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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   172,553 votes »
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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 21 wins & 22 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Marvelous See more (425 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)

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)
Jim Pearsall .... creative film services graphic artist (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

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:
Anachronisms: Among the items in Ida Session's pocketbook, which Gittes rummages through is a social security card which is 1970s style with blue and red ink, not the 1937 style which had only one color, and a different look.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:
Soundtrack:
Some DaySee more »

FAQ

How could Cross have an incestuous relationship with Evelyn? Wouldn't she have known it was wrong?
What is Noah Cross' ultimate plan?
What is the meaning of "Chinatown" and the last line of the movie?
See more »
175 out of 244 people found the following review useful.
Marvelous, 30 January 2002
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA

There is a word, impossible to spell, that describes the alignment of solar bodies like the planets when they all fall into place together. A similar word would describe this film. Everything about it is right. Polanski never directed a better movie. The performers, down to the lowest atmosphere person, are superb. The editing, the score, the sound, the decor, the dialog, all are just about flawless. The photography is peerless. The white garden apartments, the terra cotta roof tiles, the palms and desert sand are all painted with a faint gold, faintly ripe with false promise, like the oranges that bounce from Gittes' desperately speeding car in the northwest Valley.

Polanski deserves much of the credit. When Gittes surprises Evelyn Mulwray in her car, after he follows her to her daughter's house, her face slumps forward and beeps the horn briefly. Then, so faintly, we hear a few dogs bark in the background. Not only is the scene itself exquisitely done but it prefigures the ending, as does Gittes' remark earlier to Evelyn that she has a flaw in her iris. The movie is too good to deserve much dissecting. It stands repeated watching. If there is anything wrong with it, it is the serious and tragic ending that Polanski always insists on tacking on. Robert Towne was right and Polanski wrong in this case. Everything came together on this film. It's not only the best detective movie ever made; it's one of the best movies ever made -- period. A marvelous job by everyone concerned.

I have to add (6/27/05) that the word I mentioned in the first sentence is spelled "syzygy." Man, did I get enlightening email on that. I might as well add two other impressive features of this movie. (1) Polanksi takes his time. Example: Gittes sneaks into Hollis Mulwray's office and begins to go through the drawers of his old-fashioned wooden desk. As he slides each drawer out, Polanksi gives us a shot of their humdrum contents (checkbooks, magnifying glass, and so forth) and we can almost smell the heat and the odor of shellac and sawdust emanating from the wooden containers. The contents reveal nothing of importance in this case. But (2) sometimes irrelevant information crops up that resonates later in the film with its own echo. The detail might be just a word ("applecore") or an ordinary object (a pair of spectacles found in a pond, immediately after Gittes imitates the Japanese gardener's remark that the water is bad for the "glass.") Some of the references may be so consistent as to constitute a theme (water). None of this hits you over the head with its significance. It's all very neatly stitched together.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (425 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Chinatown (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Inbred kids seem to turn out fine according to this movie... miljenko
Jake's previous mess up in Chinatown eyeforbeauty
Brawl at the Orange Groves rsr26
Faye Dunaway EmTV83
Two points I don't understand lewis-51
Why Were They Diverting the Water? jtb01
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