Sunday, November 29, 2015

296 Quiz Answer


The film is “Chinatown.”  In 1937 Los Angeles detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by a woman claiming to be a Mrs. Mulwray to spy on her husband. Shortly after Gittes is hired, the real Mrs. Mulwray appears in his office threatening to sue if he doesn't drop the case immediately.  Gittes pursues the case anyway, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy centering on water management, state and municipal corruption, land use and real estate, and involving at least one murder.

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "U" is for "unfaithful")

Our quiz question is about movies this week.

Because of certain stories that are very much in the news these days, I got to thinking of a motion picture of some years back that has been described as a classic.

In some ways it was your typical detective story.  Our hero, a private investigator – we’ll call him “J” - is contacted by a woman who would like to know if her husband has been wandering over to the cheating side of town.

Rather banal and routine; another adultery case, usually not too profitable for a private eye.  Unless, of course, the characters involved, the angry woman and the adulteristic hubby, happen to have a lot of money and influence.

Which they have.  The male, in fact, is one of the most powerful and influential people in the entire region.  “J” begins to think he may have latched on to something big.  Big cases mean big billable hours.

He lackadaisically follows the gentleman about.  This has him attending various commission meetings and wandering in the hinterlands, for some reason visiting reservoirs and dams.

He also manages to take an intimate picture of the unfaithful husband with a friend, a nubile young woman of a blonde persuasion.  A nude photo and its juicy story make newspaper headlines all over the place.

With publicity like this, “J” figures he has it made.  All kinds of new business should come pouring into his office.

What actually did come pouring in was surprising.

A woman claiming to be the man’s wife – his real wife – shows up with her lawyer preparing to sue “J” for slander and defamation of character, among other things.

It seems the gal who originally hired him was pretending to be the wife, all of which has our private eye, and probably a lot of the film’s audience, pretty solidly confused.  Along the way there’s a murder, too.

As for the makeshift motivation of the film, “J” learns that in this part of the country the word “gold” was spelled with five letters – W. A. T. E. R. – and in his state that was a substance more valuable than oil or diamonds.  (It’s about that again today.)

Surely you remember the movie now.  What was its title?

(The answer will be posted Saturday.)  


32 comments:

Cat-tails: here be wagging tales said...

Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' (1974)

The Blog of Bee said...

Is it Chinatown?

Berowne said...

Huzzah! Both Blog of Bee and Cat-tails have the right answer.

Helen said...

One great film ~~ Chinatown (I think.)

Berowne said...

Another correct answer, this time from Helen.

brudberg said...

Chinatown... the water was the real clue.

Berowne said...

Another "winner"; brudberg has the right answer.

Cat-tails: here be wagging tales said...

YAY :D

Kathe W. said...

Chinatown?

Berowne said...

Kathe W has the correct answer.

Roger Owen Green said...

Wow, I'm finally going to get one right again.
Chinatown.

Berowne said...

A right answer from Roger O Green.

Melody Steenkamp said...

A 'good' choice beeing it starting with the right letter ofcourse but not a likeable word ... people who are ...are not my favorite kind ;-)




Have a nice abc-day/-week
♫ M e l ☺ dy ♫ (abc-w-team)

Leslie: said...

Chinatown? 1974

tulika singh said...

The movie is Jack Nicholson's Chinatown.

BeatAboutThe Book

Trubes said...

J Edgar Hoover ?

Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.

Trubes said...

Grrr..... I'm going to try again,( If I'm allowed) I thought I was rather
impetuous !

Di xx

Tess Kincaid said...

Sounds like a good movie Mr. B...but I'm clueless...

Berowne said...

Leslie and tulika singh have both come up with the right answer.

Hildred said...

Oh shoot, - it sounds very interesting, but I have lived in a town without a movie theatre for sixty years and so my education is sadly lacking, movie-wise. I know, with DVD's that's no excuse!

Old Egg said...

I think this was "Chinatown" with Jack Nicholsen.

Berowne said...

Another correct answer, this time from Old Egg.

Jae Rose said...

I need some water - how I struggle with these quizzes but mystery in a world full of J's - certainly relatable...

Berowne said...

>>Trubes said: Grrr..... I'm going to try again,(If I'm allowed)<< Of course; try as often as you like - no charge.

Sheilagh Lee said...

The Treasure of Sierra Madre

Anne Sharp Bloomberg Ferguson Blasio said...

interesting twists of u word.

Mentor said...

It has been a long time since I saw it, but I believe the movie is "Chinatown."

I like this idea, using Three Word Wednesday to create quiz questions. Well done.

Powell River Books said...

With the word water, my first guess was Chinatown. We just spent a week's vacation in Los Angeles and water is indeed a concern. We drove past the aqueduct waterfall on the way to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. When I was a kid I always asked my parents to "Wake me at the waterfall" on our way north to my grandparent's place in central California. Sadly, there was no water coming down the raceway as we passed. And as I recall the movie, it was that way until someone turned the water on and the actor almost got washed away. - Margy

Shayla Street said...

I can honestly say I've never seen said fascinating movie. But now I want to!
I took part in writing a piece about infidelity for the Three Word Wednesday prompt too. It isn't a detective story, though, and the unfaithful fellow is actually more innocent that he would appear to be at first glance.

http://weaverandwaterbearer.blogspot.com/2015/12/imminent-disaster.html

Berowne said...

Mentor and Margy have both stepped up with the right answer.

Trubes said...

Clutching at straws now...
Is the film called The Choice ?

Di xx

Trubes said...

No surprise there then, the cinema really is not my forte!
I must confess to have not heard of Chinatown although I like
Jack Nicholson, particularly in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's
Nest'. That was probably the last time I went to the cinema!
when 'cuckoos nest' was released!
Best wishes,
Di xx

 
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