ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Chinatown (1974)

USA 131m, Colour
Director: Roman Polanski; Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Set in 1937, Chinatown is a modern film noir that stars Jack Nicholson as private detective Jake Gittes who starts out investigating a case of infidelity and ends up in the middle of a murder investigation. As Jake follows the increasingly complex trail of evidence, he also becomes romantically involved with the distressed heroine, Faye Dunaway, who plays Evelyn Mulwray, the widow of the chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who is murdered for his lack of cooperation in a multi-million dollar development scheme. Chinatown is a classic looking film with terrific acting and a screenplay that is filled with great dialog, interesting plot twists, and an atypical Hollywood ending which remains true to the genre and which legitimizes the story (Klaus Ming March 2010).

3 comments on “Chinatown (1974)

  1. Derrick

    I meed to rewatch this flick, i really didint care for it first time around.

  2. John

    Same here. I recall seeing it a number of years back and never really appreciated it until I had a much better appreciation for film noir.

  3. Anthony Lee Collins

    I really liked it when I saw it, and I remember thinking a lot about how it was similar to (and different from) The Long Goodbye, which had come out the year before (and then Farewell My Lovely the year after). Three very different takes on how to do noir in the 1970s.

    I think one of the things that makes this movie powerful is that basically everybody in it is rotten. I’ve seen a few other Polanski movies, and that seems to be a theme with him. I agree about the ending — it’s tough and completely appropriate, as unsentimental as the ending of the Long Goodbye.

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This entry was posted on 03/20/2010 by in 1001 List, 1970s, All, Top 100 and tagged .
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