In 1842, the Chinese are outraged by the British imperialists who buy opium from them and then sell it back at a higher price. In response to this anger, the British send warships to the China Coast to maintain control. This results in a treaty which gives England the right to use Hong Kong as a free-port, and necessitates finding a Tai-Pan, who will be the British ruler of merchant trade in Hong Kong. Buccaneer Dirk Struan and dishonest Tyler Brock vie for the position. After Brock forces Struan into backruptcy, a prostitute named May-May helps Struan raise the money he needs to succeed and he takes the post. Many years later, Brock's bitterness surfaces and the two men fight it out with swords.
Bryan Brown, John Stanton, Joan Chen, Tim Guinee, Bill Leadbitter, Russell Wong, Katy Behean, Kira Sedgwick, Janine Turner, Norman Rodway, John Bennett, Derrick Branche, Chang Cheng, Patrick Ryecart, Nicholas Gecks, Carol Gillies, Michael C Gwynne, Bert Remsen, Barbara Keogh, Lisa Lu, Rosemarie Dunham, Robert Easton, Zhang Jie, Rob Spendlove, Chen Shu, Richard Foo, Jovita Adrineda, Patty Toy, Joycelyne Lew, Bob Appleby, Vic Armstrong, Dickey Beer, Bronco McLoughlin