiun laughs at his little joke. Remo doesn't laugh]
Chiun: As I feared; you have no sense of humor.
See more »


References Nanook of the North (1922) See more »


Performed by The Commodores
Written by Franne Golde, Paul Fox, Bobby Caldwell
Courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

"Historical" butchering of one of the most popular men's series...
3 November 2013 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Step in the WayBack machine, Sherman, and come with me to the 1970s. Before computers. People used to get their entertainment from something called "books" and these were sold in something called "bookstores." Also drugstores, variety stores, airports. Within the realm of books, there were two main classes. Mainstream. And speciality. Specialty did not get a lot of a attention, it was in effect, the "dirty little secret" of the industry but it was massively profitable if a title or series took off. Which brings us to the Destroyer series, originally started by Warren Murphy (in this case NOT writing with his wife, but a third party). It arrived without much fanfare and was intended for the same audience that made, for example, the Executioner series a hit. But, as Murphy himself would later reveal, he just couldn't do it, he could write it "straight." So, this tale of an American ex-cop, presumed dead, trained by the last surviving Master of Sinanju (a Korean martial arts dynasty that claimed to have originated all the martial arts, that claimed to have consistently served the greatest rulers of the world back into pre-history) was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It was at the same time a fun and manly action series, and also social satire. (For example, Chuin, the current Master, refuses to dispense his services for free, unless someone accidentally commits the sin of interfering with his greatest passion, which is watching daytime soap operas, in which case the bodies start to pile up very quickly. Considered the deadliest man alive, to him "all mankind is merely targets in motion.") The series appears to have become the bestselling "man's series" of all time. Numbers are hard to get, but we are talking tens of millions sold. The phenomenon rivalled the success of the Mickey Spillane series in the 1950s, another "dirty little secret" in publishing. The record will show that, wisely, no Hollywood producer ever tried to make a film of the Executioner series. But hubris is hubris and Dick Clark ("the" Dick Clark) ventured where angels feared to tread. It would have been hard to do for a top-flight producer like for example Sam Raimi. For these clowns it was impossible. This is a truly horrible film that captures none of the fun of the books. Audiences (ie, male audiences who recognized what was being attempted) got the message real fast and told their friends. This film verily defines the word flop. And it did not help that Clark was so taken by his own brilliance that the film was released in theatres (no kidding) with the title REMO WILLIAMS THE ADVENTURE BEGINS. No, Dick, it didn't. It ended. And deservedly so.

FOR FILM HISTORIANS: Interesting factoid, in spite of many attempts there has never been a successful film version of Mickey Spillaine's character EITHER!

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