8.2/10
270,057
506 user 253 critic

Chinatown (1974)

Trailer
3:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

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

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writer:

Robert Towne
Reviews
Popularity
977 ( 216)

'Chinatown': Our 45th Anniversary Supercut

Chinatown premiered 45 years ago today. We look at Roman Polanski's classic, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, with an IMDb Supercut.

Watch our video

Top Rated Movies #148 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
The Tenant (1976)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas
Adventure | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Vertigo (1958)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Unforgiven (1992)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson
Fargo (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi
Carnage (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 James O'Rear ... Lawyer (as James O'Reare)
James Hong ... Evelyn's Butler
Edit

Storyline

In 1937 Los Angeles, private investigator Jake 'J.J.' Gittes specializes in cheating-spouse cases. His current target is Hollis Mulwray, high-profile chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whose wife suspects him of infidelity. In following Mulwray, Gittes witnesses some usual business dealings, such as a public meeting for construction of a new dam to create additional water supply for Los Angeles, as fresh water is vital to the growing community during the chronic drought; Mulwray opposes the dam. Eventually Gittes sees Mulwray meeting with an unknown young woman who isn't his wife. Once news of the supposed tryst between Mulwray and this woman hits the media, additional information comes to light that makes Gittes believe that Mulwray is being framed for something and that he himself is being set up. In his investigation of the issue behind Mulwray's framing and his own setup, Gittes is assisted by Mulwray's wife Evelyn, but he thinks she isn't being ... Written by Huggo

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. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese | Spanish

Release Date:

20 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barrio Chino See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,200,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,225,935
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski considered Julie Christie for the role of Evelyn Mulray. See more »

Goofs

They're in a drought and heat, yet when Jake enters the orange grove, fully ripe oranges can be seen. Oranges ripen in winter and are all picked before spring. 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 »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1940's Paramount logo. See more »

Alternate Versions

5.1 track on the Blu-ray release replaces gunshot sound effects and a few other foley effects. The 2.0 track provided as a second option is the original unaltered mono. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Glitch! (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Easy Living
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

One of the top 100 films of all time
6 August 2002 | by raysondSee all my reviews

The year 1974 was very memorable. That year several films were successes which consisted of Francis Coppula's "The Godfather:Part II",Alan Pakula's political thriller "The Parallex View",Robert Aldrich's "The Longest Yard",and not to mention the disaster epics of the day;Irwin Allen's "The Towering Inferno",and Mark Robson's "Earthquake" not to mention the films "The Conversation",and "The Great Gatsby","Lenny",and "Blazing Saddles" to name a few. But one film in particular stood out from all the rest and it shows why that was one of AFI's 100 top films of all time.

The year was 1974. The motion picture is "Chinatown". This was the movie that cemented Jack Nicholson as a bonafide superstar throughout the entire decade of the 1970's. This was the movie that started it all.

Jack Nicholson graduated from star to superstar playing a gumshoe in this marvelously intricate film noir of the 70's directed by Roman Polanski,who has a memorable cameo as a sadistic hood,gives Nicholson the most famous nose job in motion picture history. Robert Towne's Oscar winning script(whom they used in some acting and writing classes as a learning tool in some colleges)brilliantly depicts 1940's Los Angeles as a glittering cesspool of murder,incest,and corrupt land deals. Faye Dunaway steals the picture with a haunting performance as the film's alluring female fatale,and John Huston,as her creepy millionaire father,will make your skin crawl. The stunning finale still packs an emotional wallop. "Chinatown" was the apex of what the cinema of the 1970's was about to become,and this was the prime factor of that as well.

The film was nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Picture and won three for Best Original Score(Jerry Goldsmith),Best Screenplay(Robert Towne),and Best Supporting Actor(John Huston).


87 of 158 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 506 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed