Swens’ N’ Dobs // Resevoir Dogs

This week we review *Chinatown, a Hollywood classic starring Jack Nicholson (The Shining, The Departed) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde, Network). This film tells a story of love, adultery, corruption and mystery all set in Los Angeles.*


I was actually already supposed to watch this film for a class so I was able to convince Allison to also write a movie review on it. Chinatown is definitely a product of its time. It was released in theaters just a few short years after the events at Watergate and this is quite evident in some of the themes that appear throughout the film. Jack Nicholson takes the reins as a PI who mostly just focuses on situations of adultery. Through mysterious means, he gets involved in a scandal pertaining to corruption and the use of water. Nicholson has it down as the not-entirely-likeable protagonist, while Faye Dunaway makes her way through the film just tiptoeing on the line between good and evil. This movie is truly a classic and I recommend that you get on Netflix soon and watch it.


Chinatown is a classic for a reason, but it requires your full attention. An old-timey Nicholson plays a personal investigator tailing the man in charge of the Los Angeles water supply. The man is murdered, and Nicholson (naturally) ends up involved with his mysterious widow, played by the fashionable Dunaway. The complex plot revolves around the shady water politics in Los Angeles and it can be a bit hard to follow at times. But even if you lose track of the action, the film’s fascinating neo-noir aesthetics are fun to watch: cool shots through binoculars, suspenseful scenes lurking along a reservoir at night, car chases through Chinatown. In my opinion, Chinatown is less memorable than the older Hitchcock thrillers, and less engaging than the modern movies of David Lynch. But it is a classic, and I feel obligated to suggest that you watch it. Afterwards, you’re allowed to indulge in some of its more colorful movie descendants.

More like Chinatown: Mullholand Drive