Chinatown was surprisingly a great movie with a captivating storyline. I personally do not like movies that much, especially if I have to watch it for a class; but, the film did hold my attention and kept me always wanting to know what was going to happen next. I was thoroughly impressed with the directors’ ability to set this film in the 1930’s while still capturing what was happening in the United States in the 1970’s.
The United States was in the middle of the Cold War when this movie was released. During this time there were countless movies that came out about the Cold War and the United States’ fight against communism. Chinatown’s plot was focused on a “good and evil” story line where Gaddis represented the good United States capitalist system and the father was truly evil and represented the Soviet Union’s communism. The end however was not the typically ending for a “good verse evil” plotline. The end of the movie it seemed as thought the father did win; thus, communism defeated capitalism in the end.
Also, Chinatown revealed a lot of information about the way Chinese immigrants were treated at this time. Throughout the movie, you see Chinese servants and references on how bad Chinatown actually is. For example, the last scene of the movie was located in Chinatown. One of Gaddis’s fellow workers stated “forget it Jake, It’s Chinatown”. Chinatown was also a place of growth for Gaddis. He began his career there and then eventually started his own private investigator company.
Overall, Chinatown was a great classic film filled with turns and twist. What surprised me about the film was the violence against women. The main female character in the film, Mrs. Mulwray, was rapped and beat up in the film. I am not sure if this was in fact common during the 1970’s; I still have to do research on this aspect of the film.