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Chinatown
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Chinatown (1974) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 74 | slideshow) Videos (see all 7)
Chinatown -- A private detective investigating an adultery case stumbles on to a scheme of murder that has something to do with water.
Chinatown -- Clip: Your husband was murdered
Chinatown -- Clip: Of course I'm respectable, I'm old
Chinatown -- Clip: In Chinatown
Chinatown -- Clip: I don't know what you are talking about

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   161,297 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Robert Towne (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Chinatown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 June 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 20 wins & 22 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Yes, this really is the best movie ever... See more (412 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... J.J. Gittes

Faye Dunaway ... Evelyn Mulwray

John Huston ... Noah Cross

Perry Lopez ... Escobar

John Hillerman ... Yelburton
Darrell Zwerling ... Hollis Mulwray

Diane Ladd ... Ida Sessions

Roy Jenson ... Mulvihill

Roman Polanski ... Man with Knife
Richard Bakalyan ... Loach (as Dick Bakalyan)

Joe Mantell ... Walsh

Bruce Glover ... Duffy
Nandu Hinds ... Sophie
James O'Rear ... Lawyer (as James O'Reare)

James Hong ... Evelyn's Butler
Beulah Quo ... Maid

Jerry Fujikawa ... Gardener
Belinda Palmer ... Katherine

Roy Roberts ... Mayor Bagby

Noble Willingham ... Councilman
Elliott Montgomery ... Councilman

Rance Howard ... Irate Farmer
George Justin ... Barber
C.O. Erickson ... Customer (as Doc Erickson)
Fritzi Burr ... Mulwray's Secretary
Charles Knapp ... Mortician
Claudio Martínez ... Boy on Horseback (as Claudio Martinez)
Federico Roberto ... Cross' Butler

Allan Warnick ... Clerk
John Holland ... Farmer in the Valley

Jesse Vint ... Farmer in the Valley
Jim Burk ... Farmer in the Valley (as Jim Burke)
Denny Arnold ... Farmer in the Valley

Burt Young ... Curly
Elizabeth Harding ... Curly's Wife
John Rogers ... Mr. Palmer
Cecil Elliott ... Emma Dill
Paul Jenkins ... Policeman

Lee de Broux ... Policeman (as Lee De Broux)
Bob Golden ... Policeman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Warren ... Driver (uncredited)
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Directed by
Roman Polanski 
 
Writing credits
Robert Towne (written by)

Roman Polanski  uncredited

Produced by
C.O. Erickson .... associate producer (as C. O. Erickson)
Robert Evans .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith (music)
 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo (director of photography)
Stanley Cortez (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Sam O'Steen (film editor)
 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg (casting by)
Mike Fenton (casting by)
 
Production Design by
Richard Sylbert 
 
Art Direction by
W. Stewart Campbell 
 
Set Decoration by
Ruby R. Levitt  (as Ruby Levitt)
 
Costume Design by
Anthea Sylbert 
 
Makeup Department
Hank Edds .... makeup
Susan Germaine .... hairstylist
Lee Harman .... makeup (as Lee Harmon)
Vivienne Walker .... hairstylist
 
Production Management
C.O. Erickson .... unit production manager (as C. O. Erickson)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Ader .... second assistant director
Hawk Koch .... assistant director (as Howard W. Koch Jr.)
Lee Rafner .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Bill MacSems .... property master (as Bill Mac Sems)
Gabe Resh .... set designer
Robert Resh .... set designer
Tom Bartholomew .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
L. David Gordon .... draper (uncredited)
Joseph Hurley .... production illustrator (uncredited)
Terry E. Lewis .... property assistant (uncredited)
Bill Parks .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Mike Reedy .... property maker (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Clint Althouse .... boom man (as Clint Althaus)
Bob Cornett .... sound editor (as Robert Cornett)
Charles Grenzbach .... re-recording (as Bud Grenzbach)
Larry Jost .... sound mixer
Howard Beals .... sound editor (uncredited)
David Dockendorf .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
James Pilcher .... cable man (uncredited)
Fred Stafford .... adr editor (uncredited)
Roger Sword .... sound editor (uncredited)
John Wilkinson .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Logan Frazee .... special effects
 
