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Private detective Jake Gittes is hired by a Mrs. Mulwray to tail her husband. She suspects him of cheating on her. Jake takes the job and gets the goods on the husband, exposing him publicly. After the fact the real Mrs. Mulwray shows up at Jake’s office and serves him with papers. She’s suing him. Jake was set up and doesn’t like it. He sets out to find out who set him up and why. Meanwhile Hollis Mulwray, the husband is found dead. The real Mrs Mulwray drops the lawsuit and hires Jake to find out who killed her husband.
We follow Jake as he gets deeper and deeper into his investigation. He just keeps finding new information and is like a dog with a bone. He won’t let it go. It’s all about water and the corruption on who’s going to supply it and how. Jake gets in over his head with people who have real power and who are dangerous beyond his comprehension. His nose for trouble finds all he can handle.
CB was looking forward to seeing this film when it came out. He wanted it to be good. He got his wish. It’s real good. He totally got swept up in this film. The story, the look, music, writing, performances are all very good. Roman Polanski creates LA in the thirties. His direction is flawless. He draws us into this story using Jake as our guide into the underbelly of LA. The film looks great. Production design is bang on and John A Alonzo’s cinematography gives the film it’s great look.
CB loves character actors and there are plenty of good ones in this movie. Every role is great casting. The leads are perfect. Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray is the perfect casting I’m talking about. High marks for her work. John Huston’s Noah Cross is one of CB’s favorite film performances. John was a great director and his acting was just as good. I get creeped out thinking about the character. Jack Nicholson does some of his best work as Jake. He was at the top of his game and one of the main reasons I went to see the film.
A CB fave for sure. The detective/mystery genre is a fave and this is one of the best. Right in the wheelhouse. I’l leave you with a line from the movie that has stuck with me and still sends chills down my back.
“Most people never have to face the fact, at the right time right place they’re capable of anything”
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