The Challenge (1982)

The Challenge (1982)

The Challenge




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Challenge Videos & Photos

Movie Info

When an American prizefighter meddles in the long-standing feud between two Japanese brothers fighting over precious samurai swords, violence and bloodshed follows. The film is also titled Sword of the Ninja.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Sayles, Richard Maxwell, Marc Norman
In Theaters:
CBS Films


as Toru Yoshida

as Akiko Yoshida

as Hideo Yoshida

as Toshio

as Father of Yoshida

as Instructor

as Yoshida's Wife

as Girl in Gym

as Fight Promoter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Challenge

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for The Challenge

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Hard-boiled, revolting, kung-fu friendly and ridiculous.

Full Review… | December 31, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The knowing feel of the photography is best expressed in an early chase scene where Frankenheimer repeatedly flash cuts to fish heads as Glenn grimaces as he runs. It's grimy, off-putting, and just right for the moment.

Full Review… | May 18, 2011

Nifty little culture-clash action flick from John Frankenheimer

March 19, 2004
Lawrence Journal-World

Audience Reviews for The Challenge

I just saw this for the first time recently and I was completely blown away by it. A forgotten gem in the 80's action genre, The Challenge is a glorious reminder of how much fun a movie can be despite everything going against it. Starring Scott Glenn and Toshiro Mifune, the movie is filled with bad dialogue, questionable story mechanics and laughable performances, but somehow it all works just perfectly. The score is quite good, coming from Jerry Goldsmith no less, and the action scenes are fantastic. You can tell a lot of choreography was put into the action set pieces, particularly the final showdown. I found myself clapping at the end because I was deliriously entertained by the whole thing. The trouble is that I know most people won't get it or care, but those that do like a couple of friends mine, love it like I do. It's by no means a masterpiece, but I'd love to see it get some love as it's been out of print for years and never been available before on DVD. I'm hoping that it at least gets a release through an MOD program of some kind.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Preposterous, from the bland title that studio execs must have chosen -- totally unrelated to the content of the movie -- to the desperate symbolism of the last shot. The Challenge is an improvement on 80s action TV only. Scott Glenn and Calvin Jung, as the two show-off Americans, have some ridiculous dialogue, and Donna Kei Benz has no non-abs-related reason to sleep with Scott Glenn, except that he is a white beer drinker and deserves a reward for race-crossing loyalty and a heart as big as all Texas. The melodrama is almost tongue-in-cheek, especially with the little Japanese kid who washes clothes hoping to be a warrior, battles low self-esteem and speaks English like he was an orphan trying to get couples to take him home. In the end, office furniture is mightier than the sword -- or at least an insidious rival to the sword with its unwieldy symbolism. But Toshiro Mifune is good to see and a few sequences are edited very well.

Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

A favorite, what can I say

Leo L

Super Reviewer

The Challenge Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Challenge on our Movie forum!