Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) presents one of film’s most memorable failed heroes, Jake Giddes. Because of its grim ending, critics tend to conclude that it is an existential noir or a reflection on Polanski’s life and times, his escape from the Holocaust as a child, the death of his wife Sharon Tate, or political events such as Watergate and Vietnam. By examining the film as through the genre of tragedy, Giddes becomes a tragic, not failed, hero, a character who can show us how to suffer nobly.
Hall, Ann C.
"“It’s My Metier”: The Failed Hero in Chinatown,"
Heroism Science: Vol. 5:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/heroism-science/vol5/iss2/4