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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 85,798 users  
Reviews: 326 user | 167 critic

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


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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?


Kurt Russell confessed on the DVD commentary that he was afraid of starring in the movie because he had made a string of movies that flopped at the box office. When he asked John Carpenter about it, he told Kurt that it didn't matter to him - he just wanted to make the movie with him. See more »


When Lo Pan encounters Gracie, who is just seeing the floating Mao Yin, Lo Pan's pinky-nail is as long as the others for just one scene. In all of the other scenes his pinky nail is extended. 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 Chuck: Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp (2007) 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

Carpenter catches the spirit of the B grade serial flic 100 times better than Spielberg
28 July 1999 | by (texas) – See all my reviews

What can one say. The movie plays like one of those great old comic books you read as a kid. The dialogue is so cartoonish that you expect to see balloons appear above the characters heads. The acting is excellent, with everyone taking a tongue in cheek approach and obviously having a good time making the film. Some of the best fight scenes in recent memory, with everyone "kung-fu fighting" at the drop of a hat. Kurt Russel is a hoot as the more than slightly dumb macho hero. Cartoon violence minus the gore, humourous special effects, evil magicians, green eyed damsels in distress, even a monster or two.

A great film for a night of light movies! See it if you get a chance!

123 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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