5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS WHAT FILM IS SUPPOSED TO BE
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,...
Published on June 6 2004 by Steven R. Travers
3.0 out of 5 stars Wheres the rest?
First of all I am a fan of jacks films but there is a difference between a good story and a good movie. This is a good story, and I have stayed interested through the whole thing twice and enjoyed it both times. But there were aspects of the movie which left me a bit empty. This is a good movie for you if you A. are a Jack nicholson fan, or B. are a fan of private dick...
Published on Aug. 29 2003 by matthew
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story!,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chinatown [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)This story had a good plot and was well acted. The recent animated movie Rango was based on Chinatown. Definitely worth seeing!
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS WHAT FILM IS SUPPOSED TO BE,
"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. It spawned an artistic quest to lace the screen with symbols, metaphors, backstory, and twists.
"Chinatown" seems to be the apex of the American film period, the mid-1970s. The period from 1960 to 1979 is unparalleled, but the backstory of the people who created these classics is a telling tale of why the genre leans to the Left. In the 1960s, film schools became popular. Four schools emerged, and have held their place as the place to learn the craft. In Los Angeles there was the USC School of Cinema-Television. Their first big alumnus was "Star Wars" director George Lucas. UCLA combined their film school with their drama program, so as to bring actors, writers, directors and producers together. Coppola went to UCLA along with a future rock star named Jim Morrison, who would form The Doors with another UCLA film alumnus, keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)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. In some respects it reminds me of more recent films such as L.A. Confidential and Hollywood, two films that also showed an underside to mid century California.
I highly recommend this!
4.0 out of 5 stars China Town still holds water,
This review is from: Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)this was my first viewing and i have to say the cinematography still is of a quality that i can recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars And I still think that you're hiding something....,
So yeah, great acting, directing, and an ending that will stay engraved in your brain for years. Definitely a top five movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars I have now seen 2 first rate Polanski films (4.5/5),
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Chinatown-A must own for Noir fans,
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Screenplay, A Perfect Film,
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.
The center of this masterwork is Jack Nicholson who became a star with this, the best of his early work. His J. J. Gittes is hardboiled and ruthless in getting to the bottom of why he is being used to take the fall for a murder. He embodies the soul of Bogart and the heart of a romantic fighting to stay tuff in a rotten world. He is drawn with such skill that he seems not to be acting but simply existing the real world of L.A. in the late 1930's.
"Chinatown" is seminal in its place in film history. It bridged and old and forgotten genre with a new Hollywood in its post studio infancy and laid the groundwork for later films of equal ambition such as "Mullholland Falls" and "L.A. Confidential".
This is one of the best film ever made and a must have for any serious film collector.
5.0 out of 5 stars I cut my nose shaving,
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Great Noir Film,
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Chinatown [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by Roman Polanski (Blu-ray - 2012)
CDN$ 32.99 CDN$ 27.99