30 Facts About The Karate Kid on its 30th Anniversary

The movie The Karate Kid was released to the public on June 22, 1984. It seems like just yesterday for those of us who were around at the time, even though the remake may be more familiar to youngsters. And even though there were several sequels, there is only one original Karate Kid. Say it with me: “Wax on - wax off!” and all together now, “Sweep the leg.” Mental_floss is celebrating the anniversary of The Karate Kid with a big list of things you should know about the movie, like,

1. PAT MORITA WAS INITIALLY TURNED DOWN FOR THE ROLE OF MR. MIYAGI

According to the 2013 book The Films of John G. Avildsen, Morita was Avildsen’s first choice for Miyagi; however, producer Jerry Weintraub felt that audiences would not take him seriously in the role due to his background in comedy. After Morita grew a beard and added a Japanese accent to his screen test, an impressed Weintraub had a change of heart and Morita was given the part.

10. TWO RUN-INS WITH JOHNNY WERE DELETED FROM THE FILM’S FINAL CUT

The original Karate Kid script includes two confrontations between Daniel and Johnny which were eventually cut from the film.

The first takes place in the school cafeteria just after Daniel has bought lunch for Ali. Seeing them about to take a seat, Johnny hurries over just in time to sneak a piece of blueberry pie onto Daniel’s chair. Standing up with his pants covered in blueberries, Daniel is equally embarrassed and livid. In a brave act of revenge, Daniel smears what is left of the pie across Johnny’s shirt and mayhem ensues. A photo from this scene can be found on the back of the B.B. Hiller novelization of The Karate Kid.

The other scene occurs later in the film and also takes place at school. Coming up from a drink at the fountain, Daniel finds himself face to face with Johnny and stands up for himself once again by questioning the practices of the Cobra Kai.

There’s a lot more in the full list, with plenty of pictures and videos.


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"Wax on, Wax off" is the single most useful movie quote of my life.

Right now it looks stupid, in a moment -- you will understand.
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