This month marks 30 years since Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita's The Karate Kid was released in theaters. I love this movie, and it's hard to believe that it has really been 3 decades since I went to the movies with my parents to see it. This is another one of those classic 80s films that I have never gotten tired of watching over the years. I still revisit it every now and then just for the fun of it, and I enjoy it every time.
In honor of the films 30th birthday, I've put together a list of ten interesting facts about the movie that you might not know. Your trivia knowledge of this film is about to be enhanced.
- The yellow classic automobile that Daniel polishes in the famous "wax-on/wax-off" training scene, then later offered by Mr. Miyagi as Daniel's birthday gift, was actually given to Ralph Macchio by the producer, and he still owns it.
- Surprisingly, during filming in late 1983, Ralph Macchio was age 22. Some of the cast did not believe him when he was asked about his age.
- Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn both turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso.
- The Karate Kid was the name of a character in DC Comic's "Legion Of Superheroes" who was a member of the Legion. DC Comics, which owned the name, gave special permission for the title to be used. There's a thank you to DC Comics for allowing the use of the name at the end of the credits.
- According to Joe Esposito, "You're the Best" was originally written for Rocky III (1982) which explains the lyric "History repeats itself". The song had been rejected in favor of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Ironically, Survivor also performed the theme song ("The Moment Of Truth") for The Karate Kid.
- The "Crane Technique" while basically fictional, is based on a stance called the crane stance that is used in several traditional Karate kata.
- One of the most quoted lines in the movie, "Get him a body bag" was improvised.
- After Miyagi rescues Daniel on Halloween, he serves him a cup of tea. When Daniel grasps his cup by its sides, Miyagi insists that he instead support the cup from the bottom. However, the next time Miyagi drinks, he grasps his own cup by its sides.
- When Miyagi and Daniel go to the Cobra Kai dojo the day after the Halloween dance, Johnny is seen with a black eye. However, when he fought Miyagi the night before, Miyagi blocked Johnny's punches, flipped him, and gave him a chop to the stomach, never hitting him in the eye.
- The referee in the final match is Pat E. Johnson, a karate expert and former student of Chuck Norris. He instructed many movie stars in karate. He is credited as the "fight instructor/choreographer" for the film. He was also in Enter the Dragon where he plays a gangster in John Saxon's flashback scene.
Thanks to Imdb