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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 84,712 users  
Reviews: 324 user | 166 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


Jack Burton's in for some serious trouble and you're in for some serious fun. 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  »

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?


Right before the end credits when Jack Burton is driving his truck and talking on his CB Radio, he says, "You just listen to the old Pork-Chop Express here now and take his advice on a dark and stormy night when the lightning's crashing and the thunder's rollin' and the rain's coming down..." paying homage to the names of the 3 Storms, Lo Pan's bodyguards. 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 »


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

A Tongue-In-Cheek '80s 'Classic'
22 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the wildest stories ever: a cartoon come to life and a mixture of an old-time serial with modern special-effects with bold colors all the way through.

This movie is pure tongue-in-cheek. One just has to take nothing seriously in here and just go along on the wild ride. From the nonsense mystical Chinese sorcery that is taken so reverently, to the American hero "Jack Burton" (Kurt Russell) who displays the fearless macho man, to combatants flying through the air (this was 15 years before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed), to one exotic character and situation after another - it's all absurd fun.

Russell plays his role to the hilt, playing his favorite kind of role when he was younger: brash, bold and an ignoramus who fears absolutely nothing. His lines are deliberately corny and one can bet he had a lot of fun making this movie. He even gets in a few good comedic lines. His partner, Dennis Dunn, is a likable guy with a devilish grin on his face and Kim Cattrell plays the more modern damsel-in-distress role to the hilt, too.

They could have lightened this up a bit on the action - it gets to be too much at times - but the movie is just slightly over an hour-and-half. It still wore me out the first few times I saw it.

All in all: ludicrous fun, a kind of Indiana Jones in Chinatown adventure flick.

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