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Jack Nicholson here gives one of his best performances, playing a private eye called Jake Gittes, who pokes his nose rather too deeply into the lives of Faye Dunaway and her father, John Huston, a corrupt Los Angeles tycoon. Writer Robert Towne planned a trilogy about LA, and this first part, set in the 1930s, deals with the city's water supply and how that source of life leads to death and profit. The script - the best original work since
- is brilliantly organised, though the ending was changed when Roman Polanski arrived as director: Towne's story never got to Chinatown; Polanski insisted the climax was set there. The result was acrimony behind the scenes and genius on the screen in a masterpiece that repays any number of viewings.
A small-time private eye uncovers a gruesome secret when he investigates the husband of a wealthy socialite. As he is drawn deeper into the tangled web of lies and corruption, the case becomes ever more complicated. Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning mystery, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and Perry Lopez.
Cast & Crew
Man with knife
Violence, swearing and brief nudity.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
21 Dec 2012
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