AFI 100 Progress: Chinatown

“All right, Curly.  Enough’s enough.  You can’t eat the Venetian blinds.  I just had them installed on Wednesday.”

Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)

With Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and Burt Young.

I finally got around to watching this classic straight-through after only seeing bits and pieces of it on several occasions, and that’s really the only way to take it in.  Polanski has a brilliant sense of pacing as he slowly peels back the layers on this über suspenseful neo-noir.  Nicholson is at his best as the ballsy private investigator, and Huston and Dunaway are fantastic as the father and daughter with a mysteriously scarred relationship.  The ending is absolutely shocking.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to see this movie in a theater in 1974.

Rating: 10/10

RIYL: L.A. Confidential, The Ghost Writer, Touch of Evil.

One Response to “AFI 100 Progress: Chinatown”
  1. mcarteratthemovies says:

    I consider “Chinatown” one of the few perfect films ever made, a movie where I cannot think of one single thing that could be done better. This is my favorite Jack Nicholson role; Faye Dunaway is wrenching but not overwrought the way she was in “Eyes of Laura Mars”; the plot is layered and complex; and Huston is memorably menacing in his small part.

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