IMDb > Chinatown (1974)
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   167,600 votes »
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Down 1% 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 »
NewsDesk:
(561 articles)
Locarno to honour Roman Polanski
 (From ScreenDaily. 28 July 2014, 4:13 AM, PDT)

Roman Polanski To Be Among Locarno Film Festival’s Guests of Honor
 (From Variety - Film News. 28 July 2014, 3:38 AM, PDT)

Competition: Win 'Venus in Fur' on DVD
 (From CineVue. 25 July 2014, 3:13 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
As coolly intense and exceptionally-staged as any detective story/film-noir of the 40's & 50's See more (421 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
Robert Evans .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo (director of photography)
Stanley Cortez (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Sam O'Steen (film editor)
 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
 
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
 
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 | Japan:PG12 (2014) | 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:
The first part of a planned trilogy written by Robert Towne about J.J. Gittes and L.A. The second part, The Two Jakes (1990), was directed by Jack Nicholson in 1990.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: When Gittes and Evelyn Mulwray are arguing after lunch in the Biltmore Hotel's limousine lane location (while the valet fetches her Packard), the camera is facing west towards the 1926 Checkers Hotel at 535 S. Grand Ave. However, the camera is angled in a way that reveals a completely incongruous 1967, forty-two-story AT&T building (address is 611 West Sixth St) just to the south of the fifteen-story Checkers Hotel.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 Gone Home (2013) (VG)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Way You Look TonightSee more »

FAQ

Please explain the plotline about the drunk who drowned?
Is "Chinatown" based on a book?
Is there a sequel to this movie?
See more »
109 out of 151 people found the following review useful.
As coolly intense and exceptionally-staged as any detective story/film-noir of the 40's & 50's, 17 December 2003
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Chinatown is a tremendous collaborative effort that produced one of the most memorable Hollywood pictures of the 1970's. Director Roman Polanski (his last film in America, and the first he made in America after the murder of Sharon Tate), stars Jack Nicholson & Faye Dunaway, and writer Robert Towne, all come together to create a detective story classic. At times it slows its pace down so the viewer can think along with Nicholson's character, to take in the environment as well as the situation he's in (i.e. when he goes to the empty reservoir, when he visits Noah Crosses house the first time). And the script has the perfect sense of drawing us into a story, fueled by curiosity, grit, and cynicism, and engages the viewer by its realistic dialog between the characters.

J.J. Gittes (Nicholson, in one of his best 70's performances) is in Los Angeles circa 1933 in the line of private investigator, usually dealing with people who may or may not believe that their significant other is having an affair. Evelyn Mulwray feels this may be the case with her husband Hollis, and Gittes decides to take the case. However, this draws him into a deeper case involving the city's loss of water once Hollis- a major player in the water supply controversy in the city- is found murdered. This eventually leads him to Noah Cross (John Huston), a big businessman and who also happens to be Evelyn's father. Intrigue starts to develop, as Jake's own life begins to be at risk.

As a intricate, detailed detective story the film is an above-average work, with Towne's script containing the maturity, and wicked sense of humor, of a James M. Cain or Raymond Chandler novel. When the thrills come they come as being striking. And when humanity and compassion get thrown into the mix, the film reaches a whole other plane of intelligence. The last third of the film could turn off some of the audience (depending on one's own level of belief), but it holds strong thanks to the performances. Nicholson doesn't over-step his bounds in any scene, finding the right notes in suggestive conversations. Dunaway is better than expected (though I'm not sure if it's an great performance). And Huston's Noah Cross is one of the more disturbing villains of that period in movies. Add to it some good cameos (Burt Young as a driver, Polanski playing the little guy in the infamous 'knife' scene), and a smooth soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith, Chinatown comes out as strong piece of movie-making, and arguably one of the greatest in the crime/mystery genre.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Chinatown (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Worst ending ever. that_kiwi_fella
Chilling Brief Foreshadow josh-357-995958
'I don't see anyone for very long, it's difficult for me' ashl_777
What car does Gittes drive? The black convertible ? ramanparmarphillips
portrait in trial scene satinee721
The Water Plot xpvista
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