Chinatown

Chinatown quotes

24 total quotes (ID: 691)

Jake Gittes
Multiple Characters


Man with Knife: You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? You know what happens to nosy fellows? Huh? No? Wanna guess? Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses. [flicks knife, cutting open Jake's nostril] Next time you lose the whole thing. Cut it off and feed it to my goldfish. Understand? Understand!?


Morty: In the middle of a drought and the water commissioner drowns! Only in L.A.

Walsh: Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown. Note: ranked #74 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

Cross: Gittes. You're dealing with a disturbed woman who's just lost her husband. I don't want her taken advantage of. Sit down.
Gittes: What for?
Cross: You may think you know what you're dealing with, but believe me, you don't. [Gittes smiles] Why is that funny?
Gittes: It's what the district attorney used to tell me in Chinatown.
Cross: Yeah? Was he right? Exactly what do you know about me? Sit down.
Gittes: Mainly that you're rich, and too respectable to want your name in the newspapers.
Cross: 'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.

Cross: What does it mean?
Gittes: That you killed Hollis Mulwray - right here - in that pond. You drowned him, and you left these [the bifocals]. Coroner's report shows Mulwray had saltwater in his lungs.
Cross: Hollis was always fascinated by tidepools. You know what he used to say?...That's where life begins. Sloughs, tidepools. When he first come out here, he figured if you dumped water into the desert sand and let it percolate down to the bedrock, it would stay there instead of evaporate the way it does in most reservoirs. You only lose 20% instead of 70 or 80. He made this city.
Gittes: That's what you were going to do in the valley.
Cross: That's what I am doing. If the bond issue passes Tuesday, there'll be eight million dollars to build an aqueduct and reservoir. I'm doing it.
Gittes: Gonna be a lot of irate citizens when they find out that they're paying for water that they're not gonna get.
Cross: Oh, that's all taken care of. You see, Mr. Gits. Either you bring the water to LA or you bring LA to the water.
Gittes: How you gonna do that?
Cross: By incorporating the valley into the city. Simple as that.
Gittes: How much are you worth?
Cross: I've no idea. How much do you want?
Gittes: I just want to know what you're worth. Over ten million?
Cross: Oh my, yes!
Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can't already afford?
Cross: The future, Mr. Gits - the future! Now where's the girl. I want the only daughter I've got left. As you found out, Evelyn was lost to me a long time ago.
Gittes: Who do you blame for that - her?
Cross: I don't blame myself. You see, Mr. Gits. Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time, the right place, they're capable of anything.

Cross: You've got a nasty reputation, Mr. Gits. I like that.
Gittes: Thanks.
Cross: If you were a bank president, that would be one thing. But in your business it's admirable and it's good advertising.
Gittes: It doesn't hurt.
Cross: It's, um, why you attracted a client like my daughter.
Gittes: Probably.
Cross: But I'm surprised you're still working for her - unless she's suddenly come up with another husband.
Gittes: No. She happens to think the last one was murdered.
Cross: Umm, how'd she get that idea?
Gittes: I think I gave it to her.
Cross: [about the fish served for lunch] I hope you don't mind. I believe they should be served with the head.
Gittes: Fine. As long as you don't serve the chicken that way.

Escobar: [pointing to graffiti on the wall] Isn't that your phone number?
Gittes: Is it? I forget. I don't call myself that often.

Escobar: So, tell me Gittes, how'd you get past the guard?
Gittes: Well, to tell you the truth, I lied a little.

Escobar: You look like you've done well by yourself.
Gittes: I get by.
Escobar: Well, sometimes it takes a while for a man to find himself. Maybe you have.
Loach: Yeah, goin' through other people's dirty linen.
Gittes: Yeah. Tell me. You still puttin' Chinamen in jail for spittin' in the laundry?
Escobar: You're a little behind the times, Jake. They use steam irons now. And I'm out of Chinatown.
Gittes: Since when?
Escobar: Since I made Lieutenant.
Gittes: Congratulations.

Gittes: [on the phone] Hello, Miss Sessions. I don't believe we've had the pleasure."
Ida Sessions: Oh, yes we have. Are you alone?
Gittes: Isn't everybody?

Gittes: A memorial service was held at the Mar Vista Inn today for Jasper Lamar Crabb. He passed away two weeks ago.
Mrs. Mulwray: Why is that unusual?
Gittes: He passed away two weeks ago and one week ago he bought the land. That's unusual.

Gittes: Evelyn, put that gun away. Let the police handle this.
Mrs. Mulwray: He owns the police!

