Movies for the Rest of Us with Bill Newcott: Chinatown Turns 50

Bill Newcott marks the anniversary of the movie that many movie historians agree has the greatest screenplay ever written, and recalls a 2012 interview with Chinatown’s screenwriter, Robert Towne.

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  1. Thanks, Bob! The art of Noir is fading, I fear. Lots of filmmakers seem capable of duplicating the technical aspects of it, but their stories seldom fit the thematic mold.

  2. Chinatown is indeed a timeless classic, and it’s incredible to think it’s turning 50! The movie’s intricate plot, masterful direction by Roman Polanski, and the outstanding performances by Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway have solidified its place in cinematic history. Robert Towne’s screenplay is often hailed as one of the best written, and rightfully so, with its complex characters and engaging storyline. Bill Newcott’s tribute and interview with Towne provide fascinating insights into the creation of this masterpiece. Looking forward to revisiting this film and appreciating its brilliance once again!

  3. Thank you for this new insider’s look at the film as it turns 50. A true ‘New Hollywood’ (1967-1976) classic ushered in with Faye Dunaway in ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, then out with her as well in ‘Network’. This film is one of the best for all the reasons mentioned in the video. Faye is mesmerizing, and these films certainly showcased those aspects.

    They require the ability to think, understand and be able to follow the story. This was a unique period (’73-’74) within the decade, that also saw 1930s era films like ‘Paper Moon’ and the ‘The Sting’ released for a mass audience. The audience either had the ability to come up to the level I mentioned to ‘get’ the films, or they didn’t. Once in a blue moon there still are such films Bill, reviewed here, but made for a niche (not mass) audience as they must be.


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