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Chinatown (1974)

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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
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Popularity
1,534 ( 17)
Top Rated Movies #132 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

The most highly acclaimed film of 1974! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese | Spanish

Release Date:

20 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barrio Chino See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,200,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,000,000, 31 January 2000
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski eliminated Jake Gittes' voice-over narration, which was written in the script, and filmed the movie so that the audience discovered the clues at the same time Gittes did. See more »

Goofs

The clerk in the Hall of Records says some of the plot maps for the northwest San Fernando Valley are in Ventura county. The county line is well to the west in the surrounding hills. 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

TV versions omit the "screwing like a chinaman" joke told by Jake. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Dungeons and Dragons (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Vagabond King Waltz
Brian Hooker and Rudolf Friml
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gittes gits it done.
11 November 2001 | by BlackJack_BSee all my reviews

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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