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Roman Polanski (1974)

15 Certificate


Our Score
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 Citizen Kane - 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

JJ Gittes Jack Nicholson
Evelyn Mulwray Faye Dunaway
Noah Cross John Huston
Escobar Perry Lopez
Yelburton John Hillerman
Hollis Mulwray Darrell Zwerling
Ida Sessions Diane Ladd
Mulvihill Roy Jenson
Man with knife Roman Polanski
Loach Richard Bakalyan
Walsh Joe Mantell
Duffy Bruce Glover
Kahn James Hong
Curly Burt Young
Director Roman Polanski
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: BFIGuidance: Violence, swearing and brief nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 21 Dec 2012