5.4/10
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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

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,499,694
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

All three major cast members of the "American Ninja" franchise starred in three entries of the series. They all starred with each other at least once but NEVER all three in the same film. Michael Dudikoff starred with Steve James in this film and American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987) and with David Bradley in American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990). Bradley starred with James in American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989) and by himself in American Ninja 5 (1993). See more »

Goofs

During the ambush the gunman shoots and destroys the left rear tire on the car in which Patricia tries to escape. In the next shot the tire is intact. 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 »

Connections

Followed by American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"He...Possess...Great...Skills."
25 October 2002 | by Backlash007See all my reviews

When asked at school "What do you want to be when you grow up?" most kids answer fireman or astronaut. To hell with that, I wanted to be the American Ninja. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be the American Ninja. So, I finally picked it up on DVD the other day and let me say this is one of the corniest action movies out there, but I still love it. It's one of my fondest childhood dreams. As unrealistic as it may seem, Michael Dudikoff stills kicks ass, as does the late, great Steve James. Dudikoff single handedly takes out an entire private army of ninjas. It's better than Commando. It's definitely not for the serious action audience. But here's the real kicker, the villain who is hijacking military equipment to sell to the highest bidder is only making 4 million dollars. That's really not that much money for all of the trouble he's going through. Did he only go to one bidder or what? Oh well, it's all about fun, right? My friend came up with the suggestion that we should get all of the eighties martial arts stars and have a huge battle royal. To which I replied: "Well, Dudikoff and Steve James would team up with Ralph Macchio to win the thing." Check out jedibolger's comments for a hearty laugh.


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