Chinatown Review

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A private investigator (Jack Nicholson), on an adultery case, stumbles across a murder scheme which appears to be somehow connected to water in this 1974 classic.


Actor Jack Nicholson, director Roman Polanski, writer Robert Towne, producer Robert Evans: four friends, four gifted individuals, men of substance and substance abuse. Early '70s Hollywood belonged to these people and their kind. They were given relatively large budgets, and a fair amount of artistic freedom, and told to go and make movies.

They came up with stuff like Chinatown, the best private eye movie ever made. All the finest staples of the gumshoe tradition are present here - the femme fatale, the hard-boiled dialogue, the rich man, the dumb cops, the stakeouts and shootouts - yet Towne adds new levels of sophistication to the genre. His script for the film incorporates a shocking update of Greek tragedy and, in drawing on the cynicism and disillusionment of the Watergate/Vietnam era, a subtly executed political allegory. A timeless classic.

Boasting some of the greats of Hollywood's '70s golden age on top form, this is a never-bettered noir masterpiece.