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Tai-Pan (1986)

R  |   |  Adventure  |  7 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,229 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 10 critic

Tai-Pan is Chinese for "supreme leader". This is the man with real power to his hands. And such a Tai-Pan is Dirk Struan who is obsessed by his plan to make Hong Kong the "jewel in the ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Tai-Pan (1986)

Tai-Pan (1986) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Credited cast:
Dirk Struan
John Stanton ...
Tyler Brock
Bill Leadbitter ...
Gorth Brock
Gordon Chen
Katy Behean ...
Mary Sinclair
Tess Brock
Shevaun Tillman
Norman Rodway ...
Aristotle Quance
John Bennett ...
Derrick Branche ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Drunken Sailor
Brecks's Crew
Phil Chatterton Tongplaw ...


Tai-Pan is Chinese for "supreme leader". This is the man with real power to his hands. And such a Tai-Pan is Dirk Struan who is obsessed by his plan to make Hong Kong the "jewel in the crown of her British Majesty". In 1841 he achieves his goal but he has many enemies who try to destroy his plans. Will they succeed? Written by Harald Mayr <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Smuggler. Prince. Murderer. Father. Sinner. Saint. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Tai-Pan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$4,007,250 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Second and final [to date, March 2015] of two collaborations of actor Bryan Brown and director Daryl Duke who had both previously worked together on the television mini-series The Thorn Birds (1983) about three years earlier. See more »


In a scene, set in 1841, several of the ladies were wearing bright mauve outfits. That would have been most unlikely for the wives of middle class traders at that time as the color purple was prohibitively expensive before the invention of analine dyes in London - in 1856. By 1870 these gaudy colors had become so cheap and commonplace that it became a status symbol to mimic the subtler, paler colors of the pre analine dye days. See more »


Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »


Music by Adrien Talexy
Arranged by Trevor L. Sharpe
See more »

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User Reviews

It could have been so much more...
16 April 2000 | by (Wapakoneta, OH) – See all my reviews

As another reviewer put it, this movie was very similar to Dune. Very interesting comparison, since Raffaella De Laurentiis produced them both. This was her first project right after Dune. Both were sweeping epic sagas with multiple intertwined plotlines. Both should have been six or eight hour mini series and not feature films. As with Dune, you will find that if you have not read the book, you will not understand the movie. However, if you have read the book, then the movie isn't all that bad. James Clavell's 'Asian Saga' is one of my favorite book series, so I bought this movie cheap just to see it. The characters are like old friends to me, so I didn't think that the movie was all that bad. I realized while watching it though, that someone who had not read the book would not be able to keep up with all of the plot points. My suggestion to you is to read the book, then watch the movie. You will discover two things; first it's a super good book. Second, this movie had everything going for it in cast and settings; it just had too much story to tell in too short a time. It definitely should have been a six-hour miniseries.

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