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Chinatown (1974)

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

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Top Rated Movies #122 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 June 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barrio Chino  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Los Angeles is given its modern pronunciation in the film ("an-je-les"), prior to the mid-1950s residents said the city's name with a hard G ("angle-es"). See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Mulwray drives away from the Coroner's office you can hear a siren in the background. The siren is a modern electronic one. In the 1930's, they only had mechanical sirens which have a different sound. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Chinatown (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Some Day
from the operetta "The Vagabond King" (uncredited)
Brian Hooker and Rudolf Friml
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
watered down noire
28 May 2005 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

A film about LA and water set in the l930's during a drought with a dark incestuous subplot and some stunning performances by Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson, and superb cinematography that seemed to capture the essence of LA. Directed by Roman Polanski, who makes a terrific cameo appearance as a switchblade wielding heavy, and using the considerable acting talents of John Huston as a ruthless and perverted landowner. Read Cadillac Desert to know about LA's water grab but see Chinatown for its brilliant allegory of water and corruption, both public and private. The direction, the screenplay, the acting, the photography, and the soundtrack combine to make a convincing and atmospheric picture. The crushing ending is just so much more icing on the cake.


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