A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.
In 1937 Los Angeles, private investigator Jake 'J.J.' Gittes specializes in cheating-spouse cases. His current target is Hollis Mulwray, high-profile chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whose wife suspects him of infidelity. In following Mulwray, Gittes witnesses some usual business dealings, such as a public meeting for construction of a new dam to create additional water supply for Los Angeles, as fresh water is vital to the growing community during the chronic drought; Mulwray opposes the dam. Eventually Gittes sees Mulwray meeting with an unknown young woman who isn't his wife. Once news of the supposed tryst between Mulwray and this woman hits the media, additional information comes to light that makes Gittes believe that Mulwray is being framed for something and that he himself is being set up. In his investigation of the issue behind Mulwray's framing and his own setup, Gittes is assisted by Mulwray's wife Evelyn, but he thinks she isn't being ...Written by
Despite lobbying Robert Evans and Jack Nicholson for the chance to direct the film, when he finally landed the gig Roman Polanski started having second thoughts. The thought of returning to Los Angeles, where his wife Sharon Tate had been brutally murdered four years earlier, was too overwhelming for him. See more »
As Jake is rifling through Ida Sessions' purse at her apartment, a glimpse of her Social Security card shows a date of 9-23-1915. That would make Ida 22 years old in 1937, far younger than the character portrayed by Diane Ladd. See more »
All right, Curly. Enough's enough. You can't eat the Venetian blinds. I just had them installed on Wednesday.
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The film opens with the 1940's Paramount logo. See more »
5.1 track on the Blu-ray release replaces gunshot sound effects and a few other foley effects. The 2.0 track provided as a second option is the original unaltered mono. See more »
Set in late '30s Los Angeles this 1974 film opens with a woman, identifying herself as Evelyn Mulwray, asking private detective Jake Gettes to find out whether her husband, chief engineer of the LA Water and Power Company, is having an affair. He follows him and ultimately photographs him with another woman. Somehow these pictures end up in the papers and he is approached by another woman who it turns out is the real wife of Mulwray... and she intends to sue. He continues to investigate Mulwray and suspects some odd goings on at Water and Power... then Mulwray turns up dead; drowned during a severe drought. His continued investigation brings him closer to the real Evelyn as well as into real danger as he learns the truth about Water and Power's activities which could make some people very rich at the expense of other, poorer, people.
This film may have been made about a quarter of a century after the classic era for film noir but it perfectly captures the feel of those films. It has morally ambiguous characters inhabiting a murky world that contrasts with the bright Los Angeles sunshine. The story has many twists and turns without feeling unnecessarily complex or confusing. The cast does a great job; especially Jack Nicholson who is in every scene so that the viewer doesn't know anything Gettes doesn't know. Faye Dunaway is solid as Evelyn Mulwray and John Huston is suitably menacing as her father; a man standing to make a lot of money with many dark secrets. Overall I'd definitely recommend this to anybody wanting a good mystery or fans of film noir.
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