Encyclopedia > Chinatown (1974 movie)

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Chinatown (1974 movie)

Chinatown is a 1974 mystery/film noir directed by Roman Polanski. In the film, a detective named Jake Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) is hired by a woman claiming to be Mrs. Mulwray to spy on her husband. Shortly after Gittes is hired, the real Mrs. Mulwray appears in his office threatening to sue if he doesn't drop the case immediately. Gittes pursues the case anyway, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy centering on water management, land use and real estate, and involving at least one murder.

The film is densely plotted and deals with issues of corruption and responsibility. In the best mystery tradition, the film is nearly impossible to figure out before it's over (and maybe not even for some time after).

Chinatown stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. It is consistently in the top 50 on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

In 1990 a sequel, called The Two Jakes[?], was released. It starred, and was directed by, Jack Nicholson. The screenplay was written by Robert Towne, who also wrote the script for Chinatown.

Many consider this the finest screenplay ever written.

Quotations

"Hello, Miss Sessions. I don't believe we've had the pleasure."
"Oh, yes we have. Are you alone?"
"Isn't everyone?"

Man observing Jake's bandaged nose: "You've got to be more careful; that must really smart."
"Only when I breathe."

Jake, after climbing out of flooded drainage canal: "goddamn Florsheim shoe"

Jake, to Mrs Mulray: "...don't get tough with me..........."
Mrs. Mulray to Jake: "I don't get tough with anyone, my lawyer does....."



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