Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition)  [DVD]
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In 1937, a Los Angeles private detective takes on a simple case and burrows into it until it leads to murder and public scandal. The winner of an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
Roman Polanski's brooding film noir exposes the darkest side of the land of sunshine, the Los Angeles of the 1930s, where power is the only currency--and the only real thing worth buying. Jack Nicholson is J J Gittes, a private eye in the Chandler mould, who during a routine straying-spouse investigation finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a jigsaw puzzle of clues and corruption. The glamorous Evelyn Mulwray (a dazzling Faye Dunaway) and her titanic father, Noah Cross (John Huston), are at the black-hole centre of this tale of treachery, incest and political bribery. The crackling, hard-bitten script by Robert Towne won a well-deserved Oscar, and the muted colour cinematography makes the goings-on seem both bleak and impossibly vibrant. Polanski himself has a brief, memorable cameo as the thug who tangles with Nicholson's nose. Chinatown is one of the greatest, most completely satisfying crime films of all time. --Anne Hurley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jack Nicholson plays Jake Gittes, a Private Investigator who gets embroiled in double dealings and deceits in the clammy climate of a pre-war Southern California where the orange groves flourish from the water supply being pumped there in the middle of a drought. He gets hired by a beautiful socialite, Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair and to find out who his killer was.
Although this is a wonderful film that is also a gem and a landmark movie in the tradition of film noir, some of the concepts featured in the film can still somehow ring true watching it today. Jack Nicholson has never been so masterful and Faye Dunaway has never looked so sexy and sultry as she does here. It also features stunning support in the shape of film legend John Huston, father of Anjelica Huston.
This is one of those films that should be seen. Many people think that L.A. Confidential is better than this. In my personal view though, this set the standard for other film noir movies to follow. And only L.A. Confidential has been able to come close. This is still the better film in my opinion. It's one of my favourite films of all time.
It features 2 fantastic lead actor performances, from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, and is perhaps notable for the fact that the Nicholson character is never off the screen since the film is made from his viewpoint.
He plays a very 'colourful' private detective who gets himself involved with an investigation into an apparent murder, corruption and family feuding. Things progress dramatically and he unearths many well-kept secrets....
It is set in 1930s Los Angeles and the production values to reflect that era (eg costume and vehicles) are superb. Similarly, the musical soundtrack (which it turns out only replaced an inferior version at the very last minute !) helps to portray the mood.
There are some other well-known actors (eg John Huston) but this film belongs to Nicholson, who delivers his lines (which include some hilarious one-liners) superlatively and exhibits all the necessary emotions of confusion, aggression and competence in a lively and masterly fashion. I shan't give it away, but watch out for a 'sharp' and amusing cameo by the director himself....
The picture on this 'Special Collector's Edition' disc has been restored - it is excellent and a clear improvement over the previous issue; it is sharp, bright, flawless and has vivid colours.
I didn't notice any great change in the soundtrack, largely because the previous issue was already quite good.
There are a number of interesting featurettes which include contributions from Polanski, Nicholson and the writer of the Screenplay, Robert Towne.
"Chinatown"'s story is based on William Mulholland's greatest coup; the construction of the Owen Valley aqueduct which provided Los Angeles with a steady source of drinking water but also entailed a lot of controversy. Splitting Mulholland's complex real-life persona into two fictional characters (the noble Mulwray who thinks that water should belong to the people and who refuses to authorize an unsavory new dam construction project and the greedy, unscrupulous Cross who will use *any* means to advance his personal fortune) creates the movie's one necessary black and white conflict ... other than this, the predominant shades are those of gray.
Into the wars raging around L.A.'s water supply, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is unwittingly thrown when a woman introducing herself as Hollis Mulwray's wife asks him to investigate her husband's alleged infidelity. Before he realizes what is going on he is drawn into a web of treachery and treason, and fatally attracted to the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway), Noah Cross (John Huston)'s daughter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
what's there to say if you don't know this is a classic then give yourself a right hookPublished 3 months ago by D. H. Studdert
A classic film I have seen year's ago and thoroughly enjoyed it again
Delivery was very good and packaged well
An intriguing plot and some very fine acting particularly from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway make this a must see film of the 1970s. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Moneypenny