Tag Archives: Faye Dunaway

Film: Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston were featured in Chinatown. But the real star of the movie was the screenplay by Robert Towne. Uploaded by screencrave.com.

I love film noir. Give me a good black and white mystery from the 1940s, maybe written by Raymond Chandler, with a tough private eye and a beautiful dame, and I’m a happy guy. The popularity of color naturally pushed noir into the shadows (so to speak), but it had something of a revival in the 1970s, led by the wonderful Chinatown.

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Directed by child molester¬† Roman Polanski (he’ll never be on this list), the movie featured Jack Nicholson (Great American Things, Sept. 12, 2009) in one of his greatest performances, along with Faye Dunaway and John Huston. But the real star of the film was Robert Towne, the screenwriter. He set his mystery in the 1930s, allowing for the true noir mise-en-scene. (Pardon my French.)

Towne’s brilliant script won an Oscar, the only one the film received out of eleven nominations. In the AFI’s original 100 Years…100 Movies, Chinatown was ranked number 19. In the 10th anniversary edition, it was 21. And it was the AFI’s number 2 mystery film. Why it wasn’t number one is… a mystery.

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Film: Movies of 1976

 

It was a great year for famous quotes. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"..."You talkin' to me?"..."Yo, Adrian"..."Is it safe?" Uploaded by americanrhetoric.com.

Maybe it was the Bicentennial that inspired so many excellent movies. Okay, probably not. All I know is that 1976 was one of those special years when it was fun to be a movie fan because there was always something good playing. Such as:

All the President’s Men (Great American Things, October 7, 2010) – Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman solve Watergate. Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards.

Carrie – Brian De Palma brings Steven King to the screen for the first time.

The Eagle Has Landed – a great thriller starring Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland.

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Marathon Man – one of my personal favorites. Laurence Olivier asks Dustin Hoffman, “Is it safe?”

Network – Peter Finch won the Best Actor Oscar and railed, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Faye Dunaway earned Best Actress.

Rocky (Great American Things, August 2, 2010) – Sylvester Stallone came out of nowhere to write and direct the year’s box office winner. Won Best Picture, and Best Director (John Avildsen).

Silver Streak – First pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor is both comic and box office gold.

A Star is Born – this remake of the classic starred Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The number two box office movie of the year.

Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese directed, Robert De Niro starred. Won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. “You talkin’ to me?”