22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This is the Best Movie Ever Made,
By A Customer
This review is from: Chinatown [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie has to be seen again and again to be fully appreciated. But if you think of Raymond Chandler novels, the classic film "Double Indemnity," Greek tragedy, and a haunting musical score, you are conjuring up some of the elements of "Chinatown."
Jack Nicholson is superb as private detective Jake Gittes. While Nicholson is so great an actor that, like Bogart, he seems to be playing himself in every role, this part was made for him. From his first line, about venetian blinds, to the end of the film, Nicholson conveys the portrait of a man caught up in a larger, incomprehensible web of amorality andmystery that is the essence of film noir.
Faye Dunaway is excellent in her role as Evelyn Mulwray, of whom to give a description would be to spoil part of the plot. Her gestures and lines are acting at its finest.
John Huston is a towering figure of evil in this film; and the dialogue between him and Nicholson, filmed at the time when Jack was beginning his long relationship with Huston's daughter (and fine actress in her own right) Angelica, is a masterpiece and fraught with double entendre.
I could go on and on. But suffice it to say that this is a movie worth purchasing and watching again and again. It will not cheer you up; but it may make you wiser.
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Initial post: Dec 25, 2014 12:13:33 PM PST
You are correct that this should be watched many times, for many reasons. One: there are echoes in the script which you might not notice the first time. Noah Cross says, "You may think you know what you're doing, Mr. Gittes, but believe me you don't". Later, Evelyn asks Jake why he didn't like working in Chinatown. Jake: "You just didn't know what was going on there." There are many echoes. Sorry if I have the quotes off a little, I don't have every line memorized.
I wrote that this movie is like a classic tragedy. I suppose you could say that Jake's flaw is his "nosiness". And "the person he most wants not to hurt" dies as a result. By late in the movie, Jake loves Evelyn, and so do I.
I think I've watched it 20 times.
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