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Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

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A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.


John Carpenter
1,268 ( 106)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Jack Burton
Kim Cattrall ... Gracie Law
Dennis Dun ... Wang Chi
James Hong ... David Lo Pan
Victor Wong ... Egg Shen
Kate Burton ... Margo
Donald Li ... Eddie Lee
Carter Wong ... Thunder
Peter Kwong ... Rain
James Pax ... Lightning
Suzee Pai ... Miao Yin
Chao Li Chi ... Uncle Chu
Jeff Imada ... Needles
Rummel Mor ... Joe Lucky
Craig Ng ... One Ear


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:

View content advisory »





English | Cantonese

Release Date:

2 July 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,723,211, 6 July 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Body count: 46. See more »


When Jack Burton is explaining what happened in the alley, he mentions that Lo Pan had "light coming out of his mouth". However, Jack could not have seen this, as he was already temporarily blinded by the light from Lo Pan's eyes, and had his hands over his eyes by the time the light came out of Lo Pan's mouth. 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 Steve Johnson Goes to Hell (2016) See more »


Big Trouble in Little China
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Coupe de Villes
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic action film in a John Carpenter style!
31 October 2015 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) is one of the best movies ever! A true classic action film from the 80'! After 20.years watching again this movie it is still a classic sci-fi action film. Kurt Russell rocks also there is theme music from Escape From New York (1981) my favorite classic film that Kurt Russell and John Carpenter worked on it together.Clever one liners that will keep you rolling. This movie has it all, high kicks, low kicks, laughs, ghouls, demons, girls, and much more. Oh and did I mention Chinese black Magic? This movie will definitely engulf your living room in green flame and keep you asking for more. Big Trouble in Little China is amazing. Action, adventure and comedy are all here, and the result is one of the best cult classic films of all time. I must have seen this movie 50+ times, and it never gets old. Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is the character that everyone would like to be just for a day (maybe more). Driving around in The Pork Chop Express, beating up the bad guys, scoring with the ladies.....it's all in the reflexes for OI' Jack Burton! This is one of the most entertaining movies of the 80's, possibly ever!

I grew up watching this film, seen now after 20.years of watching this film later, It is still my favorite awesome action film! Mainly because of Kurt Russell the man can kick ass! He has humor, charm and can do a good things. He was so funny and hilarious in this film. Gosh the film is wonderful and I just love it so much. Is actually my fourth best John Carpenter/Kurt Russell film and I just love those four movies so much! I Love Big Trouble in Little China to death and It was hard to get this film on Blu-ray. It is one of John Carpenter's awesome adventures. Kurt Russell plays the egotistical Jack Burton extremely well, delivering the cheesy macho lines in the way they were intended. Beautifully filmed (the fight scene in the alley), this has been one of my favorites from Carpenter for a long time with Escape from New York, Escape from L.A. , The Thing, Prince of Darkness, The Fog and Vampires.

Special effects are great, wonderful and outstanding! It is favorite Kurt Russell's performance, underrated gem of a movie, and one of the most quotable too. I love how this all started because Wang lost a drinking game to Jack. To this day I haven't seen anything like it.That's movie magic right there. Jack Burton should be in the top 10 movie characters ever!. San Francisco, CA-Jack Burton is possibly the greatest hero to ever walk the Earth at least in his own mind!!! The chemistry between Jack and Wang is so believable you want to see more adventure between the duo. This movie has a lot of fun, it is enjoyable flick it has imagination, great acting from all the actors, they all lightning us up with great performances. The action and adventures are super amazing, it is like you want to be in this movie! It has super fun characters in here and a cool awesome monster!

Big Trouble in Little China is 80's classic! I love everything that it is in this film. I love the score, especially in the underworld. The battle in the alley when the 3 storms turn up is awesome. Don't see many films that transcend this many genres as well. I heard they are also planning to remake this film Big Trouble in Little China (2016) with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in it! Why? Only to get more money? Why remaking or rebooting this film?, when we already have a classic action film here! This film does not need any reboot or remake, leave it alone the way it is! "Gosh"

Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action comedy film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong.

The basic plot about this film is about Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) a simple man who doesn't believe in ghosts or magic until he's swept into a mind-boggling adventure deep within Chinatown's mysterious underworld. Burton's pal, Wang Chi (Dennis Dun), is trying to rescue his kidnapped fiancée. Egg Shen (Victor Wong), an enigmatic tour-bus driver seems to know a lot about ancient Chinese magic for a simple tour-bus driver.

They do battle with an outlandish array of human and inhuman adversaries under the command of Lo Pan (James Hong), a 2000-year-old evil magician who has the power to transform himself from a wheelchair-bound old man into a seven-foot-tall mystical menace. It does involves black magic and mystical forces of darkness.

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