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 »



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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 <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There can only be one. 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?


The movie's star Australian actor Bryan Brown voices an Scottish accent portraying the central character of Dirk Struan which is identifiably noticeably different to his Aussie ocker accent Brown has and to what audiences identifiably usually associate with the thesp from down-under. 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 Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Too much in too short a time
25 July 2005 | by (HUNTINGTON BEACH CA) – See all my reviews

I agree with other comments that this should have been a miniseries but on HBO not commercial TV. The scenes with the various women would have been destroyed with censorship. I believe that it did give an accurate "feel" to the times and events depicted.

Upon viewing this I immediately ordered the book ( I had ignored it due to some disappointment at Nobel House ). Also bit the bullet and ordered Shogun the miniseries. Mr. Clavell's work s are to be appreciated even in movies that fall short. I do wish Bryan Brown had a better accent but Joan Chen mimicked it perfectly.

The supporting cast both western and oriental were excellent. Also the "few" ships used were great. Now I want Noble House on DVD.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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