476 user 233 critic

Chinatown (1974)

3:16 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.



1,365 ( 376)
Top Rated Movies #129 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Vertigo (1958)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Rear Window (1954)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester


Cast overview, first billed only:
Darrell Zwerling ...
Hollis Mulwray
Loach (as Dick Bakalyan)
Nandu Hinds ...
James O'Rear ...
Lawyer (as James O'Reare)
Evelyn's Butler


JJ 'Jake' Gittes is a private detective who seems to specialize in matrimonial cases. He is hired by Evelyn Mulwray when she suspects her husband Hollis, builder of the city's water supply system, of having an affair. Gittes does what he does best and photographs him with a young girl but in the ensuing scandal, it seems he was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray. When Mr. Mulwray is found dead, Jake is plunged into a complex web of deceit involving murder, incest, and municipal corruption all related to the city's water supply. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You get tough. You get tender. You get close to each other. Maybe you even get close to the truth. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

20 June 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barrio Chino  »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,000,000, 31 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Noah Cross is a reference to the Biblical character of Noah, with all of the associated connotations about water. See more »


They're in a drought and heat, yet when Jake enters the orange grove, fully ripe oranges can be seen. Oranges ripen in winter and are all picked before spring. See more »


[first lines]
Jake Gittes: All right, Curly. Enough's enough. You can't eat the Venetian blinds. I just had them installed on Wednesday.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1940's Paramount logo. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Kill the Alligator and Run (2000) See more »


The Way You Look Tonight
from Swing Time (1936) (uncredited)
Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A noir masterpiece, possibly even a timeless classic...
23 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

While I don't care too much for Roman Polanski's style of direction(maybe I'll grow to like it eventually, maybe not), I can't deny that this is a truly great film. Jack Nicholson really shines through in his role, and his acting in this film perfectly fits the character... his shark smile, his voice, his tone... all of it, perfect. I always thought, when watching films with Nicholson, that he'd make a great lead in a noir film, so when I found this film and discovered that it was indeed noir, I naturally saw it as soon as possible. I found the film to have a slightly slower pace than what I would have preferred or expected, but apart from that minor detail, it was flawless. The plot is great, and thoroughly interesting and involving. The pacing, while not fast all the time, is more than acceptable. There are sequences that are really intense and exciting. The acting is great... like I said earlier, Nicholson shines through and really takes this character and makes him his own. The characters are well-written and credible. The special effects are well-done and still hold up pretty well. The dialog is very well-written and memorable. There are quite a few quotable lines, as well. The cinematography is good, and even when the plot doesn't move a lot, Polanski keeps our interest through interesting angles and sequences. I liked that there was often something subtle going on in the background, while we're focusing on what's directly in front of us. While Polanski certainly doesn't possess the attention to detail that Kubrick does, he manages to put a good bit of detail into many of the shots, and there is fairly little left to coincidence or chance, much like Kubrick. The film has a few twists that are quite good, and they come as surprises... I don't think I really saw them coming, and I doubt anyone would be able to. Of course, some might not find the twists to be that impressive, but the story stands on it's own nicely as well. This is a great movie, which should be seen by just about anyone who can take it(it's more than just casually adult in nature, even though there's not that much violence or sex in it). I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys film noir, watching Jack Nicholson in perfect shape in a role that was tailor-made for him, a good mystery, Roman Polanski's direction and just a good movie with a more adult tone that many others. 10/10

111 of 171 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 476 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page