The MoFo Top 100 of the 1970s: Countdown

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Chinatown is a great movie but it didn't make my list. It's not my favorite Polanski (I am such a fan of his apartment trilogy), but it's one of his best for sure.

Also, can't believe Alien is in the top 5! Right on!



Chinatown is a movie that I watched because it was said to be a great movie. I can definitely see why others like it and there were several aspects of it that I liked, but I had trouble connecting to the filmís characters and found myself respecting the movie a lot but not particularly enjoying it. I ranked it at #16 because of that respect, but if Iíd managed to get through my watchlist as planned it might not have made my ballot at all.



I do think, however, that if I ever get around to rewatching it, I might like it more.

My List
1. Charlotte's Web (#127, not on the countdown)
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (#8)
3. The Long Goodbye (#19)
4. Harold and Maude (#27)
5. Kramer vs. Kramer (#44)
6. Paper Moon (#74)
7. Deliverance (#51)
8. Cries and Whispers (#50)
9. Serpico (#55)
10. Dog Day Afternoon (#28)
11. Dirty Harry (#34)
12. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (#68)
14. Frenzy (#121, not on the countdown)
15. Smokey and the Bandit (#124, not on the countdown)
16. Chinatown (#6)
18. Get Carter (#111, not on the countdown)
20. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (#46)
21. Network (#32)
22. Hausu (#76)
23. Mad Max (#70)
24. Tale of Tales (#120, not on the countdown)
25. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1 point, not on the countdown)



I actually rewatched Chinatown yesterday. I figured it was about time with it coming up soon on the list and not remembering it as clearly as I liked, and as with a lot of great films I rewatch, it reminded me just how brilliant it is. My brother watched it with me too (his first time) and he loved it, he's a big Jack Nicholson fan and likes noirs too, so I'm not surprised.

Carrying on from what Mark says about foreshadowing, what about the scene with Jake and Evelyn in the car where she's upset and leans head forward beeping the horn and you you hear dogs reacting in the background, mirroring the ending.



"You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? You know what happens to nosy fellows? Huh? No? Wanna guess? Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses."

A second viewing meant that the plot was easier to understand and I enjoyed a lot of the individual scenes better. There is just so much to love about the film, its film making perfection. Directed with so much confidence, the film has a highly ambitious 'epic' feel about it. The story is one of the most complex and haunting mysteries of all time, and the screenplay has some fantastic dialogue with a great mixture of intelligence and humour.

Nicholson, possibly the greatest actor of the decade, gives a fantastic performance. As Mark says he's pretty useless, at least to begin and only becomes involved initially through chance. He tries to be confident and funny, but there are lots of hints and scenes throughout to show a more damaged person. Faye Dunaway is also great alongside him, but the star in my opinion is John Huston as the villain. In his initial scenes he seems fairly normal but there are dark menacing undertones that make us feel early on that Jake may be in way over his head, but by the end we realise he is one of the most evil and unlikable villains in film history.

There are so many great scenes in the film. Polanski cutting Nicholson's nose is brilliant and unique, the Nicholson and Dunaway bathroom scene, the joke gone wrong scene, and the orange fields chase. Another one that might favourite is outside the retirement home when Jake fights off Mulivihill and is shot at as Evelyn gets the car to save him, a great uplifting moment that made me smile.




Carrying on from what Mark says about foreshadowing, what about the scene with Jake and Evelyn in the car where she's upset and leans head forward beeping the horn and you you hear dogs reacting in the background, mirroring the ending.
What about Evelyn saying there's something in her eye when they're shooting at her and Jake while they're driving away from the retirement place?

It's full with cool foreshadows. The "beeping the horn" foreshadow is my personal favorite, though.
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



Chinatown was also my number one pick! I've only seen the movie twice, but I think it is a film that would get stronger with every rewatch. To have it at number one already signifies just how much I really liked the film. The story and the direction from Polanski is just genius. A beautifully executed, well made film.



A system of cells interlinked
It's a classic noir trope, isn't it? The confident, cocky private investigator that is convinced he is always one step ahead of the game, right up until the moment it all turns sour and he realizes, always much too late, that he is in way over his head.
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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
I thought Chinatown was well made but I didn't instantly love it. I particularly disliked the slapping scene. I do think it would probably be worth watching again to appreciate some of these aspects like the foreshadowing that people admire about it.



I thought Chinatown was well made but I didn't instantly love it. I particularly disliked the slapping scene. I do think it would probably be worth watching again to appreciate some of these aspects like the foreshadowing that people admire about it.
That's the only thing that I thought was a little bit silly. But other than that, perfect



I don't think it's very realistic, it goes on for far too long and seems a bit comical how she repeatedly just goes daughter/sister/daughter/sister and he just keeps slapping her before he actually listens.



I think it's a solid dramatic scene that causes some oddly satisfying confusion, especially when watched for the first time. I never saw it as a weak moment. Gittes loses his cool completely of course, but it's understandable in the context of the film. His emotions take over for a few seconds. He feels betrayed by someone he trusted. In the culture of the '30s that could result in some serious slapping (it's also a recurring thing in noir films).

The scene also adds to Gittes' guilt he feels towards Evelyn. His face right after she reveals her secret is perfect (Nicholson is brilliant). He realizes that he's dealing with a much bigger evil than he thought. He's in a state of shock for a split second.
He also feels like a monster himself. He knows that he's crossed a line.

Also, the moment is like 15 seconds long. Doesn't seem that long to me.



Also, regarding to the slapping scene not being realistic:

What's not realistic about it? He's angry, she's embarrassed. He wants answers, but she's too ashamed to give them. He starts getting physical because his emotions take a hold of him and then, after he throws her on the floor, she finally cries out her darkest secret for the first time.

It's a beautiful scene. Drama at its best.



No need to slap here about 10 times and for her to keep repeating daughter/sister/daughter/sister back and forth. If he slapped her once or twice, fair enough, but she would probably try and explain it or stop it after a couple of slaps. It's like she just keeps saying it to keep the slaps going. I agree that the idea works with the character, it's just a little overdone, that's all.



I wonder how many women MoFo's had it on their list?
Ladies, well did ya?
Hell no.

4. The Godfather
5. Star Wars

Give me anything other than either of those last two at number 1, I beg of you MOFOs.
I didn't vote for either of those, so if one of them makes it to the top it's not my fault.



No need to slap here about 10 times and for her to keep repeating daughter/sister/daughter/sister back and forth. If he slapped her once or twice, fair enough, but she would probably try and explain it or stop it after a couple of slaps. It's like she just keeps saying it to keep the slaps going. I agree that the idea works with the character, it's just a little overdone, that's all.
He slaps 5 times, including a 1-2 punch. So that's four moments of slapping. He also sighs very heavily inbetween the second and the third slap to comform his anger.
It really doesn't seem overdone to me. It's a very natural scene.

By the way, maybe she subconsciously wants to be slapped, because she feels guilty herself about the whole situation. That's why she stands still. She's a complex character. It kind of fits.

The scene works on every level. I strongly have to disagree here.



I just watched it again on youtube and I could have sworn he hits her more, and I watched it yesterday too. Strange The initial slap after she says it's her daughter was a bit extreme though, he could have asked why or she could have explained herself better.