CHINATOWN

Where's my chicken salad sandwich!? (1974)
With Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Burt Young
Directed by Roman Polanski
Reviewed by JL

    CHINATOWN is a great work of revisionist noir, distinguishing itself from the '40s crime dramas to which it pays homage by an uncompromising pessimism that would not have been possible under the Production Code.  The film works as either a commentary on the helplessness of one man vs. widespread corruption, or it can be enjoyed simply as a good detective yarn.  It also ranks as one of the most meticulously detailed period films ever made.  Faye Dunaway is brilliant, John Huston is memorably creepy, but the film belongs to Jack Nicholson.  His Jake Gittes ranks among the great screen performances of the 1970s, and one of the last times Nicholson truly embodied a role rather than relying on his ever-increasing bag of acting tricks. 5 - JL

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The Two Jakes (1990)

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