Chinatown

Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir film, directed by Roman Polanski.

The film features many elements of the film noir genre, particularly a multi-layered story that is part mystery and part psychological drama. It stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston.

The story, set in Los Angeles in the 1930s, was inspired by the historical disputes over land and water rights that had raged in southern California during the 1910s and 20s, in which William Mulholland acted on behalf of Los Angeles interests to secure water rights in the Owens Valley.

In 1991, Chinatown was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

A sequel, called The Two Jakes, was released in 1990, starring Jack Nicholson, who also directed it, with a screenplay by Robert Towne.

Awards & Nominationschinatownposter1jpg

Academy Awards – 1974

The film won one Academy Award and was nominated in a further ten categories:[5]

Wins
  • Best Original Screenplay – Robert Towne
Nominations
  • Best Picture – Robert Evans
  • Best Director – Roman Polanski
  • Best Actor – Jack Nicholson
  • Best Actress – Faye Dunaway
  • Best Film Editing – Sam O’Steen
  • Best Art Direction – Richard Sylbert, W. Stewart Campbell, Ruby Levitt
  • Best Costume Design – Anthea Sylbert
  • Best Cinematography – John A. Alonzo
  • Best Sound Mixing – Bud Grenzbach, Larry Jost
  • Best Music Score – Jerry Goldsmith

Golden Globes – 1974

Wins:

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama – Robert Evans
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama – Jack Nicholson
  • Best Director – Roman Polanski
  • Best Screenplay – Robert Towne

Nominations

  • Best Actor In A Supporting Role – John Huston
  • Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama – Faye Dunaway
  • Best Original Score – Jerry Goldsmith

Other awards

  • 1975 BAFTA, Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Direction, Best Screenplay (male)
  • 1975 Edgar Award, Best Motion Picture Screenplay – Robert Towne
  • 1991 National Film Registry

American Film Institute recognition

  • 1998 – AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies – #19
  • 2001 – AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills – #16
  • 2003 – AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains:
    • Noah Cross – Villain #16
  • 2005 – AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes:
    • “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” – #74
  • 2005 – AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores – #9
  • 2007 – AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #21
  • 2008 – AFI’s 10 Top 10 – #2 mystery film

Resources

Complete Movie Script

IMDB Page

Rotten Tomatoes Review Collection

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