Enter the Ninja (1982)

R | 99 or 108 mins | Adventure | 30 April 1982

Director:

Menahem Golan

Writer:

Dick Desmond

Cinematographer:

David Gurfinkel

Production Designer:

Robert Lee

Production Companies:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , The Cannon Group, Inc.
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HISTORY

       Production notes found in AMPAS library files indicated that producer-director Menahem Golan became involved in the production in late fall 1980, with the intent of creating what was supposedly the first American film about ninjustu. A 7 Oct 1980 DV brief announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) would produce the film for $4 million, as part of a multi-project film and television deal with The Cannon Group, Inc. Karate champion Mike Stone was expected to star, and the 22 Oct 1980 Var claimed that Stone was writing the script.
       The next year, 13 Jan 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began one day earlier on 12 Jan 1981, in the Philippines and Tokyo, Japan, under the direction of Emmett Alston. On 18 Feb 1981, Var stated that the film had been shooting since the beginning of the month in Manila, but Menahem Golan had arrived to take over as director, and Franco Nero had recently been hired to replace Stone in the lead role. The budget was reported at $2 million. Stone receives onscreen credit for the film’s story, fight choreography, and stunt coordination. Principal photography concluded the following month, as suggested by the 25 Mar 1981 Var.
       According to an article in the 15 May 1981 DV, Cannon planned to screen the picture at the Cannes Film Festival, and later that summer, an advertisement in the 13 Jul 1981 DV announced that Enter the Ninja would be available for release Easter 1982. However, the 13 Oct 1981 HR expected multiple bookings in Phoenix, AZ, on 23 Oct ... More Less

       Production notes found in AMPAS library files indicated that producer-director Menahem Golan became involved in the production in late fall 1980, with the intent of creating what was supposedly the first American film about ninjustu. A 7 Oct 1980 DV brief announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) would produce the film for $4 million, as part of a multi-project film and television deal with The Cannon Group, Inc. Karate champion Mike Stone was expected to star, and the 22 Oct 1980 Var claimed that Stone was writing the script.
       The next year, 13 Jan 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began one day earlier on 12 Jan 1981, in the Philippines and Tokyo, Japan, under the direction of Emmett Alston. On 18 Feb 1981, Var stated that the film had been shooting since the beginning of the month in Manila, but Menahem Golan had arrived to take over as director, and Franco Nero had recently been hired to replace Stone in the lead role. The budget was reported at $2 million. Stone receives onscreen credit for the film’s story, fight choreography, and stunt coordination. Principal photography concluded the following month, as suggested by the 25 Mar 1981 Var.
       According to an article in the 15 May 1981 DV, Cannon planned to screen the picture at the Cannes Film Festival, and later that summer, an advertisement in the 13 Jul 1981 DV announced that Enter the Ninja would be available for release Easter 1982. However, the 13 Oct 1981 HR expected multiple bookings in Phoenix, AZ, on 23 Oct 1981. A 13 Jan 1982 Var news item indicated that the film was currently in release, but the film did not open in Los Angeles, CA, until 30 Apr 1982.
       While the 4 May 1982 HR review indicated a 108-minute runtime, the 7 Apr 1982 Var review listed a runtime of 99-minute duration, which corresponds with the official print viewed for the creation of this record.
      End credits note that Enter the Ninja was filmed on location in Manila, the Philippines.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Oct 1980.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 1981
p. 1, 27.
Daily Variety
13 Jul 1981
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1982
pp. 3-4.
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1982
p. 3.
Variety
22 Oct 1980.
---
Variety
18 Feb 1981.
---
Variety
25 Mar 1981.
---
Variety
13 Jan 1982.
---
Variety
7 Apr 1982
p. 18, 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Cannon Group, Inc. Presents
A City Film Presentation
A Golan-Globus Production
of a Menahem Golan Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Screenstory and scr by
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
1st asst cam
Key grip
2d unit cam
Stillman
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Sets
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Ward master
Ward master
Franco Nero's ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus comp and cond
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd man
Boom man
2d unit sd
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod comptroller
Prod supv
Prod admin
Unit mgr
2d unit continuity
STAND INS
Fight choreog and stunt coord by
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 April 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 April 1982
Production Date:
12 January--March 1981 in the Philippines and Tokyo, Japan
Copyright Claimant:
Cannon Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 July 1981
Copyright Number:
PA111950
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
99 or 108
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Through the forested mountains of Japan, a ninja dressed in white runs from a group of maroon-clad ninjas and a ninja in black. The white ninja stabs his pursuers and enters a compound, where he beheads the sensei, Master Komori, and kneels in front of a podium. He removes his mask, revealing that he is Caucasian, as the maroon and black-clad warriors re-enter the room, uninjured. Master Komori, carrying a clay model of his own head, sits before them and instructs Cole, the ninja in white, to recite the nine levels of power. The master informs him that he has passed his tests and presents him with a scroll containing a list of all the ninjutsu fighters who came before him. However, the ninja in black, Hasegawa, refuses to accept the legitimacy of Cole’s new title. The next day, Cole thanks Master Komori and leaves for Manila, Philippines. He arrives at a large estate, where an Englishwoman points a rifle at him. Cole throws her to the ground as the woman’s husband, Cole’s war veteran friend, Frank Landers, greets him. Over dinner, Cole apologizes to Frank’s wife, Mary Ann, for hurting her. Frank explains to Cole that he is being pressured to sell his land, but he and Mary Ann do not wish to leave. The next morning, Cole accompanies Mary Ann into town, and watches with a local vendor named “Dollars” as a hook-handed German called “the Hook” threatens a shop owner for making a late payment. On the way back to the house, Mary Ann sees a group of men attacking her plantation workers; Cole uses his fighting skills to scare the invaders away, but the workers ... +


