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Recently viewed the classic mystery Chinatown (1974).

The "Northwest Valley" was referred to several times in the movie (they depicted the area as having lots of orange groves). Believe it or not, I could find hardly any information about where this was. What little I did find indicated that said "northwest valley" may have been where the City of Los Angeles neighborhood Chatsworth currently resides.

Historical topo map of the San Fernando Valley:

enter image description here

More recent look at the area:

enter image description here

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  • Northwest Valley = San Fernando Valley as you mention it, no? What makes you think it's not the right place/answer?
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 26, 2022 at 19:50
  • It’s not just a reference to the northwest part of the valley? Dec 27, 2022 at 1:47
  • Since this is a movie about the water wars, I assume it is about Owens Valley. Dec 27, 2022 at 14:21
  • @OldPadawan I could not find any references that referred to the San Fernando Valley as the "Northwest Valley." As stated in the OP, I only assumed that the characters in the movie were referring to the northwest part of same...
    – Digger
    Dec 27, 2022 at 14:45
  • @ToddWilcox I could not find any references that referred to the San Fernando Valley as the "Northwest Valley." As stated in the OP, I only assumed that the characters in the movie were referring to the northwest part of same...
    – Digger
    Dec 27, 2022 at 14:47

1 Answer 1

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I'm fairly certain that the script was referring to the San Fernando Valley in general when referring to the "Northwest Valley."

Here are the three main reasons I came to this conclusion:

First, in the scene where the main character, Jake, visits the Los Angeles County hall of records, the clerk somewhat curtly informs Jake that a portion of said valley is in Ventura County and a portion is in Los Angeles County. This seems to pretty much jibe with the following contemporary map (taken from the 2010 Rand McNally Road Atlas - note the subject county lines depicted near the upper-left corner of the image):

enter image description here

Second, the movie depicts orange groves as being present in said "Northwest Valley." This reference indicates that orange groves were prevalent in the San Fernando Valley during the time frame of the movie's events.

Third, near the end of the movie, Jake is informed that rich investors are buying out farmers in said "Northwest Valley" with the intention of providing water to the valley, then annexing same into the City of Los Angeles. This sounds a lot like the actions of the the "San Fernando Syndicate" described here.

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