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Only the Strong (1993)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 27 August 1993 (USA)
2:13 | Trailer
Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to ... See full summary »





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paco Christian Prieto ...
Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter ...
Roman Cardwell ...
Christian Klemash ...
John Fionte ...
Hector Cervantes
Joselito 'Amen' Santo ...
John Gregory Kasper ...
Coach Kasper
Phyllis Sukoff ...
Mrs. Esposito
Green Beret Sergeant


Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to straighten out a dozen of the school's worst students by teaching them this demanding and highly-disciplined fighting style. Slowly, his program begins to work, giving the students new hope and purpose. But the local drug lord, himself a martial arts expert, vows to stop Stevens' positive influence. Now Stevens must fight to save his own life, as well as the lives of his rebellious young students. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The ultimate martial art.


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for gang violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Street Fighters  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$3,273,588 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Sheldon Lettich was not satisfied with the movie's fight content, claiming years later in Put Up Your Dux (2010) that fight choreographer Frank Dux did not deliver as creative of martial arts scenes as he had conceptualized. See more »


In the first lesson, the Capoeira music starts while you can still hear Kerrigan putting the tape in the ghetto blaster. See more »


Louis Stevens: I've got major news for you. The world can be as big as you want it to be, or as small as your tiny little hood.
See more »


Referenced in Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley (1998) See more »


Performed by Serapis Bey
Produced by Kao Rossman
See more »

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User Reviews

Guaranteed to leave you smiling
12 October 2001 | by (Staffordshire) – See all my reviews

This is one of those films you can't help enjoying. It's light, fun, undemanding, and an absolute joy to watch. It might not be a gritty urban drama that deals sensitively with youth and alienation in high school, but then neither was "Heathers".

Cinema primarily exists to entertain, and "Only The Strong" does this in spades. Dacascos is the most graceful, watchable martial arts star since Brandon Lee, with an easy charisma that really comes across in a film like this and also the brilliant "Drive". The rest of the cast perform quite nicely as well. The plot and characterisation are admittedly 2-D, but what the hell, it's a 100% schmaltz-free feelgood movie.

Two of my friends actually took up Capoeira after watching this film. How's that for life-changing?

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is Capoeira Effective? coreyterminator
This Is The BEST MOVIE EVER MADE! leag_gael1
Any other capoera movies? alex_piyevsky
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Was that supposed to be a Brazilian accent or even Portuguese??????????? El_Ingeniero
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