Die-hard fans of ‘The Karate Kid’ sought to find each and every location that the movie was shot in. The easy part was knowing that it was shot in and around Los Angeles in California. Some clever investigative work had fans discover that Mr. Miyagi’s workshop, for instance, was not a workshop but rather a parking lot!
The entrance to the parking lot was walled off to hide this fact. Fans struggled but finally found the location for Mr. Miyagi’s house which was sadly torn down a few years after the film was released.
Bit Part Brats
A group of children bids a very warm and exuberant farewell to Daniel LaRusso and his mother in the opening scene of 'The Karate Kid'. How these kids came to be in the movie was not through casting but rather through a deal struck with the very aggravated director.
John Avildsen recounted that the highly curious neighborhood children would not stop bothering the film crew. To get them to back off, Avildsen offered them a part in the movie. Luckily the kids stuck to the deal!
Ralph Macchio Waxes Lyrical
Say it with us: wax on, wax off. A Mr. Miyagi mantra that became what can only be considered an ‘80s meme. The scene involves Mr. Miyagi instructing a very annoyed Daniel LaRusso to meticulously apply wax on a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe convertible and then mindfully remove it.
Ralph Macchio scored big; after the release of the movie, he was gifted with the car. Fortunately Macchio’s many hours of waxing on and waxing off paid off as he still owns the vehicle.
Dennis Palumbo, a screenwriter recognized for shows such as 'The Love Boat', was originally approached to write the script. Palumbo was a fan of the story but insisted that should he write it, he would write it to end with Daniel LaRusso’s defeat to Johnny Lawrence.
The producers and studio were vehemently against this idea. Palumbo defended his idea by stating that Miyagi’s “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose” mantra leads to a predictable win. Seeing the success of the franchise, Palumbo admitted that he was “being a moron.”
Johnny Lawrence’s Less Intimidating Namesake
The cast and crew understood the target audience of 'The Karate Kid'. It is inarguably a film that has transcended generational gaps and this is in no small part due to the attention to detail. Details such as the name of the antagonist. To best visualize this, imagine getting beat up by a guy named Donald. And his surname is Rice.
That’s correct – Johnny Lawrence was originally named Donald Rice. We are certain that the roundhouse kicks and karate chops would feel far less painful knowing it was being delivered by a “Donnie Rice”.