Lot #847
Chinatown: Jack Nicholson

Nicholson’s screen-worn suit from the chilling nose-cutting scene of the film noir classic Chinatown
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Nicholson’s screen-worn suit from the chilling nose-cutting scene of the film noir classic Chinatown

Nicholson’s screen-worn suit from his role as Jake Gittes in the 1974 film Chinatown, worn during the scene in which his nose was slashed by henchman Roman Polanski. Suit consists of a gray double-breasted three-button jacket with a Western Costume Company tag sewn into the inside breast pocket. The first two lines of the tag read (in type), “2742-1 / Jack Nicholson,” and the third line specifies the physical dimensions. Another small Western Costume tag is affixed to the inside lining at shoulder and is stamped, “W. C. Co., Double Suit 3 Pc. Size 40,” with a handwritten number alongside the stamp. Also included are a gray pinstripe six-button vest, with a Western tag sewn into the lining, with Nicholson’s name written on the second line, “2742–1,” written on the top line, and an identical Western stamp to the lining; and a matching pair of pants, with a Western tag sewn into the waistband with Nicholson’s name typed onto the second line, and typed identification number and size on the other lines. Waistband and pocket lining also bear Western Costume stamps. In fine condition.

Filmed as the first part of a planned trilogy, Chinatown was released in 1974 and earned an amazing eleven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Director, winning one for Best Original Screenplay by Robert Towne. This suit was worn extensively during the film, including the brutally famous scene in which Gittes has his nose slit by a henchman for being to ‘nosy’ after a body is discovered at the reservoir. Along with the Godfather and just a handful of other films, Chinatown is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films of the second half of the 20th century, with Towne’s screenplay celebrated as one of the best ever written. An absolutely fantastic costume from the film that cemented Nicholson as one of Hollywood’s leading men. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph
  • Dates: #424 - Ended March 12, 2014