Blu-ray Release: Chinatown

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
Price: Blu-ray $26.98
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment

ChinatownThe Blu-ray debut of Chinatown, the 1974 Oscar-winning film starring Jack Nicholson (How Do You Know) and Faye Dunaway (Hurry Sundown), doesn’t come with any new special features, but the high-definition picture of the classic movie should be enough for the investment.

Directed by Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer), Chinatown stars Nicholson as J.J. “Jake” Gittes, a private detective who’s hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway) to investigate whether her husband is having an affair. In the scandal that follows, Gittes discovers that the woman who hired him was not Mrs. Mulwray, and when the real Mrs. Mulwray is found dead, Gittes ends up in a web of deceit, murder and corruption.

The R-rated movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actor and Actress for Nicholson and Dunaway. The crime film won only one Oscar, though, for its original screenplay by Robert Towne (The Firm).

The Blu-ray, with 5.1 Dolby TrueHD sound, comes with these special features:

  • commentary by screenwriter Robert Towne and filmmaker David Fincher (The Social Network)
  • featurette “Water and Power”
  • featurette “Chinatown: An Appreciation”
  • featurette “Chinatown: The Beginning and the End”
  • featurette “Chinatown: Filming”
  • featurette “Chinatown: The Legacy.”

These extras were on the the Centennial Collection DVD edition released in 2009.

All the DVD versions of Chinatown have been discontinued, although some can be found at some retailers.

Check out the film’s original trailer:


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.