6.6/10
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53 user 25 critic

Only the Strong (1993)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama | 27 August 1993 (USA)
Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to ... See full summary »

Director:

Sheldon Lettich
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Dacascos ... Louis Stevens
Stacey Travis ... Dianna
Geoffrey Lewis ... Kerrigan
Paco Christian Prieto ... Silverio
Todd Susman ... Cochran
Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter ... Philippe (Jamaican Gang Leader) (as Jeffrey Anderson Gunter)
Richard Coca ... Orlando
Roman Cardwell ... Shay
Ryan Bollman ... Donovan
Christian Klemash Christian Klemash ... Eddie
John Fionte John Fionte ... Cervantes
Joselito 'Amen' Santo Joselito 'Amen' Santo ... Javier
John Gregory Kasper John Gregory Kasper ... Coach Kasper
Phyllis Sukoff Phyllis Sukoff ... Mrs. Esposito
Antoni Corone ... Green Beret Sergeant
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Storyline

Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to straighten out a dozen of the school's worst students by teaching them this demanding and highly-disciplined fighting style. Slowly, his program begins to work, giving the students new hope and purpose. But the local drug lord, himself a martial arts expert, vows to stop Stevens' positive influence. Now Stevens must fight to save his own life, as well as the lives of his rebellious young students. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The ultimate martial art.

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for gang violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Only the Strong See more »

Filming Locations:

Miami, Florida, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,286,889, 29 August 1993

Gross USA:

$3,283,371

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,283,371
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Sheldon Lettich was not satisfied with the movie's fight content, claiming years later in Put Up Your Dux (2010) that fight choreographer Frank Dux did not deliver as creative of martial arts scenes as he had conceptualized. See more »

Goofs

In the final fight scene between Louis and Silverio, Louis' students are clapping and starting up the "Paranaue" chant when he is almost defeated. In several shots after it starts, the students are seen in the background among the fight circle, not clapping or chanting at all, yet it can still be heard. See more »

Quotes

Silverio: This time I play for keeps.
Louis Stevens: And this time... I don't play.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beerfest (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Donovan's Mix
Produced by Stuart Shapiro and Kao Rossman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unique Brazilian martial arts exhibited in a mediocre movie
29 December 2004 | by margin_walkerSee all my reviews

The real star of "Only the Strong" is the capoeira style of Brazilian martial arts (which is the pre-cursor of many break dancing moves) exhibited throughout the film. There are many movies that concentrate on wushu, taekwondo, karate, aikido, and many others styles from different parts of the world, but capoeira movies are far and few between, which makes "Only the Strong" that much more unique.

The story is nothing short of rehashed and predictable; a well meaning soldier (Mark Dacascos) with martial arts background from his previous station in Brazil, comes back to the U.S. and attempts to take charge of the rebellious, rival students in a troubled neighbourhood. He attempts to give them a focus in life with the art of capoeira, which combines martial arts, music and dancing, as well as stressing teamwork between the players/fighters. The troublesome students take a while to be won over by Decascos efforts, but eventually play along.

Things get complicated when it turns out that one of the students is the son of a Portuguese gangster, a capoeira maestre himself, that is the terror of the town, leading to some battles and a showdown between the ruthless criminal and his followers and the well meaning teacher.

The acting and the story is sub-par as mentioned previously, but this is , at the time of this writing, the only movie focusing on capoeira as a whole, and as such deserves a closer look by martial arts fans everywhere who are ready for something truly different.


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