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Chinatown [Blu-ray] (1974)

Jack Nicholson , Faye Dunaway , Roman Polanski  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (555 customer reviews)

Price: $17.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Multi-Format 1-Disc Version $10.19  
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Chinatown [Blu-ray] Chinatown [Blu-ray] 4.6 out of 5 stars (555)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (555 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006VC3LES
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chinatown [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

In a legendary performance, three-time Academy Award® winner Jack Nicholson stars as private eye Jake Gittes. Hired by a mysterious woman to investigate Hollis Mulwray, the chief engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Gittes’ sleuthing brings him into contact with Mulwray’s wife (Academy Award® winner Faye Dunaway), a stunning socialite with secrets of her own. As a determined Gittes delves deeper he soon realizes that even the City of Angels has a dark side. Director Roman Polanski’s Chinatown has evolved from an atmospheric film noir mystery into a modern day classic, with Robert Towne’s Academy Award®-winning script unforgettably and brilliantly capturing a lost era of deceit, corruption and treachery.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 181 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A remarkable film noir classic, "Chinatown" finally gets the deluxe treatment it deserves on Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray: The Blu-ray looks quite nice. There is grain evident throughout but it isn't obstrusive staying true to the "look" of the original film and films of the time. Detail is quite nice throughout with my only complaint a bit heavy handed DNR on occasion in some scenes but that, again, could be justified if the grain was wildy inconsistent from shot to shot. The transfer walks the fine line of providing us with a sharp looking transfer that doesn't fall into the DNR pit of plastic skin and textures so smooth they rob the film of detail.

It appears that the print used for the previous DVD (and quite possibly the same transfer although I haven't been able to confirm this)was also the source for this edition of the film on Blu-ray. It's also possible this is an older HD transfer (again, I haven't been able to confirm when it was done) which might explain the look of the film for BD. either way, "Chinatown" looks quite good although purists might quibble with the amount of visibile grain and texture at times.

The audio is spectacular for the film.

As near as I can tell all of the extras from the previous special edition have largely been ported over which is good and bad--it would be nice to have some nice extras perhaps something looking at the film within the context of the original proposed trilogy a bit more or with hindsight in relation to the under rated sequelThe Two Jakes (Special Collector's Edition) which seemed to inherent the production trouble that was largely avoided on "Chinatown".
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171 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A milestone in film noir history. January 20, 2002
Format:DVD
"Water is the life blood of every community." With this statement, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's website begins its biography of William Mulholland, the real life model of two of this movie's characters, water department chief Hollis Mulwray (an obvious play on words) and water tycoon Noah Cross. And indeed water, the access to it and the wealth it provides, is what drives everything and everybody in this movie set in the ever-thirsty Los Angeles of the first decades of this century, a budding boom town on the brink of victory or decay ... and whether it will be one or th other depends on the city's ongoing access to drinking water.

"Chinatown"'s story is based on William Mulholland's greatest coup; the construction of the Owen Valley aqueduct which provided Los Angeles with a steady source of drinking water but also entailed a lot of controversy. Splitting Mulholland's complex real-life persona into two fictional characters (the noble Mulwray who thinks that water should belong to the people and who refuses to authorize an unsavory new dam construction project and the greedy, unscrupulous Cross who will use *any* means to advance his personal fortune) creates the movie's one necessary black and white conflict ... other than this, the predominant shades are those of gray.

Into the wars raging around L.A.'s water supply, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is unwittingly thrown when a woman introducing herself as Hollis Mulwray's wife asks him to investigate her husband's alleged infidelity. Before he realizes what is going on he is drawn into a web of treachery and treason, and fatally attracted to the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway), Noah Cross (John Huston)'s daughter.
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133 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Ever Forget "Chinatown" July 27, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
About an hour into "Chinatown", Noah Cross (John Huston) says to Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), "You may think you know what you're dealing with, but believe me, you don't." Gittes, whose heard this rap before, just smiles. "Why is that funny?" asks Cross. "It's what the D.A. used to tell me about Chinatown." If any exchange defines "Chinatown" the movie then this is it. It's a film where the cliched metaphor of the onion is quite apt: the more layers you peel away, the more layers you find. And the less you're likely to understand. It begins life as a simple detective story, but eventually spins out of control into a web of intrigue (another cliched metaphor) that not only includes the murder of water commissioner Hollis Mulwray, but the entirety of 1930's Los Angeles.
Into this web is sprung Jake Gittes, a man who seems to be a typical film noir detective, but upon closer inspection is much more. Or, as we shall see, much less. I'd argue that Jake is an existential anti-hero, seemingly in control of every situation he enters in to, but ultimately just a pawn on an unfathomable chessboard. Minor notes in the movie confirm this hypothesis. A former client calls Jake on the phone, looking for his discretion. "Are you alone, Mr. Gittes?" she asks. "Isn't everybody?" Jake replies, clowning for his operatives, but saying more than he really intends to. It's not the last time he inadvertently comments on the futility of his existence. "That must really smart," says Yelburton, the deputy water commissioner, regarding Jake's newly bandaged nose. "Only when I breathe," he replies, pointing out the paradox. The bandaged nose also acts like a mask. Whereas Jake starts the movie as a handsome man in a slick suit (this is primetime Nicholson), he is slowly physically destroyed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
PERFECT THANX!!
Published 8 days ago by Keith P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great contact
Published 8 days ago by Thomas Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholson was born to play this role - as a ...
Nicholson was born to play this role - as a cigarette smoking wise-cracking sleuth a la Bogart. In fact, interestingly, the gorgeous Faye Dunaway has a Bacall-like quality to her... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Donald G. Smock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Clearly a THE film noir classic. A masterpiece on all fronts of film making
Published 16 days ago by Paul Fassa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Exquisite casting and acting
Great story. Exquisite casting and acting. Left us hanging until the very end when all was resolved - though not the way I would have preferred. A truly classic film.
Published 17 days ago by Jef
3.0 out of 5 stars Corruption and Murder in a Big City
Chinatown, 1974 film

It starts with photos of a couple in the woods. They were taken by a private investigator. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Acute Observer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Flawless film
Published 19 days ago by Alex Bergmans
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best American noir films ever!
Chinatown is a classic noir. Probably the best Nicholson movie and definitely the best of the director, Roman Polanski. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Kmem
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film classic.
Published 20 days ago by Johnny Robish
4.0 out of 5 stars very well done movie
nicely done movie. donated to the library afterwards for others to enjoy.
Published 26 days ago by Steve Johnson
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