DVD - 1999
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California is hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair. Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night in Chinatown.

Publisher: Hollywood, CA : Paramount, c1999
ISBN: 0792156447
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama CHINATOWN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (130 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in


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Nov 26, 2014
  • britprincess1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Polanski's neo-noir contemporary classic has all the flair and fever of a forties-era hard-boiled detective story. However, watching it years past its release, most of the twists have been spoiled for me and the intrigue feels stale in this fast-paced culture. Nonetheless, it looks beautiful and what feels like old Hollywood glamour still shines. The story isn't rusty. I just expected more in that big finale. It reminded me faintly and inexplicably of BLADE RUNNER, another auteured visually striking classic of today. The mood and pacing was similar, even if the themes and setting aren't. In the end, I've watched CHINATOWN once, and that's fine, I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't watch it again.

Nov 20, 2014
  • 1_critic rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

50 years later, Chinatown is still a major force in cinema. An all around great film.

Sep 28, 2014
  • garycornell rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Director Roman Polanski can take a bow for "Chinatown". He made a masterpiece and few people will argue the point. The script writer was Robert Towne and he made a tight script that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Jack Nicholson is great JJ "Jake" Gittes. He is a private investigator that gets to close to powerful people. He is like all good detectives, is out to get the truth. Faye Dunaway is strikingly beautiful in the film as Mrs. Mulwray. Director John Huston comes from behind the camera to star as powerbroker Noah Cross. He steals the show when he is on camera with his striking voice and diction. He makes many a memorable line of dialogue in "Chinatown". You owe it to yourself to see the best films available in the KCLS. This is one of those Top 10 Movies in the KCLS Catalog. See it and let me know youor reaction here on the KCLS web site.

Jul 23, 2014

Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion. Having grown older as Nicholson has I am still amazed at his talent and love seeing these earlier films where he is a genius at his role,. He truly becomes the character, of course the Shining may be the best known for that but to be in the period as this film he goes back in time to become the character from another era, not easy. The Border is another film where he shape shifts in to the role. Not being overly critical but anyone who was bored by this film or did not like it is missing out on life somewhere else too I think.

Jun 20, 2013
  • GerryD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Considered one of the Top 10 classic 'English' movies (my researched #9). A great mystery film with many twists and superb cast. _____ As an aside, how can so many of the classic movies on this site end up with an Average Rating of two stars out of five? Why are these individuals assigning stars of 0.5 and 1, given the fact they seldom take the time to provide Comments to support their low ratings? _____ See my GerryD Lists for other classic movies.

May 16, 2013
  • lasertravis rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Long, sprawling, well acted crime drama. Had a great "noir" look and feel. The plot was twisting and engrossing. Could really annoy someone who dislikes the genre or likes tidy endings. Young Jack really shines in this.

Jan 15, 2013
  • viguyy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A neo noir masterpiece.

Writer Robert Towne & director Roman Polanski dish up a gum-shoe lovers delight in this Neo-Noir masterpiece Starring Jack Nicholson as private investigator Jake Gittes who lives off the indiscretions & murky moral sensibilities of his clients.

Nicholson is at his absolute best here as the apathetic hard-boiled detective at the center of this brilliantly constructed story. Chinatown immerses us in it's rich, vivid, complex characters & carefully builds a very precise & fully engaging story that may take a couple viewings to fully appreciate.

Faye Dunaway plays Evelyn Mulwray, Gittes client & Dunaway knocks her performance out of the park with each delicious scene. This is a film lovers film with examples of some of the finest work in this medium in scene after glorious scene. Chinatown is really a much more brilliant film that it may first appear to be and what a film it is.

Chinatown is a masterpiece and one of the finest films ever made. It's a must-see for any film lover.

Jan 14, 2013
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Chinatown (Oscar nom, best film) is the best modern film noir, directed by Roman Polanski (Oscar nom) and starring Jack Nicholson (Oscar nom) and Faye Dunaway (Oscar nom). I am absolutely shocked that John Huston did not at least get an Oscar nomination for supporting actor for his role masterfully portraying the evil, powerful sleezebag who you hate years after having seen him. Robert Towne did win the Oscar for best screen play. I am conflicted as to whether the Maltese Falcon or Chinatown is the best all-time film noir.

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A timeless, mesmerizing noir. The symmetry of Robert Towne's Oscar winning screenplay, Roman Polanski's brilliant directing, and a razor sharp Jack Nicholson as the snarky gumshoe Jake Gittes was flawless. Faye Dunaway was a great choice for the alleged femme fatale under suspicion. The legendary late great John Huston, Jerry Goldsmith's melancholy score... I'm out of superlatives. Unsurpassed. FIVE STARS.

Oct 29, 2012

This didn't hold up as good as I remembered it. jack is pretty wooden in some of his dialogue--could be the writing; the script doesn't have a strong through line--it gets high jacked by the incest motif and the plot threads unravel. Like when a writer becomes so mesmerized by the shocking twist, he forgets about the rest of the plot.
The Slow plot, with Jack staring at landscape, makes Interesting contrast with today's frenetic action style. Nowadays, this movie would be considered too slow. back then, actors carry the story; now that's not enough--there has to be lots of fast cuts to feed our ADHD

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Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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?"

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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."


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