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Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 2 July 1986 (USA)
An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Some people pick the darnedest places to start a fight! See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

2 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$11,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first version of the screenplay was written by first-time screenwriters Gary Goldman and David Z. Weinstein. Goldman had been inspired by a new wave of martial arts films that had "all sorts of weird actions and special effects, shot against this background of Oriental mysticism and modern sensibilities". They had written a western, originally set in the 1880s, with Jack Burton as a cowboy who rides into town. Goldman and Weinstein envisioned combining Chinese fantasy elements with the western. They submitted the script to TAFT Entertainment Pictures Executive Producers Paul Monash and Keith Barish during the summer of 1982. Monash bought their script, and had them do at least one re-write, but still did not like the results. He remembers, "The problems came largely from the fact it was set in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, which affected everything-style, dialogue, action". Goldman rejected a request by 20th Century Fox for a re-write that asked for major alterations. He was angered when the studio wanted to update it to a contemporary setting. The studio then removed the writers from the project. However, they still wanted credit for their contributions. The studio brought in screenwriter W.D. Richter to extensively re-write the script, as he felt that the Wild West and fantasy elements didn't work together. The screenwriter modernized everything. Almost everything in the original script was discarded, except for Lo Pan's story. Richter realized that "what it needed wasn't a re-write, but a complete overhaul. It was a dreadful screenplay. This happens often when scripts are bought, and there's no intention that the original writers will stay on". He wrote his own draft in ten weeks. Goldman contacted Richter and suggested that he should not work on the project. Richter told him, "I'm sorry the studio doesn't want to go forward with you guys, but my turning it down, is not going to get you the job. They'll just hire someone else". Fox wanted to deny Goldman and Weinstein writing credit, and eliminated their names from press releases They wanted only Richter to have credit. In March 1986, the Writers Guild of America, west determined that "written by" credit would go to Goldman and Weinstein, based on the WGA screenwriting credit system which protects original writers. However, Richter did get an "adaptation by" credit for his work on the script. John Carpenter was disappointed that Richter did not get a proper screenwriting credit because of the ruling. Carpenter made his own additions to Richter's rewrites, which included strengthening the Gracie Law role and linking her to Chinatown, removing a few action sequences due to budgetary restrictions and eliminating material deemed offensive to Chinese Americans. See more »

Goofs

When Jack and Wang are rescuing the girls and a fight breaks out in the white plaster storage area, they use the same shot twice when one of the bad guys is kicked and lands on a table against a wall. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Chronicle: Here There Be Dragons (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Trouble in Little China
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Coupe de Villes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This movie moves me
30 November 1998 | by (North Haven, Connecticut) – See all my reviews

Give this movie a ten, it has more excitement and pure fun than almost any other, John Carpenter has constructed a masterpiece. This movie is awesome, It's got Kurt Russell at his best. Every line that he says just rocks. This picture is the most unique film that had come around in years when it was released. Nothing comes close to its ingenuity or classic mixture of Chinese mythology. If you don't watch it I will personally search out and destroy you. Like some dude up there said, just chill with your popcorn snacks and drinks, and saddle up, because it's going to be one hell of a ride!


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