When Los Angeles private eye J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband’s activities, he believes it’s a routine infidelity case. Jake’s investigation soon becomes anything but routine when he meets the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and realizes he was hired by an imposter. Mr. Mulwray’s sudden death sets Gittes on a tangled trail of corruption, deceit and sinister family secrets as Evelyn’s father (John Huston) becomes a suspect in the case.
Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors – the other being Michael Caine – who have received an Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the early 2000s. Nicholson was born on April 22, …See full bio »
Faye Dunaway, an icy, elegant blonde with a knack for playing complex and strong-willed female leads, enormously popular actress Faye Dunaway starred in several films which defined what many would come to call Hollywood’s “second Golden Age.” During her tenure at the top of the box office, she was a more than capable match for some of the biggest macho stars of…See full bio »
John Huston (I) (1906–1987), an eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry was English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, distant German and very … See full bio »
Robert Towne writer, director, producer, actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro. Got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman. Came into his own during the 1970s when he was regarded as one of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood. Began directing with mixed success… See full bio »
Chinatown | Soundtrack Suite (Jerry Goldsmith)
At the time of filming, Jack Nicholson had just embarked on his longstanding relationship with Anjelica Huston. This made his scenes with her father, John Huston, rather uncomfortable, especially as the only time Anjelica was on set was the day they were filming the scene where Noah Cross interrogates Nicholson’s character with “Mr. Gittes…do you sleep with my daughter?”
After several takes that never looked quite right, Faye Dunaway got annoyed and told Jack Nicholson to actually slap her. He did and felt very guilty for it, despite it being Dunaway’s decision. The shot made it into the movie.
My Sister, My Daughter – Chinatown (6/9) Movie CLIP (1974) HD
Screenwriter Robert Towne was originally offered $125,000 to write a screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), but Towne felt he couldn’t better the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and accepted $25,000 to write his own story, “Chinatown”, instead.
Faye Dunaway and Roman Polanski were notorious for their on-set arguments. During filming, Polanski pulled out some strands of Dunaway’s hair. On another occasion, when she asked him what her character’s motivation was, he exploded, “Just say the f**king words, your salary is your motivation!”
The film’s enigmatic title is a metaphor for moral corruption by unseen forces. Throughout the film, Jake Gittes refers to his time as a police officer in Chinatown, where “you can’t always tell what’s going on.” In Hollywood, the movie’s line, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown”, has become a mantra for those who have been burned or snubbed by the entertainment industry, the implication being that it’s better to “let it go” than make an issue of it, because that’s just how the industry works.
Faye Dunaway‘s distinctive look was inspired by Roman Polanski‘s memories of his mother, who, in the pre-World War II-era, would fashionably wear penciled-on eyebrows, and have her lipstick shaped in the form of a Cupid’s bow.
Screenwriter Robert Towne based his famous exchange, Evelyn: “What did you do in Chinatown?” Jake:”As little as possible”, on a joke an LAPD officer friend told him. This was because there were so many different Chinese dialects floating around that an Anglo cop would only get himself into trouble by misinterpreting anything said by the Chinese residents.
Roman Polanski wanted William A. Fraker as his cinematographer, having successfully collaborated with him on “Rosemary’s Baby (1968).” This notion was blocked by producer Robert Evans, who felt that the pairing of the two would create too powerful a bond, making his life as a producer more difficult.
For the first screening, Roman Polanski took his old friend, composer Bronislau Kaper. Producer Robert Evans afterwards asked Kaper what he thought of the picture, to which Kaper replied, “It’s a great film, but you have to change the music.”
Philip Lambro | Chinatown (1974) | Trailer
Phillip Lambro was originally hired to write the film’s music score, but it was rejected at the last minute by producer Robert Evans leaving Jerry Goldsmith only 10 days to write and record a new score. However, when it was time to put together a trailer for the film, the studio’s marketing department decided that Goldsmith’s new score wasn’t suitable. Lambro was asked if cues from his original score could be used instead. In exchange for allowing his music to be used for the trailer, Lambro asked to retain the publishing rights to his own score. Paramount Pictures agreed on the condition that, if the music was ever released commercially, Lambro could not use the title “Chinatown.” An album with Lambro’s original rejected score was finally released in 2012 under the title “Los Angeles, 1937”.