Chinatown: Narrative structure

Chinatown: Scene Commentary

Color coding and underlining of major symbols.
  1. Montage of photos. (C. 1)
  2. Jake and Curly. Albacore.
  3. Jake and Mrs. Mulwray.
  4. Jake observes Hollis Mulwray at public hearing. (C. 2)
  5. Jake observes Mulwray at the LA river talking to a boy on a horse.
  6. Jake observes Mulwray checking water drain at the ocean.
  7. Jake's office. Photos of Mulwray arguing with a man. "apple core."
  8. Echo Park: Jake takes photos of Mulwray and a girl.
  9. El Macondo apartments: Jake taking photos of Mulwray and the girl.
  10. The Barber shop: "I make an honest living." (C. 3)
  11. Jake's office: The Chinaman joke and Mrs. Mulwray.
  12. Jake at Water and Power. Jake and the Albacore .
  13. Mulvihill and Jake at the elevator.
  14. Jake and Evelyn at Mulwray's. "Bad for glass." (C. 4)
  15. Jake and Escobar at the Oak Pass Reservoir. "I'm out of Chinatown."
  16. Evelyn and Escobar at Coroner's. Jake lies for Evelyn.(C. 5)
  17. Jake at the morgue. Mulwray and the drowned drunk.
  18. Jake at Hollenbeck bridge. Talks to the boy on the horse.
  19. Jake at the Reservoir. The nosy fellow.
  20. Jake's office. Ida Sessions calls.
  21. Jake and Evelyn at the Restaurant. (C. 6)
  22. Jake at Water and Power department. Photos of Mulwray and Cross.
  23. Jake and Yelburton.
  24. Evelyn and Jake at his office.
  25. Jake and Noah Cross at his Catalina ranch. Albacore flag. (C. 7)
    					Who's the investigating officer?
    					Lou Escobar -- he's a Lieutenant.
    					Do you know him?
    					Oh yes.
    					Where from?
    					-- We used to work together in Chinatown.
                             You may think you know what you're 
                             dealing with, but believe me, you 
                   This stops Gittes. He seems faintly mused by it.
                             Why is that funny?
                             It's what the D.A. used to tell me 
                             in   Chinatown.
  26. Jake at the Hall of Records. (C. 8)
  27. Jake and the orange farmers.
  28. Jake and Evelyn in her car. (C. 9)
  29. Jake and Evelyn at the Rest Home. Albacore flag .
  30. Jake and Evelyn escape Mulvihill and the man in white.
  31. Evelyn and Jake at her house. (C. 10)
                             Tell me, Mr. Gittes.  Does this often 
                             happen to you?
                             What's that?
                              I'm judging only on the basis 
                             of one afternoon and an evening, but 
                             if this is how you go about your work, 
                             I'd say you'd be lucky to get through 
                             a whole day.
                             Actually this hasn't happened to me 
                             for a long time.
                             When was the last time?
                             It's an innocent question.
                             In   Chinatown.
                             What were you doing there?
                             Working for the District Attorney.
                             Doing what?
                               As little as possible.
                             The District Attorney gives his men 
                             advice like that?
                             They do in   Chinatown.
  32. Evelyn and Jake in the bathroom.
  33. Jake and Evelyn in bed.
    You really don't like to talk about the past, do you?
    GITTES I'm tired.
    EVELYN No. Why does it bother you to talk about it?
    GITTES It bothers everybody that works there.

    EVELYN Where?
    GITTES Chinatown. Everybody. To me, it was just bad luck.

    EVELYN Why?

    GITTES You can't always tell what's going on. Like with you.

    EVELYN Why was it bad luck?

    GITTES I was trying to keep someone from being hurt. I ended up making sure that she was hurt.

    EVELYN Cherchez la femme. Was there a woman involved?

    GITTES Of course.

    EVELYN Dead?

  34. Evelyn gets a phone call. Cross owns the Albacore Club.
  35. Jake tails Evelyn. (C. 11)
  36. Jake watches through the window.
  37. Jake confronts Evelyn about the girl.
  38. Jake at home. Phone call that Ida wants to see him. (C. 12)
  39. Jake finds Ida's corpse and Escobar.
  40. Escobar and Jake at oceanfront drain.
  41. Jake at Mulwray's house. "Salt water very bad for glass."
  42. Jake confronts Evelyn. The truth. Not Hollis' glasses. (C. 13)
  43. Jake calls Walsh. "Jesus, Jake. That's Chinatown, ain't it? (C. 14)
  44. Escobar arrests Jake.
  45. Jake at Curly's.
  46. Jake escapes Escobar in Curly's truck.
  47. Curly and Jake pick up Evelyn's bags.
  48. Jake calls Cross. (C. 15)
  49. Jake and Cross at Mulwray's.
  50. Jake and Cross arrive in Chinatown. (C. 16) [Transcript of final scene.]
  51. Jake, Cross and Escobar. "I can explain everything." "Lou, you don't know what's going on."
  52. Cross, Evelyn and Katherine.
  53. Evelyn drives away. Horn sounds.
  54. Escobar, Jake and Cross at the car.


    (REACTION SHOT). As little as possible.


    What's that? What's that? You want to do your partner a big favor? Take him home. Take him home! Just get him the hell out of here!


    Come on, Jake.


    Go home, Jake. I'm doing you a favor.


    Come on Jake.


    Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.