U.S., 1974, 130 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Roman Polanski, Rated R, Paramount Pictures
“Chinatown was seen as a neo-noir when it was released - an update on an old genre. Now years have passed and film history blurs a little, and it seems to settle easily beside the original noirs. That is a compliment.” – Roger Ebert, Great Movies
Think of it as The Maltese Falcon with a 70s sensibility. One of the greatest Hollywood movies ever made, Chinatown sees Jack Nicholson give a career-best performance as the improbably named J.J. Gittes, an LA private eye who digs too deeply into the affairs of a mysterious woman (Faye Dunaway) who hires him to spy on her husband. Credit the movie’s brilliance mainly to director Roman Polanski, who twists a crucial, tragic fatalism into Robert Towne’s Oscar-winning script. It’s a full-color noir classic where the sun blazes on the surface and the darkness writhes inside. As John Huston (director of The Maltese Falcon) growls in the pivotal role of Dunaway’s father: “You may think you know what you’re dealing with, but believe me, you don’t.”
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