The movie is enjoyable on its own right, but it gets a bit better when you know the historical significance.
American Film Institutes Ranking: #27/100 Awards: Nominated for eight, winning Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Cinematography. My Rating:
The start of New Hollywood!
Directors now had more control since there was no longer a process for code approval and the content could be more risque. This movie couldn’t have been made previously; it glorifies Bonnie and Clyde with gory violence. The movie focuses on the deranged protagonists and never takes a moral stance. It opened up a whole new venue of story telling without the obligatory moral condemnation.
I don’t know if the ending could have been any other way.
American Film Institute Ranking: #19/100 Academy Awards: Nominated for 11 winning one: Best Original Screenplay. My Rating:
This movie gets a lot of hyperbole thrown its way with many people describing it as having the best script ever. I like it, just maybe not on that cataclysmic of a level.
I love noir with the unscrupulous detective, ineffective police, corrupt government, and gritty delivery. “Chinatown” is just another reincarnation, and with an intriguing mystery paired with a stomach-punch ending, it fulfills the expectations of the genre.