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Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 2 July 1986 (USA)
2:46 | Trailer

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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


Try to find big reason before you visit world of magic... See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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
See  »

Did You Know?


John Carpenter was not entirely satisfied with Boss Film Studios, the company in charge of the film's visual effects. According to the director, they took on more projects than they could handle and some effects for the film had to be cut down. Richard Edlund, head of Boss Film Studios, said that there were no difficulties with the company's workload and that Big Trouble was probably its favorite film at the time, with the exception of Ghostbusters (1984). The effects budget for the film was just under $2 million, which Edlund said was barely adequate. See more »


When Jack, Wang et al exit the Wing Kong Import/Export Exchange Company, Uncle Choo is waiting outside in a yellow bus. Wing Kong security then open fire on the bus as it drives away. However, as the bus turns a corner seconds later you can see that there aren't any bullet holes or broken windows on the side of the bus they were shooting. 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 Escape from New Jersey (2010) See more »


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 John Carpenter movie has it all!
23 October 1999 | by (N.Ireland) – See all my reviews

If you`ve ever heard of the director John Carpenter, you`ll be familiar with his works (of art), like Hallowe`en, Escape From New York, Assault On Precient 13, The Thing, They Live, and this movie, a mid 80`s classic starring none other than Carpenter`s favourite front man, Kurt Russell. Set in Chinatown, Los Angeles, its a modern day fable of good versus evil, Chinese black magic, the hero storms the castle type affair. Russell plays Jack Burton, a wise cracking long distance truck triver and all American hero, passing through Chinatown on some business. After a card game with old friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun), Wang (now penniless thanks to Burton`s good fortune) pursuades Jack to drive him to the airport, to pick up his childhood sweetheart, a girl Wang has not seen since they were children. Its here the story begins, as Mao Yin, Wang`s girlfriend, is captured by a mysterious gang. The two form a pact to rescue the girl from the clutches of the evil Lo Pan, former crimelord of Chinatown, a myth who has apparently lived to the age of almost 200, with a little help from some black magic.

Thats it, I`m saying no more, cos I don`t want to spoil it. You`ve probably seen the movie anyway.

Its hard to pick a favourite John Carpenter film, very hard, but this one has it all. Its a great action movie, a great comedy, an original story, great lines, and even a love story, a perfect blend of what big screen entertainment should be. Its strange though, that the ending was left so open, begging for a sequel that was never made.

61 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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