Gung Ho (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  14 March 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 8,870 users   Metascore: 48/100
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When a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liason must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Sakamoto (as Soh Yamamura)
Jihmi Kennedy ...
Heather DiStefano
Rodney Kageyama ...
Mayor Conrad Zwart
Umeki Kazihiro (as Patti Yasuiake)
Jerry Tondo ...


Hunt Stevenson works for a large car manufacturer that has just been bought out by a Japanese firm. Suddenly finding himself having to justify his own job, he's forced to choose between redundancy or the seemingly inhuman Japanese work ethic that the new owners have brought with them. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When East meets West, the laughs shift into high gear!


Comedy | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fábrica das Loucuras  »

Box Office


$36,611,610 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A number of the actors from this movie went on to work on the Gung Ho (1986) television series. These included Sab Shimono, Patti Yasutake, Rodney Kageyama, Clint Howard and Gedde Watanabe. See more »


When Hunt Stevenson meets the Japanese managers for the first time, they hand their business cards over with one hand. Japanese business protocol requires formally presenting business cards, holding them with both hands. See more »


Kazihiro: Last night I told off my boss.
Hunt Stevenson: Good for you. Was he awake?
See more »


Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »


Written and Produced by Jonathan Cain
Performed by Jimmy Barnes
Additional remix by Bob Clearmountain
Courtesy of Geffen Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and Mushroom Records Pty. Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Cultural Clashes
9 April 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

With no laughs but with important messages, "Gung Ho" manages to be a reflexive entertainment about the cultural and economical clashes of two nations when they join forces to rise from the ashes an automobile factory that can be the only hope of saving a town. Michael Keaton plays an American executive who gets the job of rescuing such factory with a new leadership coming from Japan with a desperate executive (Gedde Watanabe) trying to save his career from potential failure. The latter's task is to command the American plant and their workers, accustomed to work in a particular way, trying impose the Oriental methods of working for long hours for the benefit of the company and such clashes with the interests of Keaton who's trying to look good before his friends who aren't used to such working journey.

But let's face it: the movie isn't funny. Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz are terrific writers ("Splash", "Parenthood") but they didn't create much moments we could say they were funny, most of the time is just using of caricatures to make some amusing moments, they barely work, maybe two or three scenes. Their concentration to the more engaging aspects was what made "Gung Ho" something really worth seeing. It pokes fun on the culture comparisons between U.S., specially when it comes to both nations traditions but it also establishes a greater sense of supporting each other, one might be better than the other but only together they come up with something bigger, better and stronger. Having a movie like this made on a decade where American superiority was presented in every single movie and also in politics is something of a miracle. It basically says: "We're no longer the strongest nation in the world, neither the most efficient but we can aspire to be if we follow some other examples around the world". Sure, it doesn't paint a fair picture for both sides (Japanese as workaholics who can't contest their bosses and Americans as lazy and incompetent), often recurring to stereotypes but presents something good out of those.

Although a little sloppy, clichéd and never serious enough, "Gung Ho" can be used as a source of inspiration, at least for those who have a company and doesn't know how to bring out the best with their employs, it's always there to bring out of the best of a team, push them to the limits and show them the advantages of following new directives. I know this movie is something of a classic between Administration students in here, and most of them enjoy it. Out of this department, it might be a disappointment for Keaton and Ron Howard fans, they're not at their best. The supporting cast formed with the likes of Mimi Rogers, George Wendt, John Turturro, Rance and Clint Howard save this for a bit, but the most interesting in scene is Watanabe, the funniest in the show.

In the end, it reaches its purpose of presenting a parallel between cultures, but never takes our fully enjoyment, neither much of our laughs. Easy to watch and quite motivational though. 7/10

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