Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown
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Medium level violence, Adult themes, Low level coars language

Director: Roman Polanski
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Diane Ladd

Private eye J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) uncovers intricate dirty dealings in the Los Angeles waterworks and gets his nose slashed for his grief. Suspicious, porcelain-skinned femme fatale Faye Dunaway (who harbors a nasty family secret) finances Gittes's snooping. Director Roman Polanski reimagines 1930s Los Angeles in this brilliant detective thriller. And Robert Towne's onion-like script reveals itself one complex layer at a time.

DVD
Status: LongWait
Run time: 130mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 16:9 Enhanced

Member Reviews (43)

Tom F.
says
Like most Polanski films, violent and meanders around aimlessly but as if it means something.
Posted Sunday, 22 December 2013 See my other reviews
A classic. Very slow to get going and a little too complicated for it'd own good but it's a brilliant movie and the end is extremely powerful..still.
Posted Wednesday, 19 December 2012 See my other reviews
Bruce
says
They don't make them like this anymore.... More's the pity! The joining of talent that produced this masterpiece was one of those things that don’t often happen. Polanski is at his best with the right blend of tension and intrigue, Jack Nicholson was not yet cast in stone playing Jack Nicholson and although the film is slow paced, the atmosphere and the ambience so skilfully rendered makes this a must see for any lovers of the filmmakers art
Posted Friday, 4 May 2012 See my other reviews
marion
says
good movie keeps u on the edge of your seat
Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 See my other reviews
Keith Weymouth
says
Complicated, but riveting film, with a young Jack Nicholson.
Posted Tuesday, 11 October 2011 See my other reviews
gerd
says
Being a private eye was never easy, especially in an era when snooping meant going up to windows and looking in. All the harder, when it's not at all obvious what is going on, who is telling the truth or not, and what their motives are. An intriguing and puzzling story where the truths are only slowly revealed.
Posted Saturday, 23 July 2011 See my other reviews
Deanne
says
I've been wanting to see this for years and it was well worth the wait. Great acting. Plot has you hanging on until the end. Great movie.
Posted Tuesday, 10 May 2011 See my other reviews
Don T
says
A Semi Classic Great cast(ing) An enthralling storyline, with all the twists that make a movie worth watching every once in a while
Posted Wednesday, 16 February 2011 See my other reviews
Carolyn A.
says
This is a good movie and stands up well over time. Golly Jack
Posted Monday, 9 November 2009 See my other reviews
Jack
says
Great films cast their aura for many years and Chinatown, in the film noir genre, is in that mold. Jack Nicholson as the dapper, hard (and slit) nosed Private Investigator Jake Gittes is in every scene and doesn’t disappoint. He’s smart, scrupulous and inquisitive, quick to use force to gain an advantage. Faye Dunaway’s Mrs. Mulwray is the femme fatale whose gradually unfolding secrets kept me in suspense and her fate might surprise viewers. Dialogue is razor sharp, like from Noah Cross (John Huston): “Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.” Reprisal of Roman Polanski’s complex 1930’s LA tale of political corruption, murder and family dysfunction will reward.
Posted Wednesday, 28 October 2009 See my other reviews
Jack
says
Great films cast their aura for many years and Chinatown, in the film noir genre, is in that mold. Jack Nicholson as the dapper, hard (and slit) nosed Private Investigator Jake Gittes is in every scene and doesn’t disappoint. He’s smart, scrupulous and inquisitive, quick to use force to gain an advantage. Faye Dunaway’s Mrs. Mulwray is the femme fatale whose gradually unfolding secrets kept me in suspense and her fate might surprise viewers. Dialogue is razor sharp, like from Noah Cross (John Huston): “Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.” Reprisal of Roman Polanski’s complex 1930’s LA tale of political corruption, murder and family dysfunction will reward.
Posted Wednesday, 28 October 2009 See my other reviews
William C.
says
