Chinatown

Tagline : You get tough. You get tender. You get close to each other. Maybe you even get close to the truth.

Runtime : 130 mins

Genre : Crime Drama Mystery Thriller

Vote Rating : 7.9/10

Budget : 6 million $ USD

Revenue : 30 million $ USD


Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : Private eye Jake Gittes lives off of the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite 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.

Cast Members

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Reviews

He nose you know! Chinatown is directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Towne. It stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez and John Hillerman. Music is by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by John A. Alonzo. Private investigator J.J. Gittes (Nicholson) is working on an adultery case but quickly finds himself embroiled in murder and corruption. The gathering of Polanski, Towne, Nicholson and Robert Evans (producer) put their respective skills together to craft one of the most lauded neo-noir films of all time. It's a searing picture awash with the staples of the film noir and gumshoe detective movies that graced cinema in the 40s and 50s. From the characterisations (suspicious femmes - mouthy coppers - sleazy kingpin - tough protagonist in a whirlpool of unravelling layers), to the hard boiled script, violence, sex and brutal revelations, it's a noir essential that only lacks chiaroscuro and expressionistic swirls to seal the complete deal. Allegoraries unbound, iconography assured and dialogue now in the lexicon of legends, Chinatown is not to be missed, not just by fans of noir, but fans of cinema, period. 9.5/10

**Great.** I can't say much about Roman Polanski because I feel I've seen too little of his work to make a more global analysis: I have only seen _The Ninth Gate_, _The Pianist_ and, now, this film. It's not much… but the truth is that they are three films that I really liked, and about which I have a very good opinion. This film is very good, fitting into a style that we can call “neo-noir”, insofar as its visual aesthetic is heavily inspired by noir, with the caveats that are due, as it is a color film and not black and white. Polanski is an attentive and meticulous director, who provides the audience with quality work, in which every detail has been thought of. With a story set in San Francisco during the 1930s, the film is very similar to the gangster movies that came out in the 40's and 50's. The story revolves around a private detective, an ex-cop, who is hired to watch a man in what appears to be just another case of adultery. Everything changes when he discovers that the woman who hired him is not a jealous wife. The search for answers will lead him to a web of intrigue and crimes that involves an important Californian company and a public works contract that can be decisive for the city's water storage. It's an excellent story, capable of holding us in the first few minutes and that harmoniously combines tension, romance and suspense, in the right measures. In addition to an excellent story, with a very well written script, the film presents us with a high quality cast headed by Jack Nicholson, at a time when he was still young and elegant enough to play heartthrob roles. The actor is very good and leaves in this film one of the most interesting works of his career. Faye Dunaway is not far behind and is simply wonderful, dignified and elegantly seductive, as a “femme fatale” should be. John Huston (Nicholson's father-in-law in real life, at this time) also appears in the film and makes a very positive and interesting participation. In addition to these qualities, the film also has superb production values: impeccably shot, with great angles and sharpness, it has very good cinematography, beautiful colors and light and shadow effects, in addition to excellent sepia tones that are called reinforcing the dominant "vintage" ambience. The film was a very detailed production, in which special attention was given to the creation of the sets and the choice of filming locations, so that everything fit well into the historical period. The choice of cars (which are important in the course of the plot) and the design of the costumes and props was also very careful. Last but not least, a note of praise for the excellent soundtrack, which was conceived by Jerry Goldsmith.

I think this might be my favourite role from Faye Dunaway. She is "Evelyn", a woman who suspects that her husband "Hollis" (Darrell Zwerling) is playing away from home. She engages the services of the cynical PI "Gittes" (Jack Nicholson) and pretty soon people are dead and he is embroiled in an internecine story of adultery, corruption and manipulation that proves pretty perilous for a detective who is working with one women he suspects is being a bit frugal with the truth and another whose identity he is desperately struggling to discover. Nicholson is also on super form, his performance is natural and engaging with a solid chemistry between his and Dunaway adding a richness to this rather quirky plot. Roman Polanski has assembled a strong supporting cast - notably John Huston who features sparingly but effectively as her wealthy, untrustworthy, father "Noah" and the photography does a great deal to help generate a sense of accumulating intrigue as we gradually make some headway through this complicated and interesting character study. The production looks great - the 1930s costume and motor cars alongside a smattering of the simmering attitudes that prevailed at the time are encapsulated well too. It's a shade over two hours, but it hits the ground running and never really stops until the ending that though not entirely unexpected, still has enough elements of surprise to keep it compelling.

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