Special Collector's Edition (1974)
Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston.
time: 130 mins
took me a long time to warm to this slow-paced, classic tale
of murder, family intrigue and greed set in 1930s Los Angeles.
once seemed dull, but now I'm a fan of this sure-footed story,
which boasts a smart script by Robert Towne, sharp direction
from Roman Polanski and great performances. Nicholson and
Dunaway are the stars, but it's a ensemble performance in
which even the bit players shine. This great new 2007 edition
of the movie will win the movie new fans, I'm sure.
wears the mantle of seedy private investigator Jack Gittes
like a tailored coat. A former LA cop, Gittes makes a living
poking around in the seedy world of married people and their
love affairs, producing the evidence that keeps divorce lawyers
when he's hired by the wife of an official in the LA water
and power company who suspects her husband has a girlfriend,
Gittes finds himself being sued, embroiled in a murder investigation
and beaten up in short order.
one is quite who they seem as Gittes uncovers a conspiracy
involving the city's water supply and tries to stay one step
ahead of the cops as the bodies pile up. Dunaway is the woman
who saves him from a tight spot - then puts him in a bigger
don't want to give anymore away than that, because there are
plenty of interesting twists and turns in this story which
doesn't seem a moment too long despite its run time.
well as a beautiful new transfer of the picture and sound
- love the jazzy, languid musical score from Jerry Goldsmith
- Paramount has included some great extras here including
new interviews with Nicholson, Polanski, Towne and iconic
producer Robert Evans plus a making-of featurette.
kind of movie Humphrey Bogart would have excelled in during
the heyday of Hollywood, Chinatown includes a nod to that
era of filmmaking in a substantial role for John Huston -
who directed Bogie in The Maltese Falcon. He's excellent as
an aging, devious developer with a dark secret.