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Chinatown

1974

Roman Polanski
Director

Classic noir, though filmed in color long after the days of that genre, where a simple adultery case reveals bigger issues of water rights, family skeletons and the corruption of, well, everything. A nearly perfect film that still rings true today - water rights is still a huge issue in California, and the rich and powerful are still corrupt (though perhaps putting less effort into keeping it hidden).
This is the film that cemented Nicholson's stardom, and probably should have won the best Picture Oscar for 1974 (it lost to The Godfather Part II). At least it won Best Screenplay, which it definitely deserved.

Followed by a rather pedestrian sequel, directed by Nicholson, The Two Jakes (1990).



20th June 1974
Cinema





Chinatown
23rd November 1999
DVD




2.35:1



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Jack Nicholson
J.J. Gittes
Faye Dunaway
Evelyn Mulwray
John Huston
Noah Cross
Perry Lopez
Escobar
John Hillerman
Yelburton
Darrell Zwerling
Hollis Mulwray
Diane Ladd
Ida Sessions
Roy Jenson
Mulvihill
Roman Polanski
Man with Knife
Dick Bakalyan
Loach
Joe Mantell
Walsh
Bruce Glover
Duffy
Nandu Hinds
Sophie
James O'Rear
Lawyer
James Hong
Evelyn's Butler
Beulah Quo
Maid
Jerry Fujikawa
Gardener
Belinda Palmer
Katherine
Roy Roberts
Mayor Bagby
Noble Willingham
Councilman
Elliott Montgomery
Councilman
Rance Howard
Irate Farmer
George Justin
Barber
Doc Erickson
Customer
Fritzi Burr
Mulwray's Secretary
Charles Knapp
Mortician
Claudio Martinez
Boy on Horseback
Federico Roberto
Cross' Butler
Allan Warnick
Clerk
John Holland
Farmer in the Valley
Jesse Vint
Farmer
Jim Burk
Farmer
Denny Arnold
Farmer
Burt Young
Curly
Elizabeth Harding
Curly's Wife
John Rogers
Mr. Palmer
Cecil Elliott
Emma Dill
Paul Jenkins
Policeman
Lee de Broux
Policeman
Bob Golden
Policeman

Dave Wright: Notes & Screenshots