Roman Polanski's brooding film noir exposes the darkest side of the land of sunshine, the Los Angeles of the 1930s, where power is the only currency--and the only real thing worth buying. Jack Nicholson is JJ Gittes, a private eye in the Chandler mould, who during a routine straying-spouse investigation finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a jigsaw puzzle of clues and corruption. The glamorous Evelyn Mulwray (a dazzling Faye Dunaway) and her titanic father, Noah Cross (John Huston), are at the black-hole centre of this tale of treachery, incest, and political bribery. The crackling, hard-bitten script by Robert Towne won a well-deserved Oscar, and the muted colour cinematography makes the goings-on seem both bleak and impossibly vibrant. Polanski himself has a brief, memorable cameo as the thug who tangles with Nicholson's nose. One of the greatest, most completely satisfying crime films of all time. --Anne Hurley, Amazon.com
One of the seminal American films of the 1970s, Roman Polanski's detective yarn sees murder and scandal emerge from the drought of 1930s Southern California. Private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired to follow water commissioner Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling), only to see him turn up dead at the bottom of a reservoir. Realising he has been used, Gittes confronts Mulwray's widow, Evelyn (Faye Dunaway), a woman who seems to have plenty of secrets of her own, not least her ambiguous relationship with her father, Noah Cross (John Huston).