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To make a movie, there are several elements that are used in bringing out the best out of the script. The movie shows that great efforts are required and are harnessed in order to make the best out of the production. The essence of this essay is to evaluate the movies Chinatown of 1974 and see how these elements are utilized.

Production Design

Production design is responsible for the entire outlook of the movie and more so by making it to present the information that it is intended to. It therefore means that there is nothing that production design does not cover including roles and their character. For instance, in the movie Chinatown, Jake Gittes is presented as a real version of a private investigator. Ideally, the role would not have been met by anybody just like that and would have encompassed Jakes in the category of the common detective stories. In this movie, however, the character of the detective changes completely. This movie was set during the introduction of colored cinemas, but due to the genre, the expectation was that the movie would be better in black and white but this was not to be. The production design is well thought of and arranged so that one can see the uniqueness of the movie.

Narrative Structure

 The movie has a great narrative structure that is sustained throughout the movie. This structure is well used to introduce characters to the audience and therefore prepare them for a certain activity. Additionally, the narrative structure is arranged so that there is a calm beginning, climax and the end, which are used thriller signifiers. Note that they are more focused on the lead character, the private detective. This also is seen on other characters such as Catherine and Evelyn.


The character of Nicholson kills the show in this movie. Unlike in other movies of the noir era, he showed another side of detectives through his cynicism, world weariness and sleazy behavior. Such elaborate acting makes the movie look so real, such as illustrated on the knife attack. Other actors such as Noah Cross and Evelyn also play quite well in their respective roles; they indeed produce some electrifying performances. The cast makes the movie not only exciting but hilarious.

Cinematography and Sound

 There is no better way of summing up a movie with great effects like it happens in this movie. Polanski creates a reminder over the triumph of the movie by employing good cinematography and making effective use of sound. This can be seen from the last five minutes of the movie to evoke emotions. Note that these helps in making a print of the movie to the audience, creating an impact of the message of the movie as well as alerting them to an impending or different action. Sounds can be seen through the use of music from a piano that fades away when a car with Noah Cross exits. The end of the music is abrupt and this pushes the audience to powerlessness, only for them to be taken back to the movie and reality of the streets of Chinatown.


The movie has been edited in a manner that the movie does not slow down. It is important to note that the movie is shot in close ups where characters are talking but still the movie does not seem to stop. Additionally, the movie shows some uptight conditions where the detective seemingly caught up in the mix up still solves the case. Similarly, in order to emphasize on subjects in the movie, the editor uses time and other elements.  This can be seen towards the end in creating the magnitude of the incestuous nature of Houston, and also the great revelation of Dunaway.

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