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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.

Director:

John Carpenter
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Popularity
1,508 ( 240)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Mystical, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Kung Fu, Monster, Ghost Story! See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$11,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kurt Russell confessed on the DVD commentary that he was afraid of starring in the movie, because he had made a string of movies that flopped at the box-office. When he asked John Carpenter about it, he told Kurt that it didn't matter to him - he just wanted to make the movie with him. See more »

Goofs

When Jack Burton rolls backwards in the wheel chair that stops and is teetering on the edge of falling into a well, you can clearly see the wires holding the chair in place to keep it from falling. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

There is an alternate version with an added ending scene (found in the directors cut DVD), where after the story is finished, Kurt Russel, in his truck again, finds the 3 punks from the beginning of the movie sitting in their sports car by the docks. He then decidedly drives forward, smashing into their car and throwing it, with them inside, into the sea. This ending was removed from the theatrical version, being donned as "Too vengeful" after test screens. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemadonna: Shanghai Surprise (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Trouble in Little China
Written by John Carpenter
Performed by The Coupe de Villes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Tongue-In-Cheek '80s 'Classic'
22 June 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See 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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