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Chinatown (Widescreen)


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Chinatown
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Chinatown (Widescreen) + The Two Jakes (Bilingual)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Roman Polanski, Robert Towne
  • Producers: C.O. Erickson, Robert Evans
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • Release Date: Aug. 16 2004
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000022TSH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,776 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Landmark movie in the film noir tradition, Roman Polanski's Chinatown stands as a true screen classic. Jack Nicholson is private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night in...Chinatown. Co-starring film legend John Huston and featuring an Academy Awardr-winning script by Robert Towne, Chinatown captures a lost era in a masterfully woven movie that remains a timeless gem.

Amazon.ca

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
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 flawless films I can think of. The moody cinematography, the crisp and alive script and the acting are all first rate. I love Polanski's direction, never too flashy but still stylized enough for him to make his mark. Its also very economical, there isn't even a shot that is wasted. The high point has to be the acting, John Huston as the creepy old father is as revolting as he should be. Faye Dunaway in probably her best performance ever, you feel a lot of sympathy for her throughout but you never completely trust her. Jack Nicholson steals the movie though, as the wise*ss, well dressed, private investigator Jake Gittes. This is typical Nicholson in a way but before he became an over the top charicature of himself. He's as obvious as he has to be in some scenes but enjoy the subtlety of his performance. The bedroom scene with Dunaway is killer.
So yeah, great acting, directing, and an ending that will stay engraved in your brain for years. Definitely a top five movie.
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By falcon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 24 2007
Format: DVD
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 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
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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