Chinatown is a 1974 neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, produced by Robert Evans and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Inspired by the real-life California water wars, the film tells the story of private detective “Jake” Gittes, hired by a socialite to investigate her husband’s affair, he finds himself caught up in a web of double dealings, deadly deceits, personal scandals and political corruption that will eventually come crashing together for an unforgettable night in Chinatown. The film’s script, which won Towne the Best Original Screenplay out of 11 Oscar nominations, is now regarded as one of top greatest screenplays ever written.
Reportedly, a number of heated clashes happened among Polanski and his two leading stars during the filming. It was said that Polanski, at one point, tried to smash Nicholson’s portable television with a mop and, on another occasion, approached Dunaway then plucked a stray hair from her head that was catching the light. There was even a rumour that Dunaway urinated into a cup and threw it into Polanski’s face after the director rejected her plea for a bathroom break, which she furiously dismissed in a 2008 interview with The Guardian.
Below are some photos from the making of the film, photographed by Orlando Suero and Steve Schapiro, courtesy from Corbis and Jordan Krug: