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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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a film by which almost all others are compared


I could say things like "one of the most beautifully photographed films I've ever seen" or "a tremendously plotted narrative that unfolds as a perfect pace" or even " one the greatest films I've had the pleasure of viewing" but none of those statements seem to do this remarkable film justice. When I talk about Chinatown I end up talking about a film that has all the pieces of truly great cinema. Lets talk about lush and romantically lit cinematography that relies heavily on beautiful hand held composition. It all feels simultaneously throw back and yet strangely modern...its period with out feeling self conscious. Lets talk about a plot that expects you to pay attention. Its not going to do that thing so many films do when in the third act the protagonist has figured things out and goes through this big expositionary speech accompanied by flashbacks to events in the first and second act that serve only to help the idiots who haven't been paying attention. Lets talk about Jack Nichnolson in the lead role as Jake' Gittes, and what a fine role it is. His motivations are neither self-righteous or heroic he simply wants to preserve his reputation and continue to make his "honest living". Then the director literally comes along and gives him even more motivation by damn near cutting his nose off. At the end of the day probably the most telling thing I can say about this film is that every time I watch it I only want to watch it again...and agin and....
This movie got it all: perfectly paced study of human darkness
I knew CHINATOWN was hailed as the paragon of a film noir, and that's why I finally got down to watching it. However, despite having known about the movie for quite a while, I wasn't really prepared for just how dark it could be. The movie starts slowly, with a private detective taking on what looks like a routine case. But soon he finds himself enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, murder, lies and deceit. The plot is like a perfect machine that relentlessly moves towards a final resolution that is truly epic and truly soul-wrenching.

In a recent New York Times piece, they called CHINATOWN "a meditation on evil", which is spot-on. Set in 1937, this movie is just all-round perfect, first and foremost how everything is connected within the grand structure of the movie, that is rich in themes (water, evil, trust, guilt, greed) and even richer in suspense, as the audience—just like our protagonist—tries to find out what is happening. The story is "complex" for sure, but it's not "complicated". Everything makes sense in the end and the complexity pays off big time.

Besides the impeccable screenplay, everything else about this movie is perfect as well. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway carry the movie with sophistication and dignity. Dunaway's stunning performance in particular fills every scene with an aura of mystery as you are trying to find out what her motives are. The set pieces are beautiful, the score is compelling; and camera-work and editing could not be any better. There is a reason this one is called a classic! So, if you're ready to delve deep into a richly layered exploration of the dark side of humanity—enjoy the ride. But don't expect to come back unscathed.
An excellent piece of filmmaking.
If it wasn't for the fact that most of the cast would have been too young or not born yet, this movie could have been made in the 1930's or 1940's. It reminds one of the film noirs that Hollywood used to make during that time period. It is a superb example of film making, certainly among the 20 best movies I have ever seen.

Jack Nicholson is private detective Jake Gitties, who can be as hard-boiled as Humphrey Bogart's Phil Marlowe. But Gitties is different: He is intelligent, dresses well and has associates whom work with him. Gitties is hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate into an extra-martial affair she believes her husband is having. However, the investigation leads into bigger things involving the water supply of Los Angeles, which is in the middle of a drought. A series of double-crosses, murders and plot twists all lead into a climatic showdown in Chinatown which has a surprising conclusion.

If the saying `They don't make them like they used to' was ever more true, it was with this movie. Sex is only suggested between the Nicholson and Dunaway characters, yet it is convincing enough. And although Faye Dunaway is a beautiful woman, we never see frontal nudity of her (Directors today would do just the opposite). Some of the plot twists also would not be possibly made today, especially the ending (Which, if you haven't seen the movie, I cannot reveal).

Nicholson is a tour de force in his role as Gitties, but the rest of the supporting cast (Including John Huston as Mulwray's deceptive father) is equally superb. As to how Nicholson could loose the Best Actor Oscar to Art Carney in Harry and Toto is beyond me. Faye Dunaway was also nominated for Best Actress, only to loose to Ellen Burstyn for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Fortunately, Nicholson and Duanway have both won Oscars since. In addition, the film itself received nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for Roman Polanski (Who has a cameo in the movie as the knife-welding thug who cuts Nicholson's nose), but those Oscars would be lost to The Godfather, Part II. The only Oscar won was for Robert Towne's screenplay, which is today considered the model for film writing. After watching the movie, one will know why. From the stellar performances to the sharp direction to the superb screenplay, this is a cinema treasure.

A noir masterpiece, possibly even a timeless classic...
While I don't care too much for Roman Polanski's style of direction(maybe I'll grow to like it eventually, maybe not), I can't deny that this is a truly great film. Jack Nicholson really shines through in his role, and his acting in this film perfectly fits the character... his shark smile, his voice, his tone... all of it, perfect. I always thought, when watching films with Nicholson, that he'd make a great lead in a noir film, so when I found this film and discovered that it was indeed noir, I naturally saw it as soon as possible. I found the film to have a slightly slower pace than what I would have preferred or expected, but apart from that minor detail, it was flawless. The plot is great, and thoroughly interesting and involving. The pacing, while not fast all the time, is more than acceptable. There are sequences that are really intense and exciting. The acting is great... like I said earlier, Nicholson shines through and really takes this character and makes him his own. The characters are well-written and credible. The special effects are well-done and still hold up pretty well. The dialog is very well-written and memorable. There are quite a few quotable lines, as well. The cinematography is good, and even when the plot doesn't move a lot, Polanski keeps our interest through interesting angles and sequences. I liked that there was often something subtle going on in the background, while we're focusing on what's directly in front of us. While Polanski certainly doesn't possess the attention to detail that Kubrick does, he manages to put a good bit of detail into many of the shots, and there is fairly little left to coincidence or chance, much like Kubrick. The film has a few twists that are quite good, and they come as surprises... I don't think I really saw them coming, and I doubt anyone would be able to. Of course, some might not find the twists to be that impressive, but the story stands on it's own nicely as well. This is a great movie, which should be seen by just about anyone who can take it(it's more than just casually adult in nature, even though there's not that much violence or sex in it). I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys film noir, watching Jack Nicholson in perfect shape in a role that was tailor-made for him, a good mystery, Roman Polanski's direction and just a good movie with a more adult tone that many others. 10/10
a classic that improves with every viewing
Roman Polanski's wide screen, Depression era detective story is more than just another anachronistic homage to the film noir gumshoes and femme fatales of yesteryear. The serpentine labyrinth of corruption uncovered by tough but intelligent private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) involves nothing less than the consolidation of greater Los Angeles itself, where the most tainted currency of thieves isn't money, but water. This is one of those rare productions where every element seems to fall into place, from Robert Towne's exciting, original screenplay to a definitive performance by Nicholson to John Huston's unlikely but effective portrayal of what must be one of the most depraved villains in screen memory, a man who, by his own chilling admission, "is capable of anything." Music, art direction, editing and photography are all first class, but the true test of any classic is longevity, and in this regard the film passes with flying colors by actually improving with each viewing.
Outstanding in Every Way
This film was great in every way. Performances are flawless - Nicholson shows his acting talent at a fairly young age. The script is very good and the plot twists and turns and you're not sure who to believe. Roman's eye for the era doesn't miss a thing and you're truly transported back in time.

Nicholson is the front and center actor in this film, but Huston's performance was the best I've ever seen of his.

Chinatown offers one of the most hilarious and awkward Romania scene I have ever seen. Imagine Nicholson kissing a beautiful woman with a giant bandage covering his nose. Makes me laugh every time.

Highly recommend this film and it should be on most critic's Top 100 films of all time.
Perhaps the Greatest Film of All Time
Chinatown, 1974

I wish I was better at writing these movie reviews, because I honestly cannot say enough about this movie. I grew up watching old gangster movies, especially The Godfather trilogy, so in my heart nothing can ever "beat" them (part one and two) but if there was a film right behind them, it's this. This movie is so amazing in so many ways. The story is awesome. Every scene gets deeper and deeper in to the core of this eerie plot, and there's never a dull moment. Polanski does an incredible job with this movie. The 1940s LA setting is so perfect for this film and the jazzy noir-ish soundtrack is incredible. Another amazing aspect of this movie is the colors. The pastel-ish colors add to the tone and mood and style of this amazing film. And my favorite aspect of it is that its called Chinatown yet we only see Los Angeles' Chinatown for the final few minutes of the movie. I just loved that aspect of it and instantly fell in love with this movie. Not to mention Jack's performance. Incredible. I give it a 77 out of 10.
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.
A Dark, Twisted Trailblazer
A film that is more talked about than seen these days, Chinatown is nonetheless one of the most significant films ever made, and it sits at a unique precipice in cinematic culture. Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and somewhat hilariously, John Huston, it is the story of a private investigator sent to snoop on a cheating husband only to later find that husband turned up dead, setting off a chain of events that leads to the top being blown off a major conspiracy that runs deep into the roots of early 20th century Los Angeles.   It's a shame that the only part of the film the average film-goer knows about is the most famous line, "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown." That's a wonderful line, but out of context, what does it mean? Nothing. You could guess or even infer, but unless you've seen the film, it might as well be sitting out on an island. Even you know the general plot of the film, as I did before watching it, you don't get the full impact of the line.

