The Best Jack Nicholson Crime Thriller Mystery Gets Must-Own Upgrade

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

On June 20, it will be 50 years since the Jack Nicholson neo-noir classic Chinatown was released in theaters. To celebrate the occasion, Paramount Home Entertainment is releasing a special 4K Blu-ray. Set for release on June 18, 2024, this restored version of the 1974 classic promises to bring the sunbaked, pre-war Southern California landscape to life in unparalleled detail.

The Definitive Chinatown

Starring the legendary Jack Nicholson as private eye Jake Gittes, Chinatown weaves a tale of intrigue and betrayal against the backdrop of a morally ambiguous society. Directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Towne, the film has left an unforgettable mark on cinematic history with its gripping narrative and stellar performances.

Paramount’s 4K release isn’t just about bringing the film to a new level of visual clarity; it’s a celebration of Chinatown‘s enduring legacy. The special edition feature will include a selection of special features commentating on the impact the film has had in cinema. In addition to the main feature, the limited edition set will include a bonus Blu-ray featuring the Jack Nicholson-directed 1990 Chinatown sequel, The Two Jakes.

Amazing Special Features

As part of the special features for the Jack Nicholson classic, film historian Sam Wasson, author of The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years Of Hollywood, will provide insight into the film’s significance in a special called “A State of Mind: Author Sam Wasson On Chinatown.” Legendary producer Hawk Koch will also share behind-the-scenes anecdotes in “Chinatown Memories,” offering fans a glimpse into the making of the classic.

More special features include “The Trilogy That Never Was,” where Wasson delves into the planned third installment of what could have been a trio of films centered around Jack Nicholson’s Jake Gittes beyond his experience in Chinatown

The Involvement Of David Fincher

Additionally, audiences can enjoy a commentary track by Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne, alongside acclaimed director David Fincher, known for Se7ven, Zodiac, Gone Girl, and The Social Network. In November 2019, reports surfaced about a prequel television series in development for Netflix, spearheaded by Fincher and screenwriter Towne. While it’s unknown if Jack Nicholson is involved in the project, the series will explore the origins of detective Jake Gittes before the events of Chinatown.

A Packed Blu-Ray

While it doesn’t look like this special Blu-ray edition will include commentary by Jack Nicholson, the rest of the special features include the following segments: “Water and Power,” “Chinatown: An Appreciation,” “Chinatown: The Beginning and the End,” “Chinatown: Filming,” and “Chinatown: Legacy.” The Blu-ray will also include the original theatrical trailer.

Chinatown Is A Classic

Jack Nicholson plays Jake Gittes in Chinatown, a private investigator operating in pre-war Southern California. Hired by a mysterious woman to investigate her husband’s alleged infidelity, Gittes becomes entangled in a web of deception and corruption far beyond what he initially anticipates. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a labyrinth of personal and political scandals that culminate in a shocking revelation. 

The influence of Jack Nicholson’s Chinatown extends far beyond its initial release, and this anniversary release pays homage to its lasting impact on cinema. As Nicholson’s Gittes navigates a morally murky landscape where nothing is as it seems, audiences are treated to a gripping tale that transcends time. With its stunning visuals and timeless storytelling, the anniversary release of Chinatown ensures this film remains as captivating today as it was half a century ago.