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The Challenge (1982)

A down-and-out American boxer becomes involved in a feud between two Japanese brothers.

Director:

John Frankenheimer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Glenn ... Rick
Toshirô Mifune ... Yoshida
Donna Kei Benz Donna Kei Benz ... Akiko
Atsuo Nakamura Atsuo Nakamura ... Hideo
Calvin Jung Calvin Jung ... Ando
Clyde Kusatsu ... Go
Sab Shimono ... Toshio
Kiyoaki Nagai Kiyoaki Nagai ... Kubo
Kenta Fukasaku Kenta Fukasaku ... Jiro
Shôgo Shimada Shôgo Shimada ... Father of Yoshida
Yoshio Inaba Yoshio Inaba ... Instructor
Seiji Miyaguchi Seiji Miyaguchi ... Old Man
Miiko Taka ... Yoshida's Wife
Akio Kameda Akio Kameda ... Boxer
Hisashi Osaka Hisashi Osaka ... Knifeman
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Storyline

Rick, a down-and-out American boxer, is hired to transport a sword to Japan, unaware that the whole thing is a set up in a bitter blood-feud between two brothers, one who follows the traditional path of the samurai and the other a businessman. At the behest of the businessman, Rick undertakes samurai training from the other brother, but joins his cause. He also becomes romantically involved with the samurai's daughter. Written by <scrow@chop.isca.uiowa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He has trained every thought, every muscle, every nerve, for the moment of truth!

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 July 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Equals See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$804,512, 25 July 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,534,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Toshirô Mifune portrayed a character, Toru Yoshida, who had a similar sounding first name to his own. See more »

Goofs

After Akiko disappears at the street festival, Rick runs into a guy with a walkie-talkie. As they're talking, people passing in the background look at the camera, duck, and run out of frame. See more »

Connections

Referenced in P & B (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
awesome and overlooked adventure yarn
25 June 2006 | by raegan_butcherSee all my reviews

I must confess to a particular fondness for thetwo films of John Frankenheimer's that he himself didn't seem to have much affection for: Prophecy(about mutant bears in the woods of Maine) and his one, The Challenge. I remember seeing this in theaters back in '82 and really digging it. The script by John Sayles moves along at a nice clip and Scott Glenn is well cast and well used ( for once) as the down on his luck American boxer who finds himself involved in an age old blood feud between two opposing ways of life in Japan; there is an interesting tension between the good guys and the bad guys: East/West as well as Modern/Traditional. (Clever fellow, that Mr Sayles.)The major character arc for Scott Glenn's American pug is not at all dissimilar to that later adopted by Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Not only does this film have one of the last major performances in a western film from that towering figure of Japanese cinema, Toshiro Mifune, but it boasts what remains one of the all-time classic modern sword fights in the climactic showdown in a giant gleaming glass and steel Japanese office building. Scott Glenn and Atsuo Nakamura slash each other to ribbons with samurai swords then resort to stapling each other's faces and shocking each other with severed computer cables during the final battle and it is choreographed, shot and edited, with a snappy sense of kineticism. Bravo to all involved.


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