Stunts
Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Alan Gibbs .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hugh K. Gagnier .... camera operator (as Hugh Gagnier)
Earl Gilbert .... gaffer
Bernie Schwartz .... key grip
Bob Barber .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Sol Berlin .... generator operator (uncredited)
Edward Borland .... grip (uncredited)
Ken John Borland .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Richard Borland .... key grip (uncredited)
Richard Debolt .... camera operator (uncredited)
Kenneth Johnston .... best boy grip (uncredited)
Cecil Lupton .... best boy (uncredited)
Arnold L. Rich .... camera operator (uncredited)
Orlando Suero .... still photographer (uncredited)
Lance Williams .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Richard Bruno .... wardrobe
Jean Merrick .... wardrobe
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Florence Williamson .... assistant editor (as Flo Williamson)
John Stagnitta .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John C. Hammell .... music editor
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet solo (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Robert Clarke .... transportation co-captain (uncredited)
Ribello Mastroianni .... transportation captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
May Wale Brown .... script supervisor
Gary Chazan .... assistant to the producer
Wayne Fitzgerald .... titles
Justin Buehrlen .... auditor (uncredited)
Rosalyn Catania .... production secretary (uncredited)
Ellen Garvey .... production assistant (uncredited)
Barbara Kalish .... secretary to producer (uncredited)
Ralph McCutcheon .... wrangler (uncredited)
Linda Richman .... secretary to producer (uncredited)
Thelma Roberts .... secretary to director (uncredited)
Lee Sollenberger .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Ron Weber .... craft service (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Paramount Pictures (as A Paramount-Penthouse Presentation) (as Paramount A Gulf+Western Company) (A Roman Polanski Film) (A Robert Evans Production)
  • Penthouse (as A Paramount-Penthouse Presentation)
DistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
130 min
Country:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (re-release) (re-rating) (2007) (2012) | UK:15 (video rating) (1987) (1992) | USA:R (Approved No. 23916) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Writer Robert Towne was originally offered $125,000 to write a screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), but Towne felt he couldn't better the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and accepted $25,000 to write his own story, "Chinatown," instead.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Gittes and Escobar pull Hollis out of the channel at the reservoir, Gittes has on a brown suit with a tan shirt under it. A scene later, when Gittes and Escobar confront Mrs. Mulwray, Gittes has on a tie similar to Escobar's in the scene before with a gray suit. Escobar's suit and tie are also different.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Wishful Drinking (2010) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
I Can't Get StartedSee more »

FAQ

What is the meaning of "Chinatown" and the last line of the movie?
Is "Chinatown" based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
181 out of 285 people found the following review useful.
Yes, this really is the best movie ever..., 28 June 2004
Author: attitudeadjustment from Orange County, California

From the first 10 minutes of the first time I saw this movie in the theatre, I've truly loved it, more any other movie I've ever seen. Why? Well, that easy, it's just so... PERFECT!

Obviously there are many other great movies, and many other movies I personally also love, but Chinatown has a real spell over me. Other fans have commented here on the story and the spellbinding way that the forlorn and utterly mysterious story unfolds. I certainly agree.

Chinatown's cinematography and editing? Yes, I agree again! IMO, it's breathtaking, with pacing so tight that I sit straight up thru the whole movie and my nerves become completely raw every time I watch, listen and FEEL it again.

I don't think anybody has commented yet on the great choice of the many supporting actors. Each one so well cast and very believable in their roles! You've got the entire cast credits list (thank you IMDb) so I won't list them here but there are so many memorable performances here! It would be unfair to highlight one, two or three! Good cops, bad cops, ugly rich, up-and-coming, downtrodden poor, the very honest and very crooked with all shades in between! Each and every role a character study in and of itself and together they make a living "time capsule" of the forties that we can revisit for generations to come.

And then there's that sound track which hooked me on great trumpet players and the Est Coast Jazz sound of the era. I just love that music and way it interweaves with the ongoing theme - it's perfectly united with the faithful and compelling use of the film-noir style.

I saw this movie first in Chicago and heck, back then I knew nothing about LA, though I've since moved to and lived in the area for years. Once relocated, I quickly discovered the historically interesting side to the story and then appreciated the movie from yet another compelling angle. No question, the plot is fundamentally sound with many totally unexpected and yet quite plausible turns. But I later understood that it's within the realm of believability from factual standpoint, as well as intellectually/emotionally.

Geez, I'll never forget that first confrontational scene at the Albacore Club! The study in absolute raw and evil power as masterly portrayed by John Huston. In the very same scene Jack Nicholson skillfully paints the subtleties of his cautious, cynical, small-time hustler character. The air crackles! I must have played this scene in my mind a thousand times. When I visited Catalina Island for the first time in about 1985, not knowing its significance to the movie, I walked by the Albacore Club (The Tuna Club in real life) and froze transfixed. I recognized it instantly of course, and I must have stood there gawking for 20 minutes not saying a word. I could literally HEAR the Chinatown theme - the memories were that clear and fresh!

In closing, I guess then what does it about Chinatown for me (why I feel so strongly that it is the very best movie of all) is that every facet of the movie construction, from the opening scene to the ending credits, somehow fits together in a homogeneous, complete and absolutely flawless way.

I find it fascinating to analyze the characters and their makeup. To imagine the reasons they did what they did. But there is NOTHING I would change. Nothing.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (412 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Chinatown (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Faye Dunaway EmTV83
Who hired Ida Sessions? Vame
Worst ending ever. that_kiwi_fella
You're screwing like a chinaman .... TheGingerReview
'I don't see anyone for very long, it's difficult for me' ashl_777
Why was Gittes Hired to follow Mulray in the first place? oceantracks-1
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