Theatrical release poster by Jim Pearsall
Directed byRoman Polanski
Screenplay byRobert Towne
Produced byRobert Evans
CinematographyJohn A. Alonzo
Edited bySam O'Steen
Music byJerry Goldsmith
  • Long Road Productions
  • Robert Evans Company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 20, 1974 (1974-06-20)
Running time
131 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million[2]
Box office$29.2 million[3]

Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne. The film stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. It was inspired by the California water wars, a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century, by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley.[4] The Robert Evans production, released by Paramount Pictures, was Polanski's last film in the United States and features many elements of film noir, particularly a multi-layered story that is part mystery and part psychological drama.[5]

Chinatown was released in the United States on June 20, 1974, to acclaim from critics. At the 47th Academy Awards, it was nominated for 11 Oscars, with Towne winning Best Original Screenplay. The Golden Globe Awards honored it for Best Drama, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. The American Film Institute placed it second among its top ten mystery films in 2008. In 1991, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".[6][7] It is also often cited as one of the greatest films of all time.[8][9][10]

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 failed to match the acclaim of its predecessor.



In 1937, a woman posing as Evelyn Mulwray hires private investigator J.J. "Jake" Gittes to trail her husband Hollis under the ruse that she suspects him of infidelity. After Gittes photographs Hollis in the company of a young woman, the pictures appear in the Los Angeles Times with a story exposing their supposed "love nest." Gittes is confronted by the real Evelyn Mulwray, who threatens to sue him after her imposter used him to discredit Hollis, chief engineer at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Gittes visits a reservoir where he sees his former colleague, LAPD Lieutenant Lou Escobar, as Hollis's dead body is dragged from the water. Evelyn officially hires Gittes to investigate Hollis's death as a homicide. He finds that huge quantities of water are being released from the reservoir every night, despite a drought. He is warned off by Water Department Security Chief Claude Mulvihill and is attacked by his henchman, who deeply cuts Gittes' nose with a switchblade. The next morning, Gittes receives a call from Ida Sessions, the woman who posed as Evelyn Mulwray. She refuses to say who hired her but tells him to check that day's obituaries.

Gittes learns that Hollis once privately owned L.A.'s water supply with his wealthy father-in-law and former business partner, Noah Cross, until a bitter feud. Cross offers to double Gittes' fee if he finds the girl who disappeared after the "love nest" story was published.

Gittes discovers that much of the Northwest Valley has recently changed ownership. He visits an orange grove in the valley, where he is attacked by landowners who believe him to be an agent of the Water Department. He finds the department is sabotaging the water supply to force farmers off their land so it can be bought at a cheap price. He suspects Hollis was murdered when he uncovered the plan.

Some Northwest Valley property was seemingly purchased by a recently deceased retirement-home resident. Jake and Evelyn bluff their way into the home and confirm that other real estate deals were closed in the names of unknowing residents, with one former resident's name appearing in the previous day's obituaries. Their visit is interrupted by the suspicious director, who calls Mulvihill to confront Gittes.

After escaping Mulvihill and his thugs, Jake and Evelyn hide at her house, where they sleep together. Evelyn receives a phone call during the night and leaves. Gittes follows her to a house and sees her comforting the missing girl. A furious Gittes accuses Evelyn of holding the woman hostage, but she claims the woman is her sister, Katherine.

The next day, an anonymous call draws Gittes to Ida's apartment, where he finds her body. Escobar, who is waiting there, tells Gittes he knows that Ida hired him to follow Hollis and accuses him of extorting "hush money" from Evelyn to keep him from revealing that she is the real murderer. He adds that saltwater was found in Hollis's lungs, indicating that he did not drown in the freshwater reservoir. Escobar tells Gittes to produce Evelyn quickly. At the Mulwray mansion, Gittes finds Evelyn gone and the servants packing up the house. He finds a pair of eyeglasses in the saltwater garden pond.

Gittes confronts Evelyn about Katherine, who she now claims is her daughter. Frustrated by her seeming dishonesty, Gittes repeatedly hits her. Evelyn breaks down sobbing and reveals that Katherine is both her sister and her daughter; Cross raped and impregnated her when she was 15. She tells Gittes that the eyeglasses he found in the pond at her mansion are not Hollis's, since he did not wear bifocals.

