'Chinatown' & 'Barry Lyndon': Roman Polanski & Stanley Kubrick 1970s Classics

Chinatown (1974) directed by Roman Polanski, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
ChinatownJohn Huston suggests a good homeopathic remedy to Jack Nicholson, who developed a boil on his nose after drinking too much of L.A.'s tap water. Image: © A.M.P.A.S.

On our Best of the Best of 1974, we wrote about Chinatown:

“Released shortly after the end of the Watergate hearings, Chinatown is Roman Polanski's masterpiece and arguably the best mystery thriller ever filmed – it is a ruthless amorality tale about a putrid society in which corruption, violence, and degradation lurk under a veneer of wealth and respectability.”

And indeed, even a quick look at today's headlines demonstrate that Chinatown remains as timely as ever.

Unfortunately, the film's director (who can't set foot in the U.S., else he'll be arrested), the stars, and the screenwriter won't be present at the panel discussion following the film on Aug. 14 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, but sometimes the best stories – or at least the ones most people haven't heard of – are told by those on the sidelines of the filmmaking process. More details below.

Press Release:

Beverly Hills, CA – The 1974 Best Picture nominee Chinatown will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. The film noir-inspired tale of crime and corruption in Los Angeles will be shown on Monday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Actors Richard Bakalyan, Bruce Glover, James Hong and Burt Young, along with Oscar®-winning screenwriter Robert Towne, assistant director Hawk Koch, and casting director Mike Fenton, will participate in a panel discussion following the screening.

In Chinatown, Jack Nicholson stars as private investigator J.J. Gittes, hired to uncover the personal dalliances of Hollis Mulwray, chief engineer of the L.A. Water Department. But Gittes instead finds himself treading water in a sea of crimes, including murder, municipal corruption and incest. The film earned 11 Academy Award® nominations and won the Oscar for Writing – Original Screenplay (Towne). Chinatown was nominated for Best Picture (Robert Evans, producer), Actor (Nicholson), Actress (Faye Dunaway, as Evelyn Cross Mulwray), Art Direction (Richard Sylbert, W. Stewart Campbell; Set Decoration: Ruby Levitt), Cinematography (John A. Alonzo), Costume Design (Anthea Sylbert), Directing (Roman Polanski), Film Editing (Sam O'Steen), Music – Original Dramatic Score (Jerry Goldsmith) and Sound (Bud Grenzbach, Larry Jost).

The Oscar-nominated animated short Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and the Oscar-nominated live action short The Concert will be screened prior to the feature.

Tickets for Chinatown may be purchased at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain time for the feature is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

'Barry Lyndon': Sumptuous Stanley Kubrick Period Drama

Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick's most sumptuous production, will be screened on Aug. 21 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Some reviewers have complained that the film is beautiful but heartless. I disagree.

In any case, it's worth checking it out again, especially considering that the Academy will be showing a brand new 35mm print. More details below.

Press Release: Beverly Hills, CA – The 1975 Best Picture nominee Barry Lyndon will be screened from a pristine 35mm print as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. Based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, the film will be shown on Monday, August 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Actors Ryan O'Neal and Leon Vitali, along with the film's associate producer, Bernard Williams, will participate in a panel discussion following the screening.

Barry Lyndon stars O'Neal as Lyndon, a young Irishman forced to leave home after killing (or so he thinks) a wealthy army officer. Lyndon eventually serves in both the English and Prussian armies, then marries a countess and assumes the identity of her former husband. The film earned seven Academy Award nominations and won Oscars for Art Direction (Ken Adam, Roy Walker; Set Decoration: Vernon Dixon), Cinematography (John Alcott), Costume Design (Ulla-Britt Soderland, Milena Canonero) and Music – Adaptation score (Leonard Rosenman). The film also received nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kubrick, producer), Directing (Kubrick) and Writing – Screenplay adapted from other material (Kubrick).

The Oscar-nominated animated short Sisyphus will be screened prior to the feature.

Tickets for Barry Lyndon may be purchased at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, depending on availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain time for the feature is 7:30 p.m., and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

The Academy's Monsters

Press Release: Beverly Hills, CA –  The creatures, monsters, aliens and furry animals residing in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Fourth Floor Gallery have extended their stay in Beverly Hills through Sunday, September 10.

“It's Alive! Bringing Animatronic Characters to Life on Film” presents nearly 100 memorable characters including Aslan, Doc Ock, Yoda, Mr. Tinkles, Audrey II, Mighty Joe Young and the flying reindeer from “The Santa Clause 2.”

The exhibition showcases models, maquettes, and animatronic creatures and their mechanisms, accompanied by video clips of the final product. The complementary installation in the Academy's Grand Lobby Gallery includes 100 concept drawings, storyboards and photographs from workshops and sets, highlighting the complex process of designing and developing animatronic characters.

The films represented in “It's Alive” include “102 Dalmatians,” “Alien3,” “Alien vs. Predator,” “An American Werewolf in London,” “Beetlejuice,” “Cats & Dogs,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “George of the Jungle,” “Ghostbusters,” “Gremlins 2,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” “Labyrinth,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Jurassic Park,” “Men in Black II,” “Mighty Joe Young,” “Predator,” “RoboCop 2,” “Short Circuit,” “Snow Dogs,” “Spider-Man 2″ and “The Empire Strikes Back.”

“It's Alive! Bringing Animatronic Characters to Life on Film” will be on display through Sunday, September 10, 2006. The Academy's galleries are open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free. The Academy will be closed for the Labor Day weekend – Saturday, September 2, through Monday, September 4.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600.

'Chinatown' & 'Barry Lyndon': Roman Polanski & Stanley Kubrick 1970s Classics © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about ''Chinatown' & 'Barry Lyndon': Roman Polanski & Stanley Kubrick 1970s Classics'

NOTE: *Thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Links found in comments will generally be deleted.

1 Comment to 'Chinatown' & 'Barry Lyndon': Roman Polanski & Stanley Kubrick 1970s Classics

  1. Marcus Tucker

    Chinatown is one of the very best of it's kind and when DePalma's (Ellroy's ) Black Dahlia comes out I know that there will be a lot of comparisions because Ellroy's novel uses very similar plot elements and reviewers thought that it was very derivative of Chinatown (maybe the reason Ellroy doesn't like Chinatown).