‘Chinatown’ quick hit
Chinatown/1974/Paramount Pictures/131 min
Few films rank as one of the best of their decade but that’s the case with “Chinatown,” a neo noir, set in 1937 California. Of the many things there are to admire, No.1 on my list is Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of private eye Jack Gittes. Secrecy and sex, profit and power, specifically control of the LA area’s water supply, are pieces of a potentially deadly puzzle that lands in his lap.
Also on the admiration list: performances from Faye Dunaway and John Huston, razor-sharp writing from Robert Towne, the mood of cool menace, and Roman Polanski’s directorial flair.