Synopsis & Film Details

The 1974 crime drama was directed by Roman Polanski. The movie, set in the seedy underbelly of 1930s Los Angeles, set a high-water mark in film noir, and it holds the No.2 position in the American Film Institute’s list of all-time best mystery films. At the request of a beautiful bombshell, a private eye becomes entangled in a complex scandal of greed, depravity, and corruption surrounding Southern California’s water wars. The film is credited with raising the profile of the historical land disputes over water rights that led to Los Angeles drawing water from the Owens Valley, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. The film earned 11 Academy Award nominations, and it won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for writer Robert Towne. The movie was director Polanski’s last made in the United States before he fled for Europe.