Through the forested mountains of Japan, a ninja dressed in white runs from a group of maroon-clad ninjas and a ninja in black. The white ninja stabs his pursuers and enters a compound, where he beheads the sensei, Master Komori, and kneels in front of a podium. He removes his mask, revealing that he is Caucasian, as the maroon and black-clad warriors re-enter the room, uninjured. Master Komori, carrying a clay model of his own head, sits before them and instructs Cole, the ninja in white, to recite the nine levels of power. The master informs him that he has passed his tests and presents him with a scroll containing a list of all the ninjutsu fighters who came before him. However, the ninja in black, Hasegawa, refuses to accept the legitimacy of Cole’s new title. The next day, Cole thanks Master Komori and leaves for Manila, Philippines. He arrives at a large estate, where an Englishwoman points a rifle at him. Cole throws her to the ground as the woman’s husband, Cole’s war veteran friend, Frank Landers, greets him. Over dinner, Cole apologizes to Frank’s wife, Mary Ann, for hurting her. Frank explains to Cole that he is being pressured to sell his land, but he and Mary Ann do not wish to leave. The next morning, Cole accompanies Mary Ann into town, and watches with a local vendor named “Dollars” as a hook-handed German called “the Hook” threatens a shop owner for making a late payment. On the way back to the house, Mary Ann sees a group of men attacking her plantation workers; Cole uses his fighting skills to scare the invaders away, but the workers choose to resign from their jobs to avoid further danger. Mary Ann explains that Frank has become an alcoholic since the plantation became susceptible to criminals, but Mary Ann refuses to leave. The next morning, Frank and Cole find Mary Ann in the town bar, interviewing new potential workers. However, the Hook enters and starts a fight with Cole. After Cole beats the Hook’s henchmen, he stabs the man’s metal limb into the wall and leaves. Later, the Hook meets with Charles Venarius, an oil tycoon who wishes to buy the Landers’ property. Venarius selects ten tough Manila dockworkers to accompany the Hook and keep Cole from interfering with Venarius’ plans. The tycoon then instructs his bodyguard, Mr. Parker, to gather information about Cole. While attending a polo match, Cole remembers his time as a soldier in Africa, when Frank saved him from a barrage of gunfire. Back on the Landers’ plantation, Frank hosts a cockfight for his former workers, but the Hook arrives, ties one of the workers to the back of his truck, and drags him in circles around the yard. Cole stops the truck and pulls off the Hook’s artificial limb. Venarius fires the Hook and orders Mr. Parker to obtain the Landers’ property. Frank receives an unsigned note from a messenger, instructing him to attend a meeting at an undisclosed location. Cole learns the location by choking the driver, knocks him unconscious, and drives Frank to Fort Santiago. When they arrive, Cole attacks the guards while Frank meets with Mr. Parker, who offers him a seven-figure sum in exchange for his land. When Frank refuses, Cole fights the henchmen, and he and Frank leave the fort. That night, Mary Ann and Cole make love. The next day, Mr. Parker reports to Venarius that Cole is a ninja and cannot be defeated without the help of a similarly-skilled fighter. Venarius sends Mr. Parker to Japan, where he meets with a talent agent to help him find a ninja. He visits Master Komori’s compound and hires Hasegawa. Meanwhile, in Manila, Cole learns that Venarius is having him followed, and attacks his pursuer. Mr. Parker brings Hasegawa to Manila to meet with Venarius. As Dollars distracts the building guards, Cole knocks them unconscious and dresses in their uniforms. Cole discovers paperwork detailing the oil value of the Landers’ land, while Dollars finds a projector displaying footage of Hasegawa fighting. While Mary Ann and Frank eat dinner in their home, a bullet shatters a lantern on the table. Mary Ann grabs her rifle, but Hasegawa ties her to a tree and slits Frank’s throat. The ninja then burns the workers’ quarters. When Cole returns to the Landers’ house, he finds Frank’s bloody body and reflects on his wartime memories. He dresses in his white ninja outfit and sneaks into Venarius’ building, where he is captured by Mr. Parker and taken to an indoor arena to meet Venarius. Mr. Parker tells Venarius that Cole has threatened to kill him unless he agrees to release Mary Ann. When Mr. Parker returns to retrieve Cole, however, he finds that the ninja has escaped. Cole murders a number of Venarius’ guards, but Mr. Parker points a gun at Mary Ann. Cole shoots him in the arm with an arrow and holds a knife to his throat. As Mary Ann runs outside, Hasegawa grabs her. Venarius shoots Mr. Parker, and Cole kills Venarius by embedding a throwing star into his chest. Hasegawa releases Mary Ann, and the two ninjas fight. Cole impales Hasegawa with a spear, and the dying warrior concedes that Cole won the battle. When Hasegawa asks to die with honor, Cole bows and cuts off his head. Cole leaves Mary Ann, who has decided to stay in Manila to honor Frank, but the ninja promises to return. At the airport, Dollars and Cole encounter the Hook, now working as a porter. Cole explains to Dollars that ninjas only kill for defensive purposes, and bids his friend goodbye. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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