Gittes: I'm not in business to be loved, but I am in business. And believe me, Mrs. Mulwray, whoever set your husband up set me up. LA's a small town, people talk. I'm just trying to make a living. I don't want to become a local joke.
Mrs. Mulwray: Mr. Gittes. You talked me into it. I'll drop the lawsuit.
Gittes: What?
Mrs. Mulwray: I said I'll drop the lawsuit. So let's just drop the whole thing.
Gittes: I don't want to drop it. I'd better talk to your husband about this.
Mrs. Mulwray: Why? What on earth for? Hollis seems to think you're an innocent man.
Gittes: Well, I've been accused of a lot of things before, Mrs. Mulwray, but never that. Look. Somebody's gone to a lot of trouble here and lawsuit or no lawsuit, I intend to find out. I'm not supposed to be the one who's caught with his pants down. So unless it's a problem, I'd like to talk to your husband.
Mrs. Mulwray: Why should it be a problem?
Gittes: May I speak frankly, Mrs. Mulwray?
Mrs. Mulwray: Only if you can, Mr. Gittes.
Gittes: Well, that little girlfriend. She was pretty in a cheap sort of a way, of course. She's disappeared. Maybe they disappeared together.
Mrs. Mulwray: Suppose they did. How does that affect you?
Gittes: It's nothing personal, Mrs. Mulwray.
Mrs. Mulwray: It's very personal. It couldn't be more personal. Is this a business or an obsession with you?

Gittes: Mulvihill! What are you doing here?
Mulvihill: They shut my water off. What's it to you?
Gittes: How'd you find out about it? You don't drink it; you don't take a bath in it... They wrote you a letter. But then you have to be able to read.

Gittes: Something else besides the death of your husband was bothering you. You were upset, but not that upset.
Mrs. Mulwray: Mr. Gittes. Don't tell me how I feel.
Gittes: Sorry. Look. You sue me. Your husband dies. You drop the lawsuit like a hot potato all of it quicker than the wind from a duck's ass. Excuse me, uh. Then you ask me to lie to the police.
Mrs. Mulwray: It wasn't much of a lie.
Gittes: If your husband was killed, it was. This could look like you paid me off to withhold evidence.
Mrs. Mulwray: But he wasn't killed.
Gittes: Mrs. Mulwray. I think you're hiding something.
Mrs. Mulwray: Well, I suppose I am. Actually, I knew about the affair.
Gittes: How did you find out?
Mrs. Mulwray: My husband.
Gittes: He told you? [She nods yes] And you weren't the least bit upset?
Mrs. Mulwray: I was grateful.
Gittes: Mrs. Mulwray, you'll have to explain that.
Mrs. Mulwray: Why?
Gittes: Look. I do matrimonial work. It's my m?tier. When a wife tells me that she's happy that her husband is cheating on her, it runs contrary to my experience.
Mrs. Mulwray: Unless what?
Gittes: She was cheating on him. Were you?
Mrs. Mulwray: I dislike the word cheat.
Gittes: Did you have affairs?
Mrs. Mulwray: Mr. Gittes.
Gittes: Did he know about it?
Mrs. Mulwray: Well, I wouldn't run home and tell him every time I went to bed with someone, if that's what you mean. Is there anything else you want to know about me?
Gittes: Where were you when your husband died?
Mrs. Mulwray: I can't tell you.
Gittes: You mean you don't know where you were?
Mrs. Mulwray: I mean I can't tell you.
Gittes: You were seeing someone too. For very long?
Mrs. Mulwray: I don't see anyone for very long, Mr. Gittes. It's difficult for me. Now, I think you know all you need know about me. I didn't want publicity. I didn't want to go into any of this then or now. Is that all?
Gittes: [After nodding yes, he remembers to ask one final question, holding up the envelope with initials "E C" for a return address] Oh, by the way, uh, what does this C stand for?
Mrs. Mulwray: Cr...Cross.
Gittes: That's your maiden name?
Mrs. Mulwray: Yes. Why?
Gittes: No reason.
Mrs. Mulwray: You must have had a reason to ask me that.
Gittes: No. I'm just a snoop.
...
Gittes: OK, go home, but in case you're interested, your husband was murdered. Somebody's been dumping thousands of tons of water from the city's reservoirs and we're supposed to be in the middle of a drought. He found out about it and he was killed. There's a waterlogged drunk in the morgue, involuntary manslaughter if anybody wants to take the trouble - which they don't. It seems like half the city is trying to cover it all up, which is fine by me. But Mrs. Mulwray, I goddamned near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it. And I still think that you're hiding something.