Tai-Pan (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes


Tai-Pan (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Daryl Duke directed this epic adventure, based on James Clavell's best-selling novel, concerning the battle for control of the China trade in early 19th-century Hong Kong. The film takes place in 1842 on the China Coast, where the Chinese object to the British imperialist policy of buying opium from the Chinese and then selling it back to them at a higher price. As a result, British warships arrive to pound the recalcitrant Chinese into submission. The outcome of the assault is a treaty giving England the right to operate Hong Kong as a free-port. The problem is who will become the Tai-Pan, or British merchant ruler of Hong Kong? The battle lines for the position are drawn between two swashbucklers -- Dirk Struan (Bryan Brown), a skipping and jumping buccaneer, and Tyler Brock (John Stanton), a weaselly cheat. Brock makes the first move by forcing Straun into bankruptcy, but, thanks to the help of the local prostitute May-May (Joan Chen), who has a score to settle with Brock, Straun is able to raise the money at the last minute. This enrages Brock, who remains bitter through the years and finally confronts Straun in a climactic sword fight.


Bryan Brown
as Dirk Struan/Tai-Pan
John Stanton
as Tyler Brock
Joan Chen
as May-May
Tim Guinee
as Culum Struan
Jovita Adrineda
as Servant Girl
Chang Cheng
as Jin Qua
Bob Appleby
as British Merchant
Patrick Ryecart
as Capt. Glessing
Dickey Beer
as Brock's Crew
Carol Gillies
as Mrs. Brock
Chan Lub Bun
as Elderly Chinese Woman
Bert Remsen
as Tillman
Barbara Keogh
as Mrs. Quance
Lisa Lu
as Ah Gip
Rosemarie Dunham
as Mrs. Fotheringill
Robert Easton
as Zergeyev
Shu Chen (II)
as Chen Sheng
Kwang Pan
as Kwang Kuo
Richard Foo
as Lin Din
Kam Siu
as Executioner
Job Stewart
as Dr. Gonzales
Joycelyne Lew
as Beaten Whore
Denise Kellogg
as Nude Model
Charles Woods
as British Merchant
Pat Gorman
as British Merchant
Ian Sheridan
as British Merchant
Vic Armstrong
as Drunken Sailor
Billy Horrigan
as Brock's Crew
Bronco McLoughlin
as Brock's Crew
Patty Toy
as Poxed Whore
Mac Wheater
as British Merchant
Chuang Cheng
as Jin Qua
View All

Critic Reviews for Tai-Pan

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

The director, Daryl Duke, shows an infallible talent for accentuating the obvious.

May 21, 2003 | Full Review…

The embodiment of those old movie posters where the title is hewn from solid rock and tiny figures scale it with cannons strapped to their backs, while the bosoms of their women heave in the foreground.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Based on the bestselling novel by James Clavell, "Tai-Pan" is a TV mini-series made into a minier movie

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Although the film as the first American feature to be shot in the People's Republic of China, there is little visual evidence for this accomplishment.

August 25, 2004 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for Tai-Pan

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