The Karate Kid is one of those 80s classics that, even after some mediocre sequels and an even more mediocre remake, we still can't help but love it to this day. The story of Daniel-san's fight against Kobra Kai while learning karate from Mr. Miyagi is a genuine classic, but I'm willing to bet that even its biggest fans don't know some of these facts.
The studio wanted to drop the scene where Mr. Miyagi gets drunk.
They were worried it slowed down the movie too much, but director John Avildsen insisted that it be included. He also insists that it was instrumental in getting Pat Morita an Oscar nomination for the movie.
The cast all thought Ralph Macchio really was a teenager.
He was actually 22 while filming the movie, but nobody believed him.
Macchio was actually given the yellow car he waxes in the movie.
It's a 1948 Ford Super De Luxe, and Macchio apparently still owns it.
William Zabka (Johnny) still owns the red leather jacket he wears in the movie.
He's said that people often try to fight him in real life, and he has to explain to them that Johnny is just a character. The jacket's probably not helping things, dude.
The facts just get crazier from here...
Ralph Macchio actually got hurt during the movie.
The final spin kick before he's first saved by Mr. Miyagi actually hit him in the face.
The skeleton fight scene was really hard to film.
The actors complained that stunt actor and martial arts legend Fumio Demura (who Pat Morita based Mr. Miyagi on) hit them too hard. Demura said that if his students were allowed to be stuntmen, they'd get the fight in a single take. His students were allowed, and they did in fact get it in one take.
Mr. Miyagi sings bits of a real Japanese folk song while drunk.
It's a song called "Back Street Life" by Takeo Abe, and Morita had heard it a lot as a kid.
The referee in the karate tournament was a student of Chuck Norris.
Pat Johnson was a karate master himself, and has taught karate to many actors over the years.
Charlie Sheen was asked to play Daniel-san.
He turned the role down. We feel like that would've made for a VERY different movie.
"You're the Best" was supposed to be in a completely different fighting movie.
It was originally recorded for Rocky III, but was replaced with Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."