Gittes arranges for Evelyn and Katherine to flee to Mexico and instructs Evelyn to meet him at her butler's home in Chinatown. He summons Cross to the Mulwray residence to settle their deal. Cross reveals that he plans to incorporate the Northwest Valley into the City of Los Angeles, then irrigate and develop it with funds from a sham ballot measure that L.A. residents are misled to believe will bring them more water. Gittes realizes the bifocals are Cross's and accuses him of murdering Hollis. Cross has Mulvihill retrieve the glasses from Gittes at gunpoint.

Gittes is forced to drive Cross and Mulvihill to Chinatown, where Evelyn awaits. The police are there and detain Gittes. Cross advances on Katherine as she gets into Evelyn's car, identifies himself as her grandfather, and attempts to take her away. Desperate to escape her abusive father, Evelyn shoots him in the arm. The police open fire on Evelyn as she drives away with Katherine, killing her. Cross clutches a screaming Katherine and leads her away, while Escobar orders the traumatized Gittes released. As he is led away by his associates, one of them urges him to "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.[a]"







In 1971, producer Robert Evans offered Towne $175,000 to write a screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), but Towne felt he could not better the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Instead, Towne asked Evans for $25,000 to write his own story, Chinatown, to which Evans agreed.[12][13][14] Towne had originally hoped to also direct Chinatown, but realized that by taking Evans' money, he would lose control of the project's future and his role as a director.[15]

Chinatown is set in 1937 and portrays the manipulation of a critical municipal resource—water—by a cadre of shadowy oligarchs. It was the first part of Towne's planned trilogy about the character J. J. Gittes, the foibles of the Los Angeles power structure, and the subjugation of public good by private greed.[16] The second part, The Two Jakes, has Gittes caught up in another grab for a natural resource—oil—in the 1940s. It was directed by Jack Nicholson and released in 1990, but the second film's commercial and critical failure scuttled plans to make Gittes vs. Gittes,[17] about the third finite resource—land—in Los Angeles, circa 1968.[16]



The character of Hollis Mulwray was inspired by and loosely based on Irish immigrant William Mulholland (1855–1935) according to Mulholland's granddaughter.[18][19][20] Mulholland was the superintendent and chief engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, who oversaw the construction of the 230-mile (370-km) aqueduct that carries water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles.[19] Mulholland was considered by many to be the man who made Los Angeles possible by building the Los Angeles Aqueduct in the early 1900s.[21] The 233 mile long feat of engineering brought the water necessary for urban expansion from the Owens Valley to a Los Angeles whose growth was constrained by the limits of the Los Angeles River.[22] Mulholland credits Fred Eaton, then mayor of Los Angeles, with the idea to secure water for the city from the Owens Valley.[23]

Although the character of Hollis Mulwray was relatively minor in the film and he was killed in the early part of the movie, the events of Mulholland's life were portrayed through both the character of Mulwray and other figures in the movie. This portrayal, along with other changes to actual events that inspired Chinatown, such as the time frame which was some thirty years earlier than that of the movie, were some of the liberties with facts of Mulholland's life that the movie takes.[24]

Author Vincent Brook considers real-life Mulholland to be split, in the film, into "noble Water and Power chief Hollis Mulwray" and "mobster muscle Claude Mulvihill",[20] just as Land syndicate and Combination members, who "exploited their insider knowledge" on account of "personal greed", are "condensed into the singular, and singularly monstrous, Noah Cross".[20]

In the film, Mulwray opposes the dam wanted by Noah Cross and the city of Los Angeles, for reasons of engineering and safety, arguing he would not repeat his previous mistake, when his dam broke resulting in hundreds of deaths. This alludes to the St. Francis Dam disaster of March 12, 1928.[25] Unlike the character of Mulwray, who was concerned about the dam in Chinatown, Mulholland's role in the disaster diverged from the events in the film. Mulholland had inspected the St. Francis Dam after the dam keeper Tony Harnischfeger requested that Mulholland personally inspect the dam after Harnischfeger became concerned about the safety of the dam upon discovering cracks and brown water leaking from the base of the dam, which indicated to him the erosion of the dam's foundation.[26] Mulholland inspected the dam at around 10:30 in the morning, declaring that all was well with the structure.[26] Just before midnight that same evening, a massive failure of the dam occurred.[26] The dam's failure inundated the Santa Clara River Valley, including the town of Santa Paula, with flood water, causing the deaths of at least 431 people. The event effectively ended Mulholland's career.[27][28]

