Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is tricked into revealing a marital affair by an impersonator of the wife of a high profile figure in the largest Los Angeles water supply company. When the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) comes forward to reveal herself, Mr. Mulwray is soon found dead, drowned in the very water that he supplies.
Gittes decides to continue his investigation in order to repair his damaged reputation and stumbles across decades-old secrets that threaten to destroy the whole city... before the final showdown in a murky Chinatown.
Chinatown is a film that doesn't have many stunts and there is little or no special effects, Polanski built his film on a set that is as full of mystery as the plot. The closing scene, set in a dark and polluted Chinatown is amongst Polanski's best work.
Of course, despite the huge role that Polanski played in the film's success, both Nicholson - as the deceived private detective - and Dunaway - as the victim's disturbed wife - played their parts superbly. Behind these two follow a cracking support cast including John Huston as Noah Cross, Dunaway's on-screen father.
A thoroughly 70's movie and certainly up there amongst the best of all time.