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Purchase Chinatown (1974) Movie Online and Download - Roman Polanski 🎥
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Roman Polanski
Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes
Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray
John Huston as Noah Cross
Perry Lopez as Escobar
John Hillerman as Yelburton
Darrell Zwerling as Hollis Mulwray
Diane Ladd as Ida Sessions
Roy Jenson as Mulvihill
Roman Polanski as Man with Knife
Richard Bakalyan as Loach (as Dick Bakalyan)
Joe Mantell as Walsh
Bruce Glover as Duffy
Nandu Hinds as Sophie
James O'Rear as Lawyer
Storyline: JJ 'Jake' Gittes is a private detective who seems to specialize in matrimonial cases. He is hired by Evelyn Mulwray when she suspects her husband Hollis, builder of the city's water supply system, of having an affair. Gittes does what he does best and photographs him with a young girl but in the ensuing scandal, it seems he was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray. When Mr. Mulwray is found dead, Jake is plunged into a complex web of deceit involving murder, incest and municipal corruption all related to the city's water supply.
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First-rate detective drama
'Chinatown' is one of the best films of the 70s and without doubt one of the most memorable in the crime/detective genre. This is a first- rate picture all round with very few faults, if any. The story is complex but relatively easy to follow, which I prefer to films that are too smart for their own good. It's an intelligent mystery that captures your attention from the start and has no problem in holding it for the duration of the film.

Part of what makes 'Chinatown' so memorable is just how perfect it is in appearance. The cinematography is on another level to anything else I've seen from the 70s - each and every scene is crafted in such a stylish and elegant way. The script is also brilliant and gives us some classic lines, including of course the famous last line of the film, 'Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown'. 'Chinatown' is a film that lives up to its glowing reputation. It's difficult to fault this detective gem.
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown. One of the most iconic lines in cinematic history can be found in Roman Polanski's 1974 masterpiece Chinatown.

Chinatown is almost the perfect movie. The direction is outstanding. Polanski knows how to tell a story as good as anyone. The perfect camera angles and the perfect shots are taken as we take a dive in two the mind of J.J. Gittes a private detective who reiterates that he makes a fair living. He is masterfully played by none other that Jack Nicholson who gives one of his best performance that can be ranked alongside his performances in 'The Shining' and 'Cuckoo's Nest' Nicholson gives a very controlled performance. There is no unnecessary shouting or going over the top. He begins to uncover a terrible plot over in L.A. that involves the water department,incest,adultery and Chinatown. Robert Towne wrote this script in the traditional noir way with voice-over and the like but Polanski eliminated all the voice-over so the audience would uncover the mystery as Gittes would and was that a good decision. The movie is an absorbing 2 hour experience as you get completely lost as the plot unravels and more of the mystery unfolds. It is tremendously quotable movie. It has a noir touch to it that is obvious from the overture but the touch is so light that the movie simply floats on this delightful little script. Recently the movie was named on a list of the seven films to see before you die. Well I generally disagree with such lists because it's the apples over oranges thing isn't it. But Chinatown is a brilliant film. The ending is so powerful that it can knock most films out of the water with just that. It leaves you feeling frightened, challenged and with so many questions that you can debate about it for hours on end. And that is what Art really should accomplish. It should encourage discussion and that is what Chinatown does. You can call the movie anything you want but it sure as hell is a piece of art.
Sad Story Of Corruption
Roman Polanski directed this complex but fascinating story of corruption that stars Jack Nicholson as private detective J.J. Gittes, who is hired by a woman named Evelyn Mulwray to see if her husband(a water department official) is cheating. It turns out he is, but things take a strange turn when the husband is found dead, and the woman who hired him was an impostor. The real Evelyn Mulwray(played by Faye Dunaway) claims to know nothing of the affair, but Gittes continues to investigate, which leads him to wealthy land owner Noah Cross(played by John Houston) who has shady dealings going on, and also wants to find his granddaughter, which Evelyn knows something about... Superbly directed and acted film is quite uncomfortably cynical and downbeat at times, especially the ending, but remains a fine(updated) throwback to classic film noir.
One of the best film noir/homage films ever made!
"Chinatown" is so good, it's scary. Jack Nicholson is Jake Gittes, the iconic private eye hired to spy on the husband of a woman who suspects he is having an affair. What Jake soon uncovers is a vast conspiracy involving local tycoons and water - heading towards a great conclusion with a classic surprise ending.

"Chinatown" might not be the best film noir ever made but it is certainly one of the best. Like "Indiana Jones" it is a loving homage to its source - in this case movies of the 1930s, 40s and 50s such as "The Maltese Falcon" (most obviously!) and lesser-known film noirs such as "D.O.A." (which no one else I've seen so far has mentioned in comparison to this, but it does have its similarities).

Nicholson is absolutely superb in his role, playing Jake with all the touch panache of an instant classic anti-hero. This was certainly a movie of the 1970s, with its anti-hero being the guy we come to root for.

