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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 mould, 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 centre 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 colour 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. Chinatown is one of the greatest, most completely satisfying crime films of all time. --Anne Hurley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Polanski movies.(the other being the brilliant"The Ninth
Gate")anyway,Chinatown is a simple story of private eye Jake Gittes,who
stumbles into a murder mystery.Jack Nicholson plays Gittes,in a
brilliantly understated performance.Nicholson makes Gittes into a very
likable character.The film has a very unique and impressive visual
style.Polanski's direction is very tight and economical.everything fits
and each scene has relevance to the film.This is not an action
movie,but more of character study,and is also very dialogue driven.
What action there is,is low key and passive.this is no criticism of the
movie,at all.it is so well written that it cannot fail to hold your
interest,and as director,Polanski Tties everything up neatly.Faye
Dunaway also plays a prominent role in the movie,delivering a very good
performance.The only thing i didn't like was the ending.i don't mean to
say it was bad ending,i had just hoped it would have gone in a
different direction.the screenplay was written by Robert Towne, and
Polanski himself had a hand in the screenplay,but is not credited.The
screenplay is responsible for a great deal of the film's success,but
this is clearly a team effort.All in all,Chinatown is a well crafted
movie from all involved. 4.5/5
So yeah, great acting, directing, and an ending that will stay engraved in your brain for years. Definitely a top five movie.
"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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Small outfit - but first rate [don't be afraid to use these guys].Published 8 months ago by William Wells
Remains as fresh today as when it was originally released. BD transfer and restoration well executed for both video and sound. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2014 by duckysan1
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