This is still one of the great walks on the American dark side - done by a Pole. Everything works except perhaps the chemistry between Jack and Faye
Posted Tuesday, 5 May 2009 See my other reviews
Okto F.
says
Jack is so cool.
Posted Tuesday, 7 October 2008 See my other reviews
Nicholas W.
says
Chinatown begins as a very stylish homage to the 30s and 40s film-noir thrillers, with the same shadows through the venetian blinds and sarcastic private eye in Jack Nicholson. But as it progresses, things start coming undone. Normal conventions of the Sam Spade era get literally shot to pieces. Roman Polanski twists our expectations around to make us think about what's going on and why. What we end up with is a sublimely smart, tense film full of questions rather than answers.
Posted Wednesday, 30 April 2008 See my other reviews
Chris J.
says
Before LA Confidential there was Chinatown. A great thriller that makes it one of the great detective films of all time. It made me realize that films like this don't seem to be in vogue anymore, and if they were they wouldn't have an ending like Chinatown does.
Posted Sunday, 16 March 2008 See my other reviews
Mark S.
says
Good flick. I so much prefer old Hollywood, to the new over-the-top Hollywood of today.
Posted Thursday, 24 January 2008 See my other reviews
Bruce H.
says
Posted Tuesday, 15 January 2008 See my other reviews
Siobhan W.
says
Can't say I watched this film but Dad seemed to have enjoyed it (after 3 attempts to stay awake for the whole film)
Posted Monday, 29 October 2007 See my other reviews
Warwick C.
says
A classic private detective drama, with Jack Nicholson superb in the leading role.
Posted Tuesday, 2 October 2007 See my other reviews
Graham M.
says
Classic Jack. Great viewing.
Posted Monday, 20 August 2007 See my other reviews
mother
says
A TRUE CLASSIC in every way - script, direction, cast [acting], production values ~ superb filmmaking from true professionals and creative artists. Each time you watch it, it gets better.
Posted Wednesday, 25 July 2007 See my other reviews
Trevor J.
says
Very enjoyable and a nostalgic good movie to watch.
Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2007 See my other reviews
Steven K.
says
Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2007 See my other reviews
Jeffrey R.
says
First class. Good to hear from the writer on the DVD as well. He talks about how Polanski is able to take time over certain shots - a name being erased from a door. Nicholson looking at company records
Posted Wednesday, 27 June 2007 See my other reviews
FLOSSDOG
says
Interesting movie. Jack Nicholson was great, the direction kept it interesting, but the story was perhaps a little too complicated. It was good to see that Nicholson wasn't the super hero, the James Bond, who could fight 30 men at once and win, but someone who came off second best more than once. There were some surprises and all in all I found it quite entertaining, nothing deep, but interesting.
Posted Tuesday, 12 June 2007 See my other reviews
Simon H.
says
Posted Tuesday, 22 May 2007 See my other reviews
Michelle W.
says
Posted Monday, 12 March 2007 See my other reviews
David H.
says
Interesting and well acted but dated in style.Would have been nice if they finished the film.
Posted Tuesday, 6 February 2007 See my other reviews
Patrick B.
says
Posted Friday, 8 September 2006 See my other reviews
Adrian F.
says
Classic noir by Polanksi. Great acting, beautifully shot with excellent timing.
Posted Saturday, 5 August 2006 See my other reviews
Bev M.
says
Posted Monday, 15 May 2006 See my other reviews
Roderick W.
says
Posted Wednesday, 15 March 2006 See my other reviews
Alexander P.
says
Posted Monday, 12 December 2005 See my other reviews
Craig Sheffield
says
Posted Friday, 8 April 2005 See my other reviews
AJC
says
Posted Tuesday, 22 March 2005 See my other reviews
Helene Carozzi
says
Good thriller showing the pananoia raining in the minds of Americans.
Posted Tuesday, 8 February 2005 See my other reviews
Philip Le Masurier
says
Posted Tuesday, 14 September 2004 See my other reviews
Tim Tucak
says
Posted Monday, 12 July 2004 See my other reviews
Carmen and David Price-Tutor
says
Posted Monday, 21 June 2004 See my other reviews
John Lynch
says
Posted Monday, 24 May 2004 See my other reviews
Cinefile
says
Posted Thursday, 29 April 2004 See my other reviews
Keechy
says
a landmark movie, a true screen classic
joester the toaster
says
Great film. A young Jack Nicholson at his best.