Classic of the Week: Chinatown (1974)

af91c0b1-3382-4e00-9609-573313315f6f Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski and stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the California Water Wars, disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century. The film has elements of film noir, is part multi layered mystery and part psychological drama.

This film is only inspired by the California Water Wars, so much of it isn’t factually accurate, but that doesn’t make it bad at all. In fact, this is one of the greatest mystery films of all time. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway are outstanding together. He brings the super sneaky and violent private investigator to life. She brings the very sly, extremely curious and cheating wife to life. Both Faye and Jack are equally perfect for their roles.

This film does have several slow scenes, but the action, violence and crime make up for it. Yes, this movie is very violent, but without all of it, it wouldn’t be the same. This a film where extreme brutality is one of the things that make it great. From the car chasing, to the beating, to the shooting, everything is done so realistically, it’s incredible. Despite the historical inaccuracies, this is still an excellent film.

Whether you like a lot of brutality or not, or are a Polanski fan or not, this movie is one you must see before you die. It is wonderful from beginning to end. 18+ 5/5

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