Film quotes stick in the meat of popular culture not just because they're fun to stay or because they role off the tongue, but because they're built up to beautifully and because they hit with a force that sums up the emotions of the moment. Quoting them only works if those present know the film itself. Imagine how absurd it would sound to say, "May the Force be with you," to someone who's never seen Star Wars. They would get the gist of what you're saying, but they wouldn't get the reference or the connotations.

The "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown" line works much the same way. There are situations when it would be appropriate to say this, but there's no point if no one in your party has seen Chinatown. For those who have, that line conjures up so much rage, frustration, despair, cynicism and tragedy. It carries a lot of weight.

Neo-noir films are rarely happy affairs (the word noir even means black in French), but this film goes the extra mile. Back in 1974, the neo-noir film was rare. Traditional noir films had not been popular for some several decades, and even those were limited were the Hays Code and the culture of the time. This was a new animal altogether, and so as the film gets darker and the situation more disturbing, you end up feeling as revolted as Jack by the end. When the last night falls and you see the lights of Chinatown for the first time, you feel like you've come the end of an exhilarating, hideous, psychotic day and want it all to be swept away.

A lot of influences went into this film. There were old school noir influences, of course, but there were also influences from the then-cutting edge crime films of the day, as well as the psychological thrillers that had started to proliferate in the late 60's and early 70's. There are also literary influences; I was surprised to learn this was not based off a novel. It is very much a novelist's film.

But the most startling influence is that of Westerns. This works in two ways. First, the film takes place close to the turn of the century, a time not too far away from the settings of Westerns. The dark, cynical Westerns this film is most like took place in the 1880's, in the twilight of the West, after the land had been tamed. Second, the noir film had- at least from an American perspective- grown out of the Western: many of the same ideas, concepts, and perspectives are present. The noir was 'replaced' by the second wave of Westerns that came up during the 50s and 60's: Sergio Leone and like. In the 70's, the Western was in a Golden Age. Heaven's Gate had not yet come out. The genre was booming. America still had use for it, particularly in an era when we as a people were feeling rather lost and alone. Chinatown is neo-noir springing up from the second wave of Westerns, just like that second wave sprang up from original noir flicks.

The characters and acting in this film are first class, and despite some strange choices here and there, the plot pulls you in deeper into its black heart. This is a mystery in the truest sense of the word. There are so many layers to pull back in the seedy L.A. streets, so many secrets to carve out. The titular Chinatown is used to great effect, first as an idea, then as a place. The characters, particularly Nicolson, are perfectly cast.

This is a film that puts its competition to shame. It digs its claws into you and doesn't take them out. It's a definite must-watch.
Let's talk about Dunaway
By now it's only redundant to heap more praise on this film. The writing, acting, cinematography, direction, editing, etc. seamlessly come together as if predestined. And yes, I think Polanski's decision to go with a downbeat ending was the correct choice - that final scene is unforgettable.

What I'd like to focus on is Faye Dunaway's remarkable contribution to the film. She reportedly did not get along with Polanski, in fact, was labeled "difficult" on several of her movies. Yet she turned in an incomparable, complex performance. Starting with her look. Hitchcock placed great emphasis on each character's outward appearance, which told us just about all we needed to know. Here Dunaway takes a page from his book and immerses herself in the trappings of a wealthy woman of the 1930s. Compare the way she looked in "Bonnie and Clyde," also set in the 1930s. The eyes and hair are straight out of 1967.

Keep in mind that she was 33 when she made 'Chinatown." That's a knowing performance from someone so young. Her cool demeanor when we first meet her turns out to be misleading. She embodies the classic femme fatale until just toward the end, in her famous "She's my sister. She's my daughter" scene, when we suddenly understand she's the only character with an ounce of integrity. There's been quite a lot going on beneath the surface.

Next time you watch this film, pay close attention to Dunaway. You won't find a better female performance anywhere.
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