Study Guide

Chinatown Production Studio

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Production Studio

Paramount Pictures

Paramount killed it in 1974, managing to produce two of the biggest films of the era: The Godfather: Part II and Chinatown.

Coppola's Godfather sequel snapped up all the Oscars, but nowadays, Chinatown gets just as much respect. The main producer behind the movie was Robert Evans, the head of Paramount. He'd already had major successes with other Paramount pictures in recent years, like a little film about Italian-American family life entitled—The Godfather. (Ever heard of it?)

And he'd worked with Roman Polanski before to create a horror classic with 1968's Rosemary's Baby, and knew that Chinatown would fit with Polanski's dark sensibility and penchant for movies about corruption and persecution. (Source)

Also, Evans deserves some credit for giving screenwriter Robert Towne a chance, paying him to explore his own project instead of doing the adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Later in life, Evans ran into some shady business—he was convicted of cocaine trafficking, and took the fifth when testifying at a murder trial. None of this looked particularly great, but hey, he still produced some good movies. (Source)

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