Chinatown Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Burt Young

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Chinatown

Roman Polanski's neo-noir classic stars Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes, a private eye in L.A., circa the 1930's. Jake takes on a seemingly innocuous case, shadowing a husband suspected of infidelity. Eventually, however, the case spirals out of control, leading to the man's death. Jake, convinced the man has been murdered, tries to get to the bottom of who killed him and why. It's a quest fraught with danger, involving shady characters, a beautiful woman who may be a conniving femme fatale and her rich, powerful-hungry father.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Elana Starr

It is the 1930's and California is in a drought. A woman hires a private investigator, because she thinks her husband is cheating on her. As he investigates the husband ends up dead. Also, the woman who hired him is not his real wife. Instead, the real wife's father is the head of the Water Department. As he investigates further he discovers a conspiracy involving water and some more interesting information on the woman whos husband was found dead.
The review of this Movie prepared by Jack Bauer

In 1930s Los Angeles, a private detective named J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicholson) is asked by Evelyn Mulwray, wife of the chief of the Water Department, to look into her husband's activities because she suspects adultery. But Mulwray turns up murdered and the client turns out not to have been his wife! Gittes investigates further and turns up a plot to buy cheap, unirrigated land, divert water to it, and sell it for millions in profits. He also gets involved with the actual widow Mulwray (Dunaway). The mastermind of the fraud turns out to be her father, Noah Cross, a former business partner of the dead man. An additional piece of the puzzle is the beautiful young woman in whose company the deceased was last seen. Veteran director John Huston makes a marvelously powerful and creepy villain, and "Chinatown" director Roman Polanski has one of the ugliest cameos of all time as a man who puts a knife to graphic use. This 1974 film won screenwriter Robert Towne an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

CHINATOWN is a movie directed by Roman Polanski in 1974. 11 nominations for the 1975 Academy Awards. Robert Towne won the award for the best original screenplay.

Jack -J.J. Gittes- Nicholson is a private detective in L.A. He is asked by Mrs Mulwray to discover if her husband Hollis, the head of Water and Power, an important company, is cheating on her. Nicholson can take pictures of Hollis with a young girl but the photos, stolen, are published in newspapers. Soon Nicholson understands that he has been used as the real wife of Hollis, a character played by Faye Dunaway, makes her appearance with her lawyer in his office. Hollis Mulwray is found dead down a L.A. river the next day. Nicholson doesn't believe in the official conclusion of suicide or accident and prefers the murder thesis as salted water is found in Hollis's stomach. Then Faye Dunaway asks him to continue his investigations.

Soon Nicholson meets John - Noah Cross - Huston, father of Faye Dunaway and ancient business partner of Hollis Mulwray. He's a wealthy landowner near Los Angeles who finally asks Jack to find Hollis's girlfriend for him. During his investigation, Jack discovers that a lot of unwatered land, surrounding L.A., has been recently bought by over 85 years old people.

Nicholson will have to figure out whether Hollis Mulwray has been killed because he had discovered that public water had been diverted from L.A. to the country. He also will have to find the real identity of the young woman seen with Hollis.

A masterpiece.

The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of Chinatown

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 13.3%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 56.7%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Somewhat obvious Time/Era of Movie:    -   1930's-1950's Murder Mystery?    -   Yes What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Murders of set profession?    -   businessmen Special suspect?    -   relative Kind of mystery?    -   hard boiled/private eye Crime & Police Story?    -   Yes Crime story:    -   white collar fraud/theft

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles    -   dangerous Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately messy visuals of dead Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   seeing breasts    -   seeing nude male butt Kind of violence:    -   hand to hand    -   guns    -   knives Unusual forms of death    -   drowned    -   perforation--bullets Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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