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Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  2 July 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 85,707 users  
Reviews: 326 user | 167 critic

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.


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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Dun ...
Carter Wong ...
Suzee Pai ...
Jeff Imada ...
Rummel Mor ...


Truck driver Jack Burton arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco, and goes to the airport with his Chinese friend Wang Chi to welcome his green-eyed fiancée Miao Yin who is arriving from China. However she is kidnapped on the arrival by a Chinese street gang and Jack and Wang chase the group. Soon they learn that the powerful evil sorcerer called David Lo Pan, who has been cursed more than two thousand years ago to exist without physical body, needs to marry a woman with green eyes to retrieve his physical body and Miao is the chosen one. Jack and Wang team-up with the lawyer Gracie Law, the bus driver and sorcerer apprentice Egg Shen and their friends and embark in a great adventure in the underground of Chinatown, where they face a world of magicians and magic, monsters and martial arts fighters. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Mystical, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Kung Fu, Monster, Ghost Story! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$11,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This the last studio film that John Carpenter worked on at the end of the 1980's due to the problems he'd received during the production of the film with then studio head Lawrence Gordon, who practically interfered with the film up until its release date. Prince of Darkness (1987) and They Live (1988) would be made independently through Alive Films without any studio interference and distributed by Universal Pictures. See more »


When Egg serves his magic potion to Jack and the rest of his warriors in Lopan's bar, you can see that his goblet has ice all over its bottom half, showing that they used dry ice to make the goblets steam and bubble. See more »


[first lines]
Pinstripe lawyer: What I'd like to do today is get your version of what happened.
Egg Shen: Oh, you mean the truth.
Pinstripe lawyer: Of course. First, just state your name and your occupation for the record.
Egg Shen: Oh, Egg Shen. Bus driver.
See more »


Referenced in Welshy Reviews: Tremors (2011) See more »


Big Trouble in Little China
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Coupe de Villes
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Best adventure/fantasy flick made ever
23 February 2001 | by (midwest USA) – See all my reviews

John Carpenter's career peaked with Big Trouble in Little China -- and what a peak it is. No other director/writer has attempted to create what Carpenter did in the 80's. Why this took so long to come to DVD is beyond me. This movie makes the best mix of cavalier anti-heroes, humorous villains, dark magic overtones, and good old fashioned fight scenes (done up as a mix of kung fu with old west shoot-em-up).

Those who don't like this movie don't get it's inherent self-deprecatory theme. This movie is all about fun. If you don't get it, see a doctor about your broken funny bone!

72 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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