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Enter the Ninja (1981)

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After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »


Menahem Golan


Dick Desmond (screen story), Dick Desmond (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Franco Nero ... Cole
Susan George ... Mary Ann
Shô Kosugi ... Hasegawa
Christopher George ... Venarius
Alex Courtney ... Frank
Will Hare ... Dollars
Zachi Noy ... The Hook
Constantine Gregory ... Mr. Parker (as Constantin de Goguel)
Dale Ishimoto ... Komori
Joonee Gamboa ... Mr. Mesuda
Leo Martinez ... Pee Wee
Ken Metcalfe ... Elliot
Subas Herrero ... Alberto
Alan Amiel Alan Amiel ... Maroon Ninja
Douglas Ivan Douglas Ivan ... Maroon Ninja (as Doug Ivan)


After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also fight his rival. Written by Michael Pilkington <mjpilkington@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Ninjitsu, the darkest and deadliest of all the Martial Arts. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

2 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ninja I See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(uncut) | (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Franco Nero's voice is dubbed. Cole is from Texas, and Nero couldn't master an American or Texas accent. See more »


Over the course of three different scenes, Mary Anne's gag starts off covering her mouth completely, then later is pulled between her teeth, and finally ends up spreading her lips apart but covering her teeth. See more »


Frank Landers: You know Mary Ann there are times when I... when I wake up in the morning and I look at this guy in the mirror and I say "What the hell are you doing with your life Frank?" and you know something, son of a bitch never answers me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK version was heavily cut by around 4-5 minutes by the BBFC when submitted in 1981. All shots of weapons that were not allowed in UK film releases at the time (e.g. nunchakus, shuriken etc) were cut, as were some highly-dangerous combat techniques such as throat-cuts, repeated punches, ear-claps and limb-and neck-breaking. Also missing is a scene that contravenes the UK's Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937, namely some genuine scenes of cockfights. Video releases, plus the MIA DVD, all featured the same cut print. The 2011 Optimum DVD restores the violence though 1 min 5 secs are cut to remove the cockfight footage. See more »


Referenced in Blade II (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exit the room
16 April 2010 | by ZeegradeSee all my reviews

Do you like ninja movies and taking naps? Well have I got a movie for you! Anyone, and I mean anyone, who uses the word "classic" when talking about this movie should be banned from martial arts films for the rest of their lives. Boring, boring, boring! Franco Nero is Cole the only non-Japanese to been trained in the arts of the ninja. When he completes his training and is granted full ninja status (I guess they must serve an apprenticeship) his inclusion is rejected by Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi) who refuses to accept the American as part of their clan. I wouldn't either as the wooden Nero clearly has no martial arts training as every action scene conveniently never shows his face. It's sickening to watch Sho Kosugi play second banana to this empty suit. Cole travels to the Philippines to meet an old Vietnam buddy Frank who REALLY likes cockfights. Frank has become more of a lifeless drunk, at least when he's not cockfighting, which opens an emotional bond between Cole and Frank's bug-eyed wife Mary-Ann. The locals are terrorized by thugs under the control of Charles Venarius who Christopher George takes to cartoon levels of absurdity. When Cole easily dispatches Venarius' men he demands a ninja as if they can be had at any corner store. Turns out Hasegawa has left the clan and has become a mercenary ninja for hire. Slow buildup to the inevitable fight to the death between the former students. Uninspiring action sequences are hampered severely by Nero's lack of fighting ability as well as his complete lack of screen presence. His rigid performance makes Christopher George's so over-the-top that he joins William Beckwith from "Prime Evil" as two of the most campy badguys ever. There a so many movies out there that deliver the true ninja experience better than "Enter the Ninja" that it defies belief that this was even made for the American audience. One of the rare disappointments from the Golan-Globus duo that gave us so many cheesy actioneers in the eighties. Rather take a shuriken to the eye than watch this again.

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