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Chinatown [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Faye Dunaway , Jack Nicholson , Roman Polanski    Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
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Chinatown [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) + L.A. Confidential / Los Angeles Interdite (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

Product Description


Roman Polanski's brooding film noir exposes the darkest side of the land of sunshine, the Los Angeles of the 1930s, where power is the only currency--and the only real thing worth buying. Jack Nicholson is J.J. Gittes, a private eye in the Chandler mold, who during a routine straying-spouse investigation finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a jigsaw puzzle of clues and corruption. The glamorous Evelyn Mulwray (a dazzling Faye Dunaway) and her titanic father, Noah Cross (John Huston), are at the black-hole center of this tale of treachery, incest, and political bribery. The crackling, hard-bitten script by Robert Towne won a well-deserved Oscar, and the muted color cinematography makes the goings-on seem both bleak and impossibly vibrant. Polanski himself has a brief, memorable cameo as the thug who tangles with Nicholson's nose. One of the greatest, most completely satisfying crime films of all time. --Anne Hurley

Special Features

This 25th anniversary edition has been remastered and contains a featurette with new interviews with director Roman Polanski, screenwriter Robert Towne, and producer Robert Evans.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Screenplay, A Perfect Film July 9 2004
Many writers consider Robert Towne's screenplay for 'Chinatown' as the perfect screenplay. It is, and is also in fact the example of how important good writing is in the art of cinema. It is perfection and in the hands of Roman Polanski it became a film masterpiece. But it all goes back to the writing. Robert Towne has taken the true story of how Los Angeles stole water to grow and wound around it the fictional story of Jake Gittes, Evelyn Mulwray, and Noah Cross and made them major participants in an ugly little tale of lust and greed. Towne's screenplay is layered like a decaying Dahlia with twisting mysteries and taught suspense. There is not a loose end in sight and a few well placed red herrings are added to the mix to delight any fan of this type of story.
The attention to detail from vintage cars, sets, real L.A. streets and alleys to the excellent score by Jerry Goldsmith and the golden cinematography of John A. Alonzo contribute to all the aspects of this classic of the post 60's film noir.
Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray is at the top of her game creating a neurotic exotic hothouse flower that carries death within the heart of her dark and dirty secret. Lacquered and veiled in the most perfect black widow getup of the genre she is superbly brittle and vulnerable at the same time. She is fascinating to watch as she slowly unravels along with the mystery until she is naked in the horror of what her past and present prison is. This is a great performance by a great artist.
As Evelyn's father Noah Cross, John Huston is the debauched cancerous center of evil and greed captured within the crumbling casing of a seemingly charming old man. He too gives the performance of a lifetime and his soliloquy on what a man is capable of is chilling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS WHAT FILM IS SUPPOSED TO BE June 6 2004
The mid-1970s saw a spate of "government conspiracy" films, all with liberal themes that emanated from Watergate. None of them were about Kennedy stealing the 1960 election. Hmm.
"Chinatown" (1974) may be the best screenplay ever written. A historical look at 1930s Los Angeles, it actually condensed events from the 1900s with events that, uh, never happened but made for good drama. Written by L.A. native Robert Towne, directed by Roman Polanski, produced by Evans and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunnaway and famed director John Huston, it told the story of how Los Angeles became a metropolis. In Towne's version, Huston "owns" the L.A. Department of Water & Power with a character based on actual L.A. City engineer William Mulholland. Mulholland had orchestrated the political deal which built the aqueduct that brought water from the Owens Valley into the L.A. Basin, allowing millions of Southern Californians to keep their lawns green to this day.
The Mulholland character is "sacrificed" at the altar of greed, embodied by Huston, who secretly buys the San Fernando Valley, knowing that once the water deal is set, it will be incorporated into the city, making him a gazillionaire. It is rather cynical, although nobody suggests the L.A. "city fathers" were boy scouts. The same old theme is that capitalism and American political power are corrupt. To make sure the audience is convinced the corruption is beyond redemption, Huston is in the end found out be an insatiable, incestual monster. He plays the role so well it brings up minds-eye imagery of his real daughter, Angelica. The film is utterly beyond any criticism, regardless of political colorization. For decades, film students and screenwriters have studied it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chinatown: A Cinematic Masterpiece Feb. 22 2004
This is simply one of the finest films EVER made. It is MY personal favorite film of all time and was judged one of the top 25 best films of all time by the American Film Institute for very good reasons. First of all, the script is brilliant. This film was MADE to be owned, since on first viewing the spectator won't realize that EVERYTHING in the film, down to the pictures on the walls and seemingly off-handed remarks by the characters are PART of the story. In one line from the film, Noah Cross says ".... you may THINK you know what you are dealing with, Mr. Gittes, but believe me, you don't" and that statement could not be more "on target".... This movie gives the viewer clue after clue along the way.... but one should NEVER rewind or go back until the entire movie is viewed.... but absolutely play it a second time a week or so later... and suddenly you find the clues, the lies and the deception stands out in bold relief. I have seen Chinatown at least 25 times over the years... and it still fascinates me. Nicholson deserved the Oscar for this film. Dunaway was sultry and marvelous. John Huston was absolutely convincing as Noah Cross, the man with unlimited power and even Diane Ladd, in a minor role as "Ida Sessions"... a small time "working girl" was perfection. The DVD transfer is not perfect... I would say it is a 9 on a scale of 10, some fuzz here and there and some background noise in the quieter parts... but overall it looks clear, color corrected and clean. The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith, although composed in a week, is probably his best score. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good price, came in good time
God quality, good price, came in good time.
Published 1 month ago by Ramon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
Remains as fresh today as when it was originally released. BD transfer and restoration well executed for both video and sound. Read more
Published 7 months ago by duckysan1
1.0 out of 5 stars chinatown info
it has been over a month and have not received chinatown dvd. don't know what to say other than that.
Published 19 months ago by David Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story!
This story had a good plot and was well acted. The recent animated movie Rango was based on Chinatown. Definitely worth seeing!
Published 23 months ago by Ajumenai
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is a really good film with fascinating atmosphere and great performances. I just regret it has taken me thirty years to get around to seeing it. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2011 by Ray Lefebvre
4.0 out of 5 stars China Town still holds water
this was my first viewing and i have to say the cinematography still is of a quality that i can recommend.
Published on April 28 2010 by Russell J. Dionne
5.0 out of 5 stars And I still think that you're hiding something....
I re-watched this movie today for the first time in years and I have to say that it never gets old. Along with Taxi Driver and On the Waterfront, this is one of the only truly... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2008 by Kathleen YO!
5.0 out of 5 stars I have now seen 2 first rate Polanski films (4.5/5)
Well,i never thought i'd say this,but,i have now seen 2 very good Roman
Polanski movies.(the other being the brilliant"The Ninth
Gate")anyway,Chinatown is a simple story... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2007 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Chinatown-A must own for Noir fans
To all classic film lovers, and movie fans in general,this film has it all. An incredible screenplay brought out to perfection by an A list cast and an incredible(and... Read more
Published on May 5 2006 by Mohid Bazian
5.0 out of 5 stars I cut my nose shaving
Not since Otto Preminger's LAURA had filmgoers the pleasure of watching a classic film noir, until Polanski's CHINATOWN. Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by Rocco Dormarunno
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