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The Golden Child (1986)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  12 December 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 37,413 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 28 critic

A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child who dark forces want to eliminate.



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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
J.L. Reate ...
The Old Man
Doctor Hong
Shakti Chen ...
Kala (as Shakti)
Tau Logo ...
Tiger Chung Lee ...
Tommy Tong
Wally Taylor ...
Detective Boggs
Yellow Dragon
Charles Levin ...
TV Host


Eddie Murphy plays a detective with a speciality of finding lost children. He is told he is the 'Chosen one' who will find and protect the Golden Child, a Bhuddist mystic who was kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. Murphy disbelieves the mysticism but finds more and more evidence of demon worship as he investigates. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Eddie Murphy Is The Chosen One


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf der Suche nach dem goldenen Kind  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$79,817,937 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Carpenter was offered the job as director. He later went on to direct the similar film Big Trouble in Little China (1986). See more »


The level of the water in the glass during the quest changes between shots. See more »


Chandler Jarrell: Hey Bird - Did you just see a little Hare-Krishna midget in the tree, floatin'?... Or is it me?
[the phone rings]
Chandler Jarrell: It must be Rod Serling.
See more »


Referenced in Final Cut (1989) See more »


By David Wheatley
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User Reviews

Wonderful Film and so very underrated!
2 February 2005 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie. I totally disagree with some (negative) critiques that I've read over the years. This was a great vehicle for Eddie Murphy! He appeared to have a great time with his part as Chandler Jarrell and he should never care about what the critics say, if he had fun doing it – and most of his audience enjoyed it! And, it WAS fun to watch as it combined some great fantasy tension with Mr. Murphy's great comedic style. You have to keep in mind that 'Golden Child' is a 'fantasy' film – just an imaginative work of magic and wonder amidst the 'real' world. During the time this film was released, I was working in a video rental store. This was one of the most popular with all our customers. Every single time, we put this one up on our monitor, ALL the copies we had went out fast with wait-list requests that kept it on the queue for months! Everyone who rented it loved it! I was the resident film critic and all my regular customers would ask my opinion before they rented – this was one of my favorites and I knew the taste of my customers so I highly recommended this one to most of them. I really feel that this film is a Sleeper – it may not have done too well at the box office – due to very poor marketing – but it hit a high in the video rental and purchase market later! (YES, I did buy this film for my own video library!). I adored the little boy who played the 'Golden Child' – J. L. Reate - but after looking at his profile in IMDb, I noticed that he never did any more films. That is sad, because he definitely had an on-screen aura and could have continued with a film career. I also adored Victor Wong, who played the Old Man (I LOVED him in his part as 'Egg Shen' in 'Big Trouble in Little China' - 1986). At any rate, this was a great film. The only drawbacks that didn't seem to fit with the theme were some of the parts that got a bit more 'adult' in nature – such as 'Chandler's rather sexual remarks about the serpent lady that was presented to him as a silhouette. It was funny, but it still was out of sync. OK, so there were a few suggestive gratuitous scenes – those were put in for the mind-set of the day perhaps. This was still an adventurous and escapist type of film which we do need today to get away from all the hard core reality and depressing fluff that we are hit with from Hollywood. Now that's Entertainment!

37 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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