Chinatown

Chinatown

DVD - 2017 | Widescreen version.
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A seemingly routine matrimonial snooping job mushrooms into a murderous scandal in pre-World War II Los Angeles.
Publisher: Hollywood, California : Paramount, [2017]
Edition: Widescreen version.
Branch Call Number: DVD CHINATO
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (130 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,surround,Dolby
NTSC
video file,region 1
DVD video

Opinion

From Library Staff

A seemingly routine matrimonial snooping job mushrooms into a murderous scandal in pre-World War II Los Angeles.

A private investigator thinks that a "cheating husband" case will be routine, but nothing turns out to be what it seems.

The intrigue and mystery unravels, piece by piece, in this classic noir. Just as Jack Nicholson's character unravels as he's drawn deeper into Chinatown.


From the critics


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c
Chyrsler2020
Oct 24, 2020

Excellent, Jack Nicholson a favorite as is Walter Houston. A shocking surprise ending.
Can't believe I had never watched this old movie till now. Thank you for dashboard!

l
lavasushi
Oct 15, 2020

Haven’t seen this in ages. Forgot what an excellent actor Jack Nicholson was. Intrigue, drama, mystery. I’m not a Faye Dunaway fan and I can’t stand Roman Polanski, but it was well done.

v
VonHafenstaaad
Feb 26, 2020

About an hour into "Chinatown", Noah Cross (John Huston) says to Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), "You may think you know what you're dealing with, but believe me, you don't." Gittes, whose heard this rap before, just smiles. "Why is that funny?" asks Cross. "It's what the D.A. used to tell me about Chinatown." If any exchange defines "Chinatown" the movie then this is it. It's a film where the cliched metaphor of the onion is quite apt: the more layers you peel away, the more layers you find. And the less you're likely to understand. It begins life as a simple detective story, but eventually spins out of control into a web of intrigue.

s
stevania_k
Feb 14, 2020

This movie has a high rating, so I watched on Kanopy. It’s not for me. The acting wasn’t strong, though I expected impressive character play from Jack Nicholson. The script realization was not interesting on the screen, the cinematography was unmemorable. Meh.

c
candlesticktroughs
Oct 10, 2019

This might be Nicholson's iconic role-play. Dunaway is always good, and this movie's role is no exception. Movie also features John Hillerman, who went on to be an important part of TV's MAGNUM P.I. . Roman Polanski--the director--has a role as a villain with a knife. John Huston plays a tycoon who steals by diverting the flow of, the water for a large mass of geography and population of, Southern California./ Movie features a French soundtrack as well as an English one./ Script written by Robert Towne, who also penned PERSONAL BEST./In Technicolor, made in 1974, produced by the famed Robert Evans.

l
loella
Jun 23, 2019

I've been re-watching Roman Polanski's early movies, of which I consider (a fiat on my part) Chinatown the last. I used to think it was his great movie, his Pantheon effort. Jack Nicholson's performance is outstanding, making you think that maybe he should've done Philip Marlowe. Jerry Goldsmith's modernist-decorated yet period-evoking score is one of his surprising high number of bests. John Alonzo's cinematography anchors the color scheme in sepia and helps keep the period feel, although sepia-tinting is seldom found outside of the silents, used subsequently mostly in the likes of big-deal westerns, to fill out from photos into live action in full color and sometimes from action back into photos at the end. And Polanski paces the proceedings very cunningly, sometimes intently slowing down but then tumbling back into action before anyone in the movie or the audience is at all rested. Technically, it's a neat flick.

But Chinatown just lacks gravitas. The same can be said of all Polanski's movies before it, with the exception of Macbeth, whose book does not fail it. There's no one in it to care about, and it doesn't close in enough on the real-life machinations and manipulations of LA's water system to give it any historical weight. It's just a confection. --Ray Olson

1
1aa
Apr 29, 2019

An almost perfect Hollywood movie (the one error is at the very end, which, without giving away important plot developments and the ending, will have to be left with a vague description: a man who is shot in the chest is just two minutes later able to run two blocks and is able to grab hold of his relative), but one which fuses together many of the elements into a great story.

h
h3chiu
Dec 24, 2018

Nice movie, nice cast, nice play. Worth watching.

1
1Maryam1
Jun 18, 2018

A must see movie, a masterpiece!

p
patch666
Jun 10, 2018

Classic film >> Faye Dunaway is luminous ~ 420

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Quotes

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m
Monolith
Jul 12, 2012

Noah Cross: "Exactly what do you know about me? Sit down." Jake Gittes: "...Mainly that you're rich... and too respectable to want your name in the newspapers." Noah Cross: " 'Course I'm respectable - I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."

m
Monolith
Jul 11, 2012

Noah Cross (on the meal - fish): "I hope you don't mind... I believe they should be served with the head." Jake Gittes: "Fine... long as you don't serve the chicken that way."

m
Monolith
Jul 11, 2012

Loach: "What happened to your nose, Gittes? Somebody slammed a bedroom window on it?" Jake Gittes: "Nope. Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick - you understand what I mean, pal?"

m
Monolith
Jul 11, 2012

Walsh: "...Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Summary

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d
docqna3m
Dec 21, 2017

唐人街Chinatown(1974)
【唐人街】常被譽為七0年代最好的偵探電影,編劇勞勃陶尼(Robert Towne)蒐集了一堆三0年代洛杉磯舊照片以及偵探小說巨擘雷蒙錢德勒的作品來研究,而寫成這個劇本,並由導演羅曼波蘭斯基(Roman Polanski)開發出更驚人、黑暗的內涵。傑克尼柯遜是(Jack Nicholson)飾演專辦緋聞通姦的私家偵探,某天一個自稱水利局長夫人的女子來找他調查老公外遇,但沒多久,真正的局長夫人費唐娜薇(Faye Dunaway)出現,表示這一切都是騙局,請他別再干擾她和丈夫的生活,但沒多久局長屍體就在水庫被發現,當然兇手很可能是他美麗的妻子。但這部電影沒那麼簡單,往後發展,我們才發現整個事件牽扯的層面極為複雜。它被挖出一樁亂倫疑雲,以及經濟利益下隻手遮天的謀殺。然而傳統偵探故事的既定結局,卻被波蘭斯基顛覆了,暴力和慾望才是本片最後的勝利者。

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