Chinatown [Blu-ray] [1974]

  • SKU: 5964008
  • Release Date: 05/09/2017
  • Rating: R
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (149 out of 149)

Special Features


  • Commentary by Screenwriter Robert Towne with David Fincher
  • Water and Power: The Aqueduct - The Aftermath - The River and Beyond
  • Chinatown: An Appreciation
  • Chinatown: The Beginning and the End
  • Chinatown: Filming
  • Chinatown: The Legacy

Synopsis


Chinatown
"You may think you know what you're dealing with, but believe me, you don't," warns water baron Noah Cross (John Huston), when smooth cop-turned-private eye J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) starts nosing around Cross's water diversion scheme. That proves to be the ominous lesson of Chinatown, Roman Polanski's critically lauded 1974 revision of 1940s film noir detective movies. In 1930s Los Angeles, "matrimonial work" specialist Gittes is hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to tail her husband, Water Department engineer Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling). Gittes photographs him in the company of a young blonde and figures the case is closed, only to discover that the real Mrs. Mulwray had nothing to do with hiring Gittes in the first place. When Hollis turns up dead, Gittes decides to investigate further, encountering a shady old-age home, corrupt bureaucrats, angry orange farmers, and a nostril-slicing thug (Polanski) along the way. By the time he confronts Cross, Evelyn's father and Mulwray's former business partner, Jake thinks he knows everything, but an even more sordid truth awaits him. When circumstances force Jake to return to his old beat in Chinatown, he realizes just how impotent he is against the wealthy, depraved Cross. "Forget it, Jake," his old partner tells him. "It's Chinatown." Reworking the somber underpinnings of detective noir along more pessimistic lines, Polanski and screenwriter Robert Towne convey a '70s-inflected critique of capitalist and bureaucratic malevolence in a carefully detailed period piece harkening back to the genre's roots in the 1930s and '40s. Gittes always has a smart comeback like Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but the corruption Gittes finds is too deep for one man to stop. Other noir revisions, such as Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973) and Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975), also centered on the detective's inefficacy in an uncertain '70s world, but Chinatown's period sheen renders this dilemma at once contemporary and timeless, pointing to larger implications about the effects of corporate rapaciousness on individuals. Polanski and Towne clashed over Chinatown's ending; Polanski won the fight, but Towne won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Chinatown was nominated for ten other Oscars, including Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes, and Score. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Jack Nicholson
    Jack Nicholson - J.J. Gittes
  • Faye Dunaway
    Faye Dunaway - Evelyn Mulwray
  • John Huston
    John Huston - Noah Cross
  • Perry Lopez
    Perry Lopez - Escobar
  • John Hillerman
    John Hillerman - Yelburton



Overall customer rating

4.7
100%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Timeless "Neo-Noir" Mystery Classic!

    Posted
    RCE62
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    The "Film Noir" genre of mystery and crime dramas was a staple of American and European cinema of the 1930s to 1950, but would keep coming back every several years with a bang (pun intended)! In 1974, screenwriter Robert Towne and director Roman Polanski reintroduced "Film Noir" to a new generation of audiences with their classic box office smash "Chinatown." Today, over 40 years later, "Chinatown" (which is set in 1937) continues to be a relevant and enjoyable film with a great story, vivid cinematography and other high production values. It's greatest strength is still in the electrifying performances of its main and supporting cast, led by powerhouse performers Jack Nicholson (in fine form at his prime) as complicated Private Eye Jake "J.J." Gittes, the ever-alluring Faye Dunaway as both a "femme fatale" and a "damsel-in-distress" and the legendary actor-director John Huston in one of his best roles as a disturbingly menacing and powerful villain. While the movie won only one Academy Award (for Best Screenplay by Towne) our of eleven nominations, many film buffs would still "Chinatown" a runaway winner in most categories.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Superb Acting and Story

    Posted
    Brandon203
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    "Forget about it Jake, its Chinatown" is one of the classic lines in the film. Very few actors were in demand like Jack Nicholson was in the 1970's and this film is partially why. If you are into classic films chances are you have seen this movie, but if you have not you definitely should. Now if the studio will ever come around to releasing the sequel to this movie The Two Jakes on blu-ray. It did not do the box office Chinatown did but it is a great moviie regardless.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The film that made Nicholson a mega star

    Posted
    JayLew84
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    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    This version of Chinatown is an absolute must own on blu-ray. One of the finest films of the decade looks as great as it possibly can without a 4k master. Jack Nicholson is fantastic in this film and shows why he became one of the hottest stars in Hollywood shortly thereafter. Don't want to give too much away as far as the plot goes, suffice to say this film is iconic in the film noir genre. The soundtrack in 5.1 HD sounds great, the extras, the complete package, plus the steelbook treatment and a good price makes this a no-brainer to add to your collection.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Film Noir Revisited !!

    Posted
    Charlie
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    A landmark movie in the Film Noir tradition, Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" upholds every aspect of a true Film Noir style classic. Jack Nickolson and Faye Dunaway experience the murky, dark, muddled side of Pre War Southern California. Nicholson plays private eye Jake Gittes hired by a sensual socialite played by Faye Dunaway to investigate the murder of her husband. Gittes soon finds himself entrenched in double- dealings. Also starring film legend John Huston. A highly recommended film done in a timeless format.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good blu-ray. Nice looking steelbook.

    Posted
    DianaAbate46
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    Although the contents on the disc itself were initially released on a 2007 Special Edition DVD and the blu-ray itself came out in 2012, the PQ, audio quality and bonus supplements still hold up today (although a DNR free transfer of the film itself would be perfect). As for the steelbook packaging itself, while it contains no artwork on the inside, the art on the out is gorgeous enough for individuals with a growing steelbook collection to make it their own. Recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Alpha & the Omega of Film Noirs

    Posted
    prlwctd

    Roman Polanski's first American film following the horrific Manson killing spree is a surprising but gripping detective story. Set in L.A. in the 1930's, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is drawn into a bizarre web of intrigue & deception by a beautiful widow (Faye Dunaway) and her mysterious father (John Huston). The performances are letter perfect as are the plot twists.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nichelson at his best

    Posted
    MovieMan29
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    Anybody who knows Jack Nicholson rolls, know he plays suave, debonair and slightly morally compromised rolls, this is his early work as a detective who falls for the lady who hires him to find her husband's killer, only to find there is more to the plot than what meets the eye. Clever, funny, and leaves you wondering what's next.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    A Classic

    Posted
    Sam305
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    A movie about a Hollywood private eye who stumbles upon a more then meets the eye mystery.What makes the movie standout from others in it's genre is its overall story arc that delivers a ending that begs the question how much can one person change when dealing with enormous odds stacked against them and a corrupt system.This being a steelbook makes it a must have for those who don't already own this film.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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