Robert Towne is a genius and I may seem to be giving "Chinatown" loads of fanboy praise but I can honestly say that I'm not obsessed with it in any way, in fact I've only seen it a few times. But it's just a really, really great movie that's perfect in just about every way - direction, acting, screen writing, cinematography, editing, sound...the list is endless. Polanski deserves as much praise as Towne I suppose, because his direction is flawless and very noir-ish. (If that's a suitable description.)

Overall, this is a classic - for good reason. After seeing this and "L.A. Confidential" within a few days I can say with confidence that "Chinatown" is much better, and will probably be more fondly remembered years from now.
Mesmerizing and mysterious and so authentically made.
Mesmerizing and mysterious and so authentically made.

Its hard not to delve into the script right from the first frame, as the reels goes on, characters become more mysterious, more secrets are revealed and more questions raised, is it about water and the power to hold water or something much beyond that, if that's one question, then why is Jake so interested in things like Evelyn Cross.

Jake Gittes is played by Jack Nicholson and he is done an exceptional job and so did so many others, in fact all of them must be applauded for acting. Now for such supreme acting to be extracted, the director takes a toll and here we have Roman Polanski at the helm and its his take on the script thats makes it more dark and interesting.

Robert Towne has produced a screenplay thats is superbly written, fast paced for its 140 minutes length and becomes more interesting till the last frame, dialogues are written so well, that they are mystique when we hear and are so self explanatory when it happens in the film. The best dialogue that astonished me is "She is my sister and my daughter" does anyone expect this all through the film, I very much doubt. The pace holds it up well and is written with enough moments of dark humor, its not sarcastic or finding flaws in system, but finding flaws in person who are a BIG part of the system and are the main drivers of it. So it's psychological more than incident based. I believe, Robert Towne wrote it as incident based screenplay but Roman Polanski who has made even THE PIANIST as an extremely psychological film is who raises above the script and makes it a masterpiece.

I will go with 5/5 and a best writing for Robert Towne, best acting for Jack Nicholson and best direction for Roman Polanski are my awards. Just watch it please.

Also, I got to know of this film through the equally well adapted Hindi film, "Manorama Six Feet Under" which is well worth a watch will review that later.
Roman Polanski created a perfect movie with Chinatown. The movie is tour-de-force with top notch performances. The screenplay by Robert Towne is nothing short of excellent. The movie works so well on so many levels (Noir, detective story, love story, character study) and is full of twists and turns. Utterly enjoyable! This movie is sheer classic. It totally deserves to be in the AFI top 20 of the 100 greatest.
What to say?
Is there much to say about Chinatown that hasn't already been said? The screenplay is brilliant, the casting and performances are superlative. The art direction, costumes, style, and feel of the visuals are impeccable. The new blu ray release has a great commentary by Robert Towne and David Fincher, and if you're a fan of the film, this is a must. A few thoughts were provoked from this commentary. Firstly, it's interesting just how many times the camera is behind Jack Nicholson's shoulder, forming a not-quite-POV shot, and allowing the audience a voyeuristic entrance into many of the scenes and physical spaces. It's also intriguing how there are three levels of crime in the film; the major crime of the land grab and the rape of the valley; the personal crime committed by Noah Cross on his daughter; and a third level, which is in a sense a 'crime' committed by Jake Gittes. The Oedipus myth is much discussed when it comes to detective stories, and as Towne readily admits in the commentary, it plays a part in Chinatown. Gittes has tried to help a woman in his past and only ended up hurting her. Throughout Chinatown, he hunts for the solution to the mystery, hunts for the villain, confident in his ability to ultimately triumph. But this near hubris on his part will finally lead to the death of yet another woman he tried to help. If he had just stayed out of it, just tried to do as little as possible, then maybe she would have been saved. In a sense, the criminal he is looking for is ultimately revealed to be Jake himself... To work this level of complexity into a screenplay, and yet to make it unfold in such a way that everything is clearly understandable as you watch it, is true mastery of the art of screen writing and film-making.
Prettied up, lots of familiar twists, but well done, surely, and with Nicholson in top top form
Chinatown (1974)

Not so much a film noir in style or character, but a period crime drama, set in the familiar 1930s of many noir films, and featuring a noir fixture, the loner detective.

I say this right away because Chinatown is sometimes called the last great film noir. After this point, noir films (or pseudo-noir, whatever your definition) become either thoroughly modern or openly derivative. The term "film noir" has itself loosened up to include almost any moody 1940s-style film with crime in it, which starts lose it's descriptive usefulness.

But Jack Nicholson is, really, a great detective in the Raymond Chandler mode--sassy, fearless on the surface but actually wary and a little scared in the end, playing by his own set of rules, and working mostly alone. As well made as this movie is in many ways, it's Nicholson's physical presence that makes his scenes really work. He's such a natural actor for the camera, hesitating just long enough to demand attention but not so long it becomes affected, he becomes definitive. And that's enough to make Chinatown classic.

