Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio) almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies. He is rescued by Japanese janitor Miyagi (Noriyuki Pat Morita), who agrees to teach Daniel how to harness karate for good instead of brutality. The film culminates in a championship karate bout, pitting Daniel against his sworn enemy Johnny (William Zabka) - the cruel and thuggish boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue) with whom Daniel has fallen in love (and vice-versa). Real-life karate champ Chuck Norris was offered the role of Kreese, the sadistic coach who goads Johnny into fighting dirty, but Norris turned down the role, refusing to be shown utilizing his skills negatively on screen. Vastly popular, The Karate Kid spawned three sequels of rapidly descending merit, as well as a Saturday morning cartoon series.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Part of: The Karate Kid Collection
The first three films in the series follow Daniel LaRusso, who learns to harness karate for good through the eccentric mentorship of a janitor named Mr. Miyagi. In the fourth and final film of the original series, Mr. Miyagi becomes the caretaker of his friend's granddaughter in attempt to steer her away from trouble.