Columbia Pictures’ The Karate Kid (1984) was written by Robert Mark Kamen. It was directed by the Academy Award® winning director of Rocky (1976), John G. Avildsen. It is the coming-of-age story starring Noriyuki “Pat” Morita in his Academy Award®-nominated performance (Best Supporting Actor, 1984) as Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio as Daniel, Elizabeth Shue as Ali and Martin Kove as Kreese.
Pat E. Johnson was both an actor and the martial arts coordinator for the film.
Mr. Miyagi, an elderly handyman and unexpected teacher, is a master of martial arts who teaches Daniel, a San Fernando Valley teenager, that there is more to karate than fighting.
Mr. Miyagi rescues Daniel from the Cobra Kai, a vicious gang of karate school bullies, and Miyagi teaches the high school student martial arts. Most importantly Mr. Miyagi instills in Daniel the importance of honor and confidence as well as teaching him skills in self-defense, all of which he will need when he is hopelessly outclassed when facing Johnny, the sadistic leader of the Cobra Kai, in a no-holds-barred karate tournament for the championship of the Valley.
The Karate Kid (1984) is a martial arts film and an underdog story. It was a commercial success upon first release and has become a beloved classic. It had favorable critical attention, earning Pat Morita an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The movie spawned two equally popular sequels The Karate Kid Part II (1986) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989), both again starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, and both directed by John Avildsen.