“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”
Film noir of the 40s and 50s is one of the most quintessentially American contributions to cinema. But 30 years after its peak, it took a little Polish fella directing and one of the leaders of the American new wave starring, to make what might be one of the best examples of film noir, with Chinatown.
A former cop and now PI in 1930s Los Angeles, Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is fresh off finding one cheating spouse when he’s commissioned to find another. Evelyn Mulwray (Diane Ladd) is sure her husband Hollis is cheating, and she pays Jake to find the truth. Tailing Hollis first leads to a town meeting where he opposes the construction of a new dam to help supply the drought ridden LA with water. Eventually, Jake spots Hollis with a young woman, snaps a few photos and they end up on the cover of the paper the next day. (more…)