Directed by Roman Polanski.
Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston.
Chinatown is Roman Polanski’s classic neo-noir film set in Los Angeles during the California Water Wars of 1937. The multi-layered story full of twists and turns crosses mystery and psychological drama as it unravels itself and it’s lead character.
The story follows Jake (Nicholson), a private investigator hired to perform surveillance on the chief engineer of the LA Department of Water and Power, Hollis Mulwray, by his supposed wife, Evelyn. When Jake catches him with a young woman and the photos hit the front page of the newspaper the next day Jake finds himself confronted by the real Evelyn (Dunaway). Realising he has been duped Jake attempts to figure out the mystery behind the fake Evelyn and his hiring so he can repair his reputation.
As Jake searches for the truth he is dragged into a mysterious conspiracy involving the California water supplies and the shadowy oligarchs using the valuable asset to their own advantages. Jake follows the clues to unravel the story as those aiding him are found murdered along the way and he finds himself in just as much trouble. With the final twists and turns played out in Chinatown justice doesn’t prevail and Jake’s associates pull him away with the final iconic words, ‘Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown’.
Chinatown is a fantastic film full of twists, turns and mystery that is highly regarded as one of the best films of all time. Nominated for eleven Oscars, Roman Polanski’s European vision of LA is a major factor in the film’s success as it showed a more cynical and darker side of the city. Polanski was originally reluctant to return to LA only a few years after his pregnant wife was murdered in their own home above LA by the infamous Manson family.
Chinatown is a film you must see before you die as Robert Towne’s screenplay is regarded by many as one of the best of all time.
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