(out of 5)

Robert Towne’s impeccable screenplay is the heart and soul of this excellent mystery film, though surrounding it with fantastic direction and pristine acting doesn’t hurt either.  gives one of his most critically acclaimed performances as a private investigator who is dragged into a scheme involving murder and politics when he agrees to work for a woman () who wants her husband followed. When that woman turns up dead and he discovers that she was using an assumed name which actually belongs to someone else (), Nicholson decides to follow the ever-thickening plot to its inevitable conclusion despite the danger to himself. A perfect recreation of the film noirs of the forties, but with a modern beat of its own that thanks to director Roman Polanski only adds to its classic quality. Dunaway is superbly glamorous, and John Huston has a terrifying cameo as her father.

Paramount Pictures, Penthouse, Long Road Productions, Robert Evans Company

USA, 1974

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by 

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1974

Golden Globe Awards 1974

New York Film Critics Awards 1974.  

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