Discuss Chinatown

The Chinese sex joke that Gittes learns from his barber was a classic!

Also, what a grest way to set up the scene where he meets Evelyn...

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@Renovatio said:

The Chinese sex joke that Gittes learns from his barber was a classic!

I don't get it at all, Chinese guy takes lot's of breaks screwing his wife, then she gets mad and says you're screwing like a "chinaman"? What's the joke?

@Badlands1 said:

@Renovatio said:

The Chinese sex joke that Gittes learns from his barber was a classic!

I don't get it at all, Chinese guy takes lot's of breaks screwing his wife, then she gets mad and says you're screwing like a "chinaman"? What's the joke?

I think the idea was that this guy's wife had been fooling around with a Chinese man, that's how she knew he was screwing like one, something like that. That was all I could get from it. That and that it wasn't all that funny. It was meant to be embarrassing for Gittes since there was a lady right behind him.

I think the idea was that this guy's wife had been fooling around with a Chinese man, that's how she knew he was screwing like one, something like that. That was all I could get from it. That and that it wasn't all that funny. It was meant to be embarrassing for Gittes since there was a lady right behind him.

Actually the joke was about a Chinese couple, so maybe it could imply that the wife was screwing around with a white guy, but that was never implied, it's just a racist 50's joke..

@Badlands1 said:

I think the idea was that this guy's wife had been fooling around with a Chinese man, that's how she knew he was screwing like one, something like that. That was all I could get from it. That and that it wasn't all that funny. It was meant to be embarrassing for Gittes since there was a lady right behind him.

Actually the joke was about a Chinese couple, so maybe it could imply that the wife was screwing around with a white guy, but that was never implied, it's just a racist 50's joke..

Maybe so. I found a clip and listened to it and it really wasn't funny.

I recall in the 60s there were still lots of jokes of that sort being told, making fun of various races or ethnic groups. Polack jokes were really a big deal for a while in the 1970s. For some reason nobody was bothered by those jokes. They were socially acceptable while jokes about other races had become taboo. There were coffee mugs with the handle on the inside labeled Polish Coffee Mug sold at novelty gift shops. Stuff like that.

So I guess maybe it was meant to illustrate that racist jokes about Chinese were commonly told in that time period in L.A. But they made sure it wasn't really funny because the producers didn't really want to promote racist jokes?

The point of the punchline is how would the wife know how a Chinaman screws? Interracial relationships weren’t common back then, especially amongst white women and other races. Heck, Virginia actually had laws against interracial marriage until the Sixties!