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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pvt. Joe T. Armstrong
... Cpl. Curtis Jackson
... Patricia Hickock
Guich Koock ... Col. William T. Hickock
... Shinyuki
... Victor Ortega
John LaMotta ... Rinaldo (as John La Motta)
... Black Star Ninja
... Pvt. Charley Madison (as Phil Brock)
Tony Carreon ... Older Colombian
... Younger Colombian
Manolet Escudero ... Bodyguard
Greg Rocero ... Bodyguard (as Gregg Rocero)
Berto Spoor ... Bodyguard
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 Orient created the world's deadliest art. Now there's an American master! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

30 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Warrior  »

Filming Locations:


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Sam Firstenberg admitted in an interview that audiences didn't like seeing a woman ninja in Ninja III: The Domination (1984). This is why Cannon Films sought to find a "James Dean"-like action star to be the ninja in this film. The studio wanted someone who looked like James Dean, didn't talk much and seemed to carry a chip on his shoulder. During this process Sam auditioned 2000 actors and narrowed it down to 200. Though Michael Dudikoff had no martial-arts training, he had the look Cannon was looking for and was cast in the lead. See more »

Goofs

During the final battle, as Shinyuki uses his ninja training to become invisible, the effect of having him disappear is obviously done by stop-motion, as evidenced by the security guard in the background, who instantaneously "jumps" a few feet over without moving. 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

Referenced in Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

chop socky action
12 April 2002 | by See 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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