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The Karate Kid (1984)

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A boy and his mother move to California for a new job. He struggles to fit in, as a group of karate students starts to bully him for dating a rich girl from their clique. It's up to the Japanese landlord, Miyagi, to teach him karate.

Director:

John G. Avildsen
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Popularity
1,103 ( 479)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Macchio ... Daniel
Pat Morita ... Miyagi (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita)
Elisabeth Shue ... Ali
Martin Kove ... Kreese
Randee Heller ... Lucille
William Zabka ... Johnny
Ron Thomas ... Bobby
Rob Garrison ... Tommy
Chad McQueen ... Dutch
Tony O'Dell ... Jimmy
Israel Juarbe Israel Juarbe ... Freddy
William Bassett ... Mr. Mills
Larry B. Scott ... Jerry
Juli Fields Juli Fields ... Susan
Dana Andersen Dana Andersen ... Barbara
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Storyline

Daniel and his mother move from New Jersey to California. She has a wonderful new job, but Daniel quickly discovers that a dark haired Italian boy with a Jersey accent doesn't fit into the blond surfer crowd. Daniel manages to talk his way out of some fights, but he is finally cornered by several who belong to the same karate school. As Daniel is passing out from the beating he sees Miyagi, the elderly gardener leaps into the fray and save him by outfighting half a dozen teenagers. Miyagi and Daniel soon find out the real motivator behind the boys' violent attitude in the form of their karate teacher. Miyagi promises to teach Daniel karate and arranges a fight at the all-valley tournament some months off. When his training begins, Daniel doesn't understand what he is being shown. Miyagi seems more interested in having Daniel paint fences and wax cars than teaching him Karate. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He taught him the secret to Karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the hands. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

22 June 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Karate Kid See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,031,753, 24 June 1984

Gross USA:

$91,077,276

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,077,276
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Mr. Miyagi's medal is the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is easily recognizable by its blue ribbon and the inscription containing the word "valor." In real life, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team had 21 Medal of Honor awardees, including Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Its members also received 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and 9,486 Purple Hearts. See more »

Goofs

When Daniel and his Mom first leave Newark you can clearly see a big dent on the tailgate of the station wagon as his friends chase the car. Later, when his mom picks up Ali at her house, the dent is gone as they push the car to get it started. See more »

Quotes

Daniel: Why didn't you tell me?
Miyagi: Tell what?
Daniel: That you knew karate.
Miyagi: You not ask.
Daniel: Well, where'd you learn it?
Miyagi: Father.
Daniel: But I thought he was a fisherman.
Miyagi: In Okinawa, all Miyagi know two things: fish and karate.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by 19 secs by the BBFC and completely removed the scene of Johnny rolling and lighting a reefer for a PG certificate. Later video releases were uncut and the certificate upgraded to 15. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Human Traffic (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Cruel Summer
Written by Tony Swain, Steve Jolley, Keren Woodward, Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey
Performed by Bananarama
Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, A division of Polygram Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Certainly one of the top movies of the '80s, if not all-time.
5 January 2004 | by lging34See all my reviews

"The Karate Kid" is the tale of Daniel Laruso (Ralph Macchio), a young man who, on the heels of his mother's finding a new job, is uprooted from Newark, New Jersey, to the sunny shores of California. Daniel's mother has visions of a new start, a new life with the sky as the limit. Daniel, however, quickly finds that, for him, the West Coast holds nothing but hard times.

With the comforts of his rough, middle-class neighborhood thousands of miles away, Daniel tries to make friends and blend with the well-to-do, upper-class kids in his new home. At first, Daniel seems to do alright but, before long, he crosses paths with Johnny (William Zabka), the tough, rich leader of a group of karate students who attends Daniel's new school. To make matters worse, Johnny is the ex-boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), a girl Daniel is pursuing.

Enter Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an aging handy-man who works at Daniel's apartment building. Struggling for friends and failing to fit in, Daniel finds support in Miyagi. After enduring several beatings at the hands of Johnny and his gang, Daniel comes to learn that Miyagi, in fact, knows karate. Following a vain attempt to speak with Johnny's karate teacher (Martin Kove) about being left alone, Daniel is suddenly entered into the All-Valley Karate Tournament, where he will attempt to win the respect that Johnny and his gang have taken.

As he trains for the karate tournament with Miyagi, Daniel learns invaluable lessons about life and love. And brought to the foreground of this karate story is Daniel's pursuit of Ali, who truly is the single person who gave the new kid a chance.

On many levels, "The Karate Kid" is an uplifting movie. It illustrates how a lonely, out-of-place kid triumphs against the odds, and the movie doesn't need computer-animation or special effects to get its story across. But, for me and anyone who loves '80s movies, the "The Karate Kid" has to be appreciated for its nostalgia trip back to "better times." For that reason alone, this movie is a classic.

I've enjoyed few movies, if any, more than "The Karate Kid." I highly recommend this flick to anyone who loves a touching, uplifting story, or to anyone who simply can't get out of the '80s!!!


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