The plot of Chinatown is also drawn not just from the diversion of water from the Owens Valley via the aqueduct but also from another actual event. In the movie, water is being purposely released in order to drive the land owners out and create support for a dam through an artificial drought. The event that the movie refers to occurred in late 1903 and 1904 when underground water levels plummeted and water usage rose precipitously.[29] Rather than a deliberate release, Mulholland was able to figure out that because of faulty valves and gates in the water system, large quantities of water were being released in the overflow sewer system and then into the ocean.[29] Mulholland was able to stop the leaks.[30]



According to Robert Towne, both Carey McWilliams's Southern California Country: An Island on the Land (1946) and a West magazine article called "Raymond Chandler's L.A." inspired his original screenplay.[31] In a letter to McWilliams, Towne wrote that Southern California Country "really changed my life. It taught me to look at the place where I was born, and convinced me to write about it".[32]

Towne wrote the screenplay with Jack Nicholson in mind.[12] He took the title (and the exchange "What did you do in Chinatown?" / "As little as possible") from a Hungarian vice cop, who had worked in Los Angeles's Chinatown, dealing with its confusion of dialects and gangs. The vice cop thought that "police were better off in Chinatown doing nothing, because you could never tell what went on there" and whether what you did helped or furthered the exploitation of victims.[12][33][34]

Polanski first learned of the script through Nicholson, as they had been searching for a suitable joint project, and the producer Robert Evans was excited at the thought that Polanski's direction would create a darker, more cynical, and European vision of the United States. Polanski was initially reluctant to return to Los Angeles (it was only a few years since the murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate), but was persuaded on the strength of the script.[12]

Towne wanted Cross to die and Evelyn Mulwray to survive, but the screenwriter and director argued over it, with Polanski insisting on a tragic end: "I knew that if Chinatown was to be special, not just another thriller where the good guys triumph in the final reel, Evelyn had to die".[35] They parted ways over this dispute and Polanski wrote the final scene a few days before it was shot.[12]

The original script was more than 180 pages and included a narration by Gittes; Polanski cut and reordered the story so the audience and Gittes unraveled the mysteries at the same time.

Characters and casting




Principal photography took place from October 1973 to January 1974.[37] William A. Fraker accepted the cinematographer position from Polanski when Paramount agreed. He had worked with the studio previously on Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Robert Evans, never consulted about the decision, insisted that the offer be rescinded since he felt pairing Polanski and Fraker again would create a team with too much control over the project and complicate the production.[38]

Between Fraker and the eventual choice John A. Alonzo, the two compromised on Stanley Cortez, but Polanski grew frustrated with Cortez's slow process, old fashioned compositional sensibility, and unfamiliarity with the Panavision equipment. Alonzo had worked on documentaries and shot film for National Geographic and for Jacques Cousteau.[39] Alonzo was chosen for his fleetness and skill with natural light a few weeks into production. Alonzo understood that Polanski wanted realism in his lighting; "He wants the soft red tile to look soft red."[40] Ultimately, only a handful of scenes in the finished film, including the orange grove confrontation, were shot by Cortez.[5] Because Polanski's English was poor, Alonzo and Polanski would communicate in Italian, which Alonzo would then translate for the crew.[41] Polanski was rigorous in his framing and use of Alonzo's vision, making the actors strictly adhere to blocking to accommodate the camera and lighting.[42]

In keeping with a technique Polanski attributes to Raymond Chandler, all of the events of the film are seen subjectively through the main character's eyes; for example, when Gittes is knocked unconscious, the film fades to black and fades in when he awakens. Gittes appears in every scene of the film.[12] This subjectivity is the same construction used in Francis Coppola's The Conversation in which the main character, Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), appears in every scene in the film. The Conversation began shooting eleven months prior to Chinatown.


