15 May 2011

Chinatown (1974)

20 - Watch 20 films I have not seen from the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies, 10th Anniversary

Its Chinatown Jake.

Who knew that water rights in the 1930s was such a big deal?  I didn't, at least not until I watched Roman Polanski's 1974 film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.

Set in the 1930s, this film tells the story of JJ "Jake" Gittes, a private detective who is hired to tail the head of LA's water department, whose wife suspects him of infedelity.  Except, its not his real wife who hires Jake.  The guys realy wife (Faye Dunaway) shows up and is rather irate that Jake's been prying into her business.  Oops.  Feeling duped (cause he was) Jake is determined to get to the bottom of whats going on.  And without spoiling, its not what you think.

Its easy to see why this film is held in such high regard.  While I found it quite slow at times, I really enjoyed the scenery and seeing a very young Jack Nicholson.  I also kept picturing this starring Humphrey Bogart.  Don't know why; but I could have also seen this filmed in black and white, and getting a much deeper film noir feel.

I give it 4/5 slashed noses.

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