Chinatown & The Last Detail has ratings and 11 reviews. Graham said: Towne’s script for Chinatown deserves all the praise it gets. Economical, smart. chinatown script chinatown screenplay by robert towne. Wed, 19 Dec GMT chinatown script chinatown screenplay by pdf – Chinatown is a Excerpt, CHINATOWN (10/9/ Draft), by Robert Towne. In the release version of CHINATOWN, based on what has become known as the.

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In the video below from Jack’s Movie ReviewsJack looks at the structural elements of the Chinatown script to find out why it stands out from so many others and is even today held up as an example of perfection via its screenwriting form.

According to Jack, part of the reason the screenplay is successful is that while the narrative hits the normal beats, it also twists them enough to keep the audience guessing.

As he says, “the movie is real mystery. There are no easy answers to anything; as the story unfolds, one question is answered, only for that answer to reveal two more questions. Much scriipt the film is spent incorporating red herrings, and “one of the most obvious examples…[is] the motif of the water.


For the majority of the film, the primary focus appears to be Jake uncovering the water scandal. While there are, of course, other things at play, the mystery seems to be predicated on the water; ironically, the water is important in that will take us on a journey through Chinatown and in doing so “lead us to a much greater and darker mystery. In fact, by the end of the film, the water seems rather small compared to the momentous chinatowh that we see in the final scene.

The movie also subverts many of the conventions of the film noir genre, for instance in the characterization of Evelyn Mulwray.

Chinatown & The Last Detail by Robert Towne

In most film tlwne, the lead female character is presented as a sort of black widow who will inevitably turn into an antagonist. In the case of Chinatownhowever, she is the film’s heroine.

Towne uses what we know of the film noir genre, as well as what Jake thinks he knows, only to turn it on its head. Throughout the film, we have seen Jake go from a loner who tries to do his job well staying away from human connection to someone who attempts to take a more protective role of Evelyn. By the end of the film when he is exposed to the real world and violence in the dark nature of life, “any change he thought had happened disappears…he loses on the literal level, with the antagonist succeeding and the good people losing, but he also loses on an emotional level.


Jack posits that this is a direct response to the film noirs of the s and 50s, where characters might lose on one level while often learning an important lesson in the process. One of the greatest strengths of this screenplay is that it never wastes a moment.

Diary Of A Screenwriter: Robert Towne: Remembering Chinatown

As Jack says, “every scene, every interaction, and every line of dialogue Is going to serve multiple purposes. Almost every event helps to move the plot forward, and every interaction also serves a second purpose.

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