The plot, too, is great dramatic stuff. Based in L.A., with lots of night scenes and period interiors, it circles around pretty women and rich men and corrupt politicos and dubious cops. And around water. In a way, this makes the movie prescient, almost--water being no new topic for Los Angeles but increasingly pertinent in the 1970s. Water is also a MacGuffin in the plot, a device we don't care deeply about compared to the interpersonal intrigues, the incest, the murders. All this other stuff keeps the movie, and Nicholson, going, and it's snappy and well done. It isn't exactly brilliant, though, and anyone really looking at the screenplay and following the plot might raise an eyebrow now and then, or question some of the hyperbole around the movie.

It's fun seeing director Roman Polanski appear as a jerky, power-hungry kind of thug, because maybe it fits him (though his friends say otherwise). He has confessed to raping of a young teenager long ago, but I have never heard of him actually apologizing for it. (I know that's supposed to stay outside of the analysis of the movie, and he did do 42 days in jail.) Digging further in, you can maybe see John Huston's role as a little strained (though I love Huston in general, and his presence is meant to let us connect to a previous generation of Hollywood) and Faye Dunawaye, for all her fame, is slightly cold at times, a little decorative. The movie has lots of strong effects this way, and you know that Polanski is a movie lover, and the result taken whole is a kind of bowing down to this kind of crime film from earlier on. And in that sense, every doubt I have for the movie above could be countered with a simple, "It was intended that way." And the clichés and familiar plot twists are part of an homage to the medium.

Which then begs the question--why isn't it filmed with more energy, with less prettiness? It doesn't in fact, adapt to a rigorous, stark, shadowy film noir aesthetic, but instead layers a very well done but slightly 1970s perfect, technically excellent color. Not that it should have been black and white, and not that Farewell My Lovely (filmed the next year in a really vivid, visual, film noir style in color, in L.A.) is the only way to go. But there were options to avoid making it actually too pretty, and too tame.

All of this is relative nitpicking. I go back to Nicholson. If you can focus on his role, his lines, his performance, capital P, you will be mesmerized and impressed, again and again. It is a strong movie, and an interesting one, which is a lot.
Roman Polanski's Caustic Neo-Noir is So Compelling that "You Can't Forget It"!
It's Los Angeles, 1937. Jack Nicholson's private detective Jake J. Gittes is not a primal masculine archetype, but rather a complicated protagonist. Far from cool and collected, he is simply self- possessed, with a sense of control that's highly illusory and much of the film pivots on undercutting his misplaced self-confidence. The film immediately establishes his less-than-ideal persona via his work snapping pictures of adulterous spouses, a lowbrow form of detective work that is typically beneath the more admirable private eyes. He's looked down on by the law and treated as something of a sordid but necessary evil by his clients, but Jake realizes that's just how the game is played. Soon enough, though, one of those clients, a mysterious woman named Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray finds a way to use Jake's scurrilous reputation to set him up for a fall. His ensuing attempts to clear his name put him on the trail of a case that's bigger, more complex and wide-ranging than anything he's used to, coming up with more rot than he bargained for. One that goes, as they say, all the way to the top!

A convoluted mystery that begins with a visit from a femme-fatale, an ironclad cynical detective with a code of honor, and a spider- like villain weaving a web at the center of the story are all familiar elements of a hard-boiled detective film. But trust Roman Polanski to make disillusionment seductive and resurrect the almost dead format! What he does so brilliantly in Chinatown is import the soul-sick paranoia of 1930s Los Angeles into its depiction: the eponymous Chinatown is less of a physical presence than a state of mind - it's a lurid fantasy, an idea that hovers constantly around the fringes of the movie making it an ultimately intangible maelstrom of deceit, regret and confusion in which the only thing you can be sure of is that everything you know is - to one degree or another - wrong. Robert Towne's labyrinthine script keeps the proceedings thrilling, humorous and disturbing at the same time, pepped up greatly by the crackling dialogues.

The film also boasts career best turns from its star-cast led by Jack Nicholson, who is absolutely charismatic as Jake Gittes, as we find ourselves solve the mystery alongside him as he follows lead after lead through a labyrinth of sticky situations. His Gittes is a layered character and Nicholson makes his depth visible to the audience. Faye Dunaway's vulnerability constantly tempts us with the notion that she is the victim, rather than the villain, in a performance that still has the power to shock. Outright villainy is instead embodied by Noah Cross, an incredibly vile portrayal by John Huston. He gives Noah a false air of courtly manners that, if anything, only adds to the character's sense of debauchery.

Notoriously bleak, yet utterly compelling, Chinatown remains a magnificent dissection of corruption right up to its enigmatic finale. The brute force of its ugly truth is the heart of the film's artistry, and it sticks with us. And it might be just a state of mind, but Chinatown still retains the power to bruise and scar to this day.
One of the top 100 films of all time
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).
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