5.5/10
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79 user 76 critic

American Ninja (1985)

American soldier, obviously very skilled in martial arts, single-handedly takes on mercenaries in the Philippines.

Director:

Sam Firstenberg

Writers:

Paul De Mielche (screenplay), Avi Kleinberger (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Dudikoff ... Pvt. Joe T. Armstrong
Steve James ... Cpl. Curtis Jackson
Judie Aronson ... Patricia Hickock
Guich Koock Guich Koock ... Col. William T. Hickock
John Fujioka ... Shinyuki
Don Stewart ... Victor Ortega
John LaMotta John LaMotta ... Rinaldo (as John La Motta)
Tadashi Yamashita ... Black Star Ninja
Phillip Brock ... Pvt. Charley Madison (as Phil Brock)
Tony Carreon Tony Carreon ... Older Colombian
Roi Vinzon ... Younger Colombian
Manolet Escudero Manolet Escudero ... Bodyguard
Greg Rocero Greg Rocero ... Bodyguard (as Gregg Rocero)
Berto Spoor Berto Spoor ... Bodyguard
Michael Hackbart Michael Hackbart ... Bodyguard
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Storyline

Joe Armstrong, an orphaned drifter will little respect for much other than martial arts, finds himself on an American Army base in The Philippines after a judge gives him a choice of enlistment or prison. On one of his first missions driving a convoy, his platoon is attacked by a group of rebels who try to steal the weapons the platoon is transporting and kidnap Patricia, the base colonel's daughter, who happens to be along for the ride. Joe rescues Patricia and gets her safely back to the base, but everyone else in the platoon is killed, leading his superiors to conclude that Joe is guilty of cowardice, collaboration or simple incompetence. At the same time, the rebel leader vows revenge against the serviceman who disrupted his plans, and sends an army of ninjas to assassinate him and bring back Patricia. If he wants to survive and save the girl, Joe's going to have to draw on every last ounce of his training. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Philippines

Language:

English | Spanish | Japanese

Release Date:

30 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Warrior See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,234,837, 2 September 1985

Gross USA:

$10,499,694

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,499,694
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Dudikoff had no martial arts training before filming began. He learned quickly during production, and ended up earning a black belt. See more »

Goofs

During the fight with the Filipino guards before the final fight scene, one guard's hat disappears during a shot. In the next shot, he's wearing it again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pvt. Charley Madison: Hey! I'm great at that game. Back home in California, I'm like deadly. Hold on, I'll teach you girls how to play.
First Soldier: Yeah. Yeah.
Pvt. Charley Madison: Hey, Buddy, come on. We need an extra guy to even up the sides. Hey, come on.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was released as "American Warrior" in UK cinemas and cut by 11 secs to remove shots of throwing stars and a man's genitals being squeezed during a fight scene. The same cuts were made for the video release (now retitled "American Ninja") though these were later waived for the DVD release. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

chop socky action
12 April 2002 | by MichaelM24See all my reviews

For those who know Michael Dudikoff, he most-likely became a household name thanks to this movie. Who knows where he would be today had Chuck Norris not passed on the film. (Probably busy as a child psychologist since that's what he originally wanted to be). This is a film I virtually grew up with as a kid, thanks to it being on cable seemingly every other day. Anyway, Dudikoff finally got his shot at headlining a movie with this cheapo chop socky flick about an Army G.I. in the Philippines going up against a secret Ninja army and an international weapons dealer. Dudikoff is at his most wooden in the this part, but as someone who's a fan and has see nearly all his movies, I can see the progression of him as an actor over the years, and he has certainly improved since this movie. Steven James co-stars in the first of three collaborations with Dudikoff, and the two work well together, but they're basically the best part of the movie. There's the usual B-movie acting, ranging from stiff to lame over-the-top performances, but pretty co-star Judie Aronson fares well. Of interest only to chop socky fans.


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