Film score by
GenreJazz, soundtrack
LabelVarèse Sarabande

Jerry Goldsmith composed and recorded the film's score in ten days, after producer Robert Evans rejected Phillip Lambro's original effort at the last minute. It received an Academy Award nomination and remains widely praised,[43][44][45] ranking ninth on the American Film Institute's list of the top 25 American film scores.[46] Goldsmith's score, with "haunting" trumpet solos by Hollywood studio musician and MGM's first trumpet Uan Rasey, was released through ABC Records and features 12 tracks at a running time just over 30 minutes. It was later reissued on CD by the Varèse Sarabande label. Rasey related that Goldsmith "told [him] to play it sexy — but like it's not good sex!"[44]

  1. "Love Theme from Chinatown (Main Title)"
  2. "Noah Cross"
  3. "Easy Living" (Rainger, Robin)
  4. "Jake and Evelyn"
  5. "I Can't Get Started" (Duke, Gershwin)
  6. "The Last of Ida"
  7. "The Captive"
  8. "The Boy on a Horse"
  9. "The Way You Look Tonight" (Kern, Fields)
  10. "The Wrong Clue"
  11. "J. J. Gittes"
  12. "Love Theme from Chinatown (End Title)"

Historical background


In his 2004 film essay and documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, film scholar Thom Andersen lays out the complex relationship between Chinatown's script and its historical background:

Chinatown isn't a docudrama, it's a fiction. The water project it depicts isn't the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, engineered by William Mulholland before the First World War. Chinatown is set in 1937, not 1905. The Mulholland-like figure—"Hollis Mulwray"—isn't the chief architect of the project, but rather its strongest opponent, who must be discredited and murdered. Mulwray is against the "Alto Vallejo Dam" because it's unsafe, not because it's stealing water from somebody else.... But there are echoes of Mulholland's aqueduct project in Chinatown.... Mulholland's project enriched its promoters through insider land deals in the San Fernando Valley, just like the dam project in Chinatown. The disgruntled San Fernando Valley farmers of Chinatown, forced to sell off their land at bargain prices because of an artificial drought, seem like stand-ins for the Owens Valley settlers whose homesteads turned to dust when Los Angeles took the water that irrigated them. The "Van Der Lip Dam" disaster, which Hollis Mulwray cites to explain his opposition to the proposed dam, is an obvious reference to the collapse of the Saint Francis Dam in 1928. Mulholland built this dam after completing the aqueduct and its failure was the greatest man-made disaster in the history of California. These echoes have led many viewers to regard Chinatown, not only as docudrama, but as truth—the real secret history of how Los Angeles got its water. And it has become a ruling metaphor of the non-fictional critiques of Los Angeles development.[47]

Analysis and interpretation


In a 1975 issue of Film Quarterly, Wayne D. McGinnis compared Chinatown to Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. He suggested that a "wasteland motif predominates in both works", in which a character (Noah Cross in Chinatown and Oedipus in Oedipus Rex) uses "a plague on a city" to get into public power and then harbor corruption. McGinnis wrote that both works allude to "a sterility of moral values in its own era": of Athens in "a time of intellectual upheaval [...] after the heroic battle of Marathon" in Oedipus Rex and of America in the Watergate era in Chinatown. He also argued that in the film, director Roman Polanski splits Sophocles' Oedipus into two morally polar figures, with the film's protagonist Detective Jake Gittes paralleling the "good" Oedipus: the one uncovering the source of corruption. McGinnis asserted that after "confronting the web of evil perpetrated by Cross [...] Gittes is the Oedipus whose success, to the use the words of Cleanth Brooks and Robert B. Heilman, 'has tended to blind [him] to possibilities which pure reason fails to see'". McGinnis concluded that "There is finally pity for the doomed, ignorant Gittes, just as there is pity for the blind Oedipus in Sophocles", however, "Gittes' real sight, like Oedipus, comes too late".[7]



Box office

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2018)

The film earned $29 million at the North American box office.[3]

Critical response


On Rotten Tomatoes, Chinatown holds an approval rating of 98% based on 142 reviews, with an average rating of 9.40/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "As bruised and cynical as the decade that produced it, this noir classic benefits from Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, director Roman Polanski's steady hand, and wonderful performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway".[48] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 92 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[49] Roger Ebert added it to his "Great Movies" list, saying that Nicholson's performance was "key in keeping Chinatown from becoming just a genre crime picture", along with Towne's screenplay, concluding that the film "seems to settle easily beside the original noirs".[50]

