Private detective (Jack Nicholson, pictured) uncovers a public and private scandal in 1937 Los Angeles.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey
Perhaps too self-consciously an American Myth, with draggy passages, but undoubtedly an all-time-great thriller about urban corruption. Jack Nicholson gives one of his best - and most self-effacing - performances. Faye Dunaway fell out with her director and co-star (both called her "certifiable") but she is excellent as the femme fatale, and John Huston is chilling as her dirty dad. There was belatedly a sequel, The Two Jakes (1990), but it suffered badly by comparison. Not surprisingly, John A. Alonso's cinematography and Jerry Goldsmith's score were Oscar-nominated.