A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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
With appearances by both John Huston and Roman Polanski, this is one of the very few films, perhaps the only one, which features significant acting performances by two Oscar-winning directors. Huston had won his Oscar over 25 years before Chinatown (1974), and Polanski would win his over 25 years later. See more »
In scene with Gittes, Mulvihill, and Yelburton ("Mulvihill! What are you doing here?"), elevator call buttons are modern, automatic elevator type - they have lights. In the 1930's, elevator call buttons were generally black and had no lights. See more »
All right, Curly. Enough's enough. You can't eat the Venetian blinds. I just had them installed on Wednesday.
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Truly deserving of its title as one of the greatest films of all time, Chinatown delivers in spades. Everything about the film shines, and it looks better now than it probably did in 1974; of course, there's a lot of junk in the theaters these days. Acting, cinematography, script, atmosphere, it's all 10s baby. The story of a struggling P.I. getting a case that has more twists and turns than a mountain road is still one of the most crafted storylines ever concocted. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, John Hillerman, and everyone else deliver superb performances. Robert Towne's script, John A. Alonzo's camerawork, and Polanski's direction all make this a classic. You can't be a movie buff if you haven't seen this one.
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