A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a twelve-year-old 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
Screenwriter Robert Towne was originally offered one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars to write a screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), but Towne felt he couldn't better the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and accepted twenty-five thousand dollars to write his own story, "Chinatown", instead. See more »
When Gittes first drives up to the Mulwray's home it's supposed to be lunchtime but the long shadows indicate this scene was shot in the early morning or very late afternoon. 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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The film opens with the 1940's Paramount logo. See more »
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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