Chinatown

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Publisher:
Paramount,
Pub. Date:
c1999.
Language:
English
Description
"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
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 8fd63f0b-13f7-ade3-3144-bc72c8a1fd27
Grouping Title chinatown
Grouping Author paramount pictures
Grouping Category movie
Last Grouping Update 2019-04-25 17:32:17PM
Last Indexed 2019-04-25 17:38:23PM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Bakalyan, Richard, 1931-, Dunaway, Faye., Evans, Robert, 1930-, Glover, Bruce, 1932-, Hillerman, John., Huston, John, 1906-1987., Jenson, Roy, 1935-, Ladd, Diane., Lopez, Perry, 1929-2008., Mantell, Joe, 1915-2010., Nicholson, Jack., O'Steen, Sam, 1923-2000., Polanski, Roman., Towne, Robert., Young, Burt.
author2-role Bakalyan, Richard,1931-, Dunaway, Faye., Evans, Robert,1930-, Glover, Bruce,1932-, Hillerman, John., Huston, John,1906-1987., Jenson, Roy,1935-, Ladd, Diane., Lopez, Perry,1929-2008., Mantell, Joe,1915-2010., Nicholson, Jack., O'Steen, Sam,1923-2000., Paramount Home Video (Firm), Paramount Pictures Corporation., Polanski, Roman., Towne, Robert., Young, Burt.
author_display
available_at_catalog Arcade, McKinley, North Highlands-Antelope, North Sacramento-Hagginwood, Pocket-Greenhaven, Rancho Cordova, Valley Hi-North Laguna
detailed_location_catalog Arcade, Colonial Heights, Fair Oaks, McKinley, North Highlands-Antelope, North Sacramento-Hagginwood, Pocket-Greenhaven, Rancho Cordova, Valley Hi-North Laguna
display_description Private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California is hired by a beautiful socialite to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair. Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night in Chinatown.
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lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Dramas, Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog DVD FICTION CHINATOWN
owning_library_catalog Sacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalog Arcade, Colonial Heights, Fair Oaks, McKinley, North Highlands-Antelope, North Sacramento-Hagginwood, Pocket-Greenhaven, Rancho Cordova, Valley Hi-North Laguna
primary_isbn 9780792159575
primary_upc 883929303519
publishDate 1999
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subject_facet Chinatown (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Drama, Detective and mystery films, Film noir, Gangsters -- Drama, Incest -- Drama, Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- Drama, Murder -- Drama, Video recordings for the hearing impaired, Water rights -- California -- Los Angeles -- Drama
title_display Chinatown
title_full Chinatown [videorecording] / a Paramount picture ; written by Robert Towne ; produced by Robert Evans ; directed by Roman Polanski
title_short Chinatown
topic_facet Gangsters, History, Incest, Murder, Video recordings for the hearing impaired, Water rights
upc 883929303519