Although the film was widely acclaimed by prominent critics upon its release, Vincent Canby of The New York Times was not impressed with the screenplay as compared to the film's predecessors, saying, "Mr. Polanski and Mr. Towne have attempted nothing so witty and entertaining, being content instead to make a competently stylish, more or less thirties-ish movie that continually made me wish I were back seeing The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep", but noted Nicholson's performance, calling it the film's "major contribution to the genre".[51]


Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards Best Picture Robert Evans Nominated [52]
Best Director Roman Polanski Nominated
Best Actor Jack Nicholson Nominated
Best Actress Faye Dunaway Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Robert Towne Won
Best Art Direction Art Direction: Richard Sylbert and W. Stewart Campbell;
Set Decoration: Ruby R. Levitt
Best Cinematography John A. Alonzo Nominated
Best Costume Design Anthea Sylbert Nominated
Best Film Editing Sam O'Steen Nominated
Best Original Dramatic Score Jerry Goldsmith Nominated
Best Sound Charles Grenzbach and Larry Jost Nominated
Bodil Awards Best Non-European Film Roman Polanski Won [54]
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Nominated [55]
Best Direction Won
Best Actor in a Leading Role Jack Nicholson (also for The Last Detail) Won
Best Actress in a Leading Role Faye Dunaway Nominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role John Huston Nominated
Best Screenplay Robert Towne (also for The Last Detail) Won
Best Art Direction Richard Sylbert Nominated
Best Cinematography John A. Alonzo Nominated
Best Costume Design Anthea Sylbert Nominated
Best Film Editing Sam O'Steen Nominated
Best Original Music Jerry Goldsmith Nominated
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Roman Polanski Nominated [56]
Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Motion Picture Robert Towne Won [57]
Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Movie Performer Jack Nicholson (also for Five Easy Pieces) Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama Won [58]
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama Jack Nicholson Won
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Faye Dunaway Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture John Huston Nominated
Best Director – Motion Picture Roman Polanski Won
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Robert Towne Won
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Jerry Goldsmith Nominated
International Film Music Critics Awards Best Re-Release/Re-Recording of an Existing Score Jerry Goldsmith, Douglass Fake, Roger Feigelson,
Jeff Bond, and Joe Sikoryak
Nominated [59]
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Jack Nicholson Won [60]
Best Supporting Actor John Huston Won
National Board of Review Awards Top Ten Films 3rd Place [61]
National Film Preservation Board National Film Registry Inducted
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor Jack Nicholson (also for The Last Detail) Won [62]
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Won [63]
Best Screenplay Robert Towne Runner-up
Online Film & Television Association Awards Hall of Fame – Motion Picture Inducted [64]
Producers Guild of America Awards PGA Hall of Fame – Motion Pictures Robert Evans Won
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Film Roman Polanski Won
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Drama – Written Directly for the Screen Robert Towne Won [65]

Other honors


American Film Institute recognition

Subsequent works


A sequel film, The Two Jakes, was released in 1990, again starring Nicholson, who also directed, with Robert Towne returning to write the screenplay. It was not met with the same financial or critical success as the first film.

A prequel television series by David Fincher and Towne for Netflix about Gittes starting his agency was reported to be in the works in November 2019.[67]

A film about the making of Chinatown, based on the non-fiction book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, was reported in August 2020 to be in the works, with Ben Affleck as director and writer.[68]



Towne's screenplay has become legendary among critics and filmmakers, often cited as one of the best examples of the craft,[16][69][70] though Polanski decided on the fatal final scene. While it has been reported that Towne envisioned a happy ending, he has denied these claims and said simply that he initially found Polanski's ending to be excessively melodramatic. He explained in a 1997 interview: "The way I had seen it was that Evelyn would kill her father but end up in jail for it, unable to give the real reason why it happened. And the detective [Jack Nicholson] couldn't talk about it either, so it was bleak in its own way". Towne retrospectively concluded that "Roman was right",[71] later arguing that Polanski's stark and simple ending, due to the complexity of the events preceding it, was more fitting than his own, which he described as equally bleak but "too complicated and too literary".[72]

Chinatown brought more public awareness to the land dealings and disputes over water rights, which arose while drawing Los Angeles' water supply from the Owens Valley in the 1910s.[73]

See also



  1. ^ The film title and the oft-quoted line "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," almost certainly refer to "Old Chinatown", or at least the popular perception thereof.[11] Old Chinatown was gradually demolished, starting in 1933, to allow for construction of Union Station, with the grand opening of "New Chinatown" in 1938.


