Chinatown (1974 film)
Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. The film features many elements of the film noir genre, particularly a multi-layered story that is part mystery and part psychological drama. It was released by Paramount Pictures. The story, set in Los Angeles in 1937, was inspired by the California Water Wars, the historical disputes over land and water rights that had raged in southern California during the 1910s and 1920s, in which William Mulholland acted on behalf of Los Angeles interests to secure water rights in the Owens Valley. Chinatown was the last film Roman Polanski made in the United States before fleeing to Europe.
Chinatown has been frequently cited as one of the greatest films ever made. It holds second place on the American Film Institute list of Best Mystery Films of all time. Chinatown was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, ultimately winning only Best Original Screenplay for Robert Towne. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. In 1991, Chinatown was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
A sequel, The Two Jakes, was released in 1990, again starring Nicholson, who also directed, with Robert Towne returning to write the screenplay. The film, however, failed to generate the acclaim of its predecessor.