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Chinatown (Widescreen)


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Chinatown
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Chinatown (Widescreen) + One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Vol Au-dessus d'un nid de coucou (Bilingual) + To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition (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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000022TSH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,645 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Chinatown

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 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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By falcon 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: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I first saw this movie in the 1980s and remembered liking it then so decided recently to buy a copy on Blue-ray to see if it was as good as my memory told me. I was not disappointed. This is an excellent movie, a good story, tight screenplay, brilliant direction and great acting. The story is set in 1930s Los Angeles and is a mixture of fact and fiction. :It starts as a simple detective yarn about a Private Eye hired to investigate a philandering husband by a mysterious wife, but develops into a story of murder, greed and corruption in the acquisition of water rights for the growing city of Los Angeles. .Jack Nicholson as Private Eye J.J. Gittes is at his best before he adopted those annoying affectations later in his career, Faye Dunaway brilliantly depicts Evelyn Mulwray the mysterious and secretive wife of L:.A. City engineer Hollis Mulwray and John Huston gives a stellar performance as charming but creepy billionaire Noah Cross. Gittes' sleuthing gradually uncovers a dark and sinister side to the L.A. glitz leading to an ending that is surprising but somewhat appropriate. This is a movie that has to be watched more than once. It took me three viewings to appreciate the twists and turns and the complexities of the plot especially during the final stages when the pace really picks-up. Definitely a movie for my "Favorites Shelf" that I will watch again and again.
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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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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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