  1. ^ "Chinatown (15)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  2. ^ "Film History Milestones - 1974". Archived from the original on August 27, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Chinatown (1974)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "Barringer, Felicity. 'The Water Fight That Inspired Chinatown' in The New York Times, 25 April 2012". April 25, 2012. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Wasson, Sam. The Big Goodbye. Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, Flatiron Books, 2020.
  6. ^ Kehr, Dave (September 26, 1991). "U.S. FILM REGISTRY ADDS 25 'SIGNIFICANT' MOVIES". Archived from the original on June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  7. ^ a b D. McGinnis, Wayne (1975). ""Chinatown": Roman Polanski's Contemporary Oedipus Story". Film Quarterly. 3 (3): 249–251. JSTOR 43795625 – via JSTOR.
  8. ^ a b Pulver, Andrew (October 22, 2010). "Chinatown: the best film of all time". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "100 Greatest Films". Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  10. ^ "Greatest film ever: Chinatown wins by a nose". The Sydney Morning Herald. October 24, 2010. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  11. ^ Wallace, Ken (March 14, 2019). "Remembering Old Chinatown". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Robert Towne, Roman Polanksi and Robert Evans (April 11, 2007). Retrospective interview from Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition) (DVD). Paramount. ASIN B000UAE7RW.
  13. ^ * Thomson, David (2005). The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood. ISBN 0-375-40016-8
  14. ^ "In a Never-Before-Published Interview, Robert Evans Talks 'Chinatown': 'We Weren't Sure if We Had a Disaster on our Hands'". October 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Wasson, Sam (2020). The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. New York: Flatiron Books. pp. 100, 114. ISBN 9781250301833.
  16. ^ a b c The Hollywood Interview. "Robert Towne: The Hollywood Interview". Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  17. ^ "'My sister! My daughter!' and other tales of 'Chinatown' -". CNN. September 29, 2009. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  18. ^ "William Mulholland Gave Water to LA and Inspired Chinatown Archived September 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine" by Jon Wilkman, The Daily Beast, February 28, 2016
  19. ^ a b "Catherine Mulholland dies at 88; historian wrote key biography of famed grandfather Archived January 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine" by Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, July 7, 2011
  20. ^ a b c Brook, Vincent. Land of Smoke and Mirrors: A Cultural History of Los Angeles; Rutgers University Press; January 22, 2013; ISBN 978-0813554563
  21. ^ Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. New York: Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. p. 3.
  22. ^ Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. New York: Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 3, 64.
  23. ^ Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. p. 66.
  24. ^ Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. New York: Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. pp. xv.
  25. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (April 10, 2016). "On the edge of L.A. lies the remains of an engineering disaster that offers a warning for us today". Newsweek. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. New York: Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. p. 5.
  27. ^ Pollack, Alan (March–April 2010). "President's Message" (PDF). The Heritage Junction Dispatch. Santa Clara Valley Historical Society. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  28. ^ * Reisner, Marc (1986). Cadillac Desert. ISBN 0-670-19927-3
  29. ^ a b Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles. New York: Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. p. 62.
  30. ^ Standiford, Les (2016). Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angele. Ecco: an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. p. 63.
  31. ^ Towne, Robert (May 29, 1994). "It's Only L.A., Jake". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 19, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  32. ^ Richardson, Peter (2005). American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. pp. 260. ISBN 978-0472115242.
  33. ^ Brownstein, Ronald (2021). Rock Me on the Water. New York: HarperCollins. pp.170-1. ISBN 978-0062899217.
  34. ^ Klein, Norman M. (2008). The history of forgetting : Los Angeles and the erasure of memory (New updated ed.). London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-78960-413-9. OCLC 609301964.
  35. ^ "Chinatown" Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  36. ^ Collins, Nancy. The Great Seducer: Jack Nicholson. Rolling Stone, March 29, 1984,
  37. ^ "Chinatown (1974) - Filming & production - IMDb". IMDb.
  38. ^ Beach, Christopher (May 2015). A Hidden History of Film Style: Cinematographers, Directors, and the Collaborative Process. Univ of California Press. ISBN 9780520284357.
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