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23

I believe the author left it up to interpretation, as I didn't find an "official" answer on the web. There's a FAQ on IMDB about a similar question, though the answer doesn't source anything. What is the meaning of "Chinatown" and the last line of the movie? As a young man, Jake was a police officer in Chinatown. He once tried to protect a woman, ...


10

Great Answers! Like a lot of questions I think you can interpret it a lot of ways but after decades of watching Chinatown I'd like to inject this interpretation... Opening scenes of Jake's new career paint the picture of him as a pretty disreputable opportunist. Photographing unfaithful partners and facilitating their Hollywood divorces are stereotypical ...


9

In addition to the other interesting answers, I'd like to emphasize the meaning of "Chinatown" in that quote a bit more. The impression I got, especially when Jake's past as a Chinatown cop is mentioned, is that Chinatown was a particularly tough area of the city, full of organized crime and corruption (maybe because nobody cared for it) and as a Chinatown ...


8

I found a good answer for this question from here, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown" means "you can't change things, it's the way things are and the way they will be, regardless of how much you tilt at windmills. The line is about the futility of fighting injustices and darkness in the world. It's about giving up and looking away, because nothing ...


5

Gittes concludes that they're Noah Cross's. From the script: GITTES: An obituary column... can you read in this light? CROSS: Yes... I think I can manage... Cross dips into his coat pocket and pulls out a pair of rimless glasses.. He puts them on, reads. Gittes stares at the bifocal lenses as Cross continues to look through the obituary column. ...


5

I think the ending of Chinatown is about coping with grief - and really summarises the moral struggles of Jake throughout the movie, leading us to an evaluation of guilt and self-forgiveness. Polanski actually changed the original ending to the film, which was initially going to be a happy ending, with Evelyn escaping and Jake dying, however Polanski ...


4

You also can't separate the ending of the movie from the recent happenings in Polanski's life at that time, given the cruel and purposeless way in which his wife and love, Sharon Tate, was killed in cold blood by the Manson "family" only a few years prior. A sad reflection of Polanski's life experience unfortunately


3

To understand the meaning of the phrase, one must understand the meaning of "Chinatown" within the context of the film. "Chinatown" is a metaphor for any situation in which an foreign entity seeks to intervene without having the native knowledge required to understand the consequences of the intervention. In the film, Jake knows about the dangers of ...


2

I believe the last line Jake says under his breath in Chinatown is "as little as possible." It refers to his time as a cop in Chinatown when he was told to do "as little as possible" because cops in Chinatown were on the take and looked the other way as part of the deal. But Jake apparently tried to help a woman in Chinatown and as a result she was "hurt." ...


2

Well, for starters, we have to look at the symbolism of Chinatown. What does the area itself represent? Within the story, Chinatown is the neighborhood in which Jake, years earlier, failed to protect a woman. Not only did he fail to "save" this woman, he ensured that she would be hurt by his very attempt to save her. We can divine that Towne's screenplay ...


1

I always thought this was simple, Chinatown represents corruption, and it's not a racial thing, just a tough district where police tended to overlook existing corruption on their daily beat just to get along, and also to probably participate in corruption (payoffs). That's why Jake left the force with cynicism. The line is just the partner telling him to ...


1

Jake had a line early in the movie while talking to Mrs. Mulwray to the effect that sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie. And we see throughout the movie, particularly in his relationship with Evelyn Mulwray, that he never lets sleeping dogs lie --he is after all a detective--and his actions end up making matters worse if not for him for someone ...


1

The quote comes out of a long-standing prejudice amongst 'Caucasians' that 'Orientals are inscrutable'. The cop says this to Jake because he blindly assumes that, because whatever happened, happened in Chinatown, it is bound to make no sense, so Jake shouldn't try to make sense of it. I'm not saying that it is right to think that way, of course; I am ...



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