My Top Ten non-horror films #1

1 – CHINATOWN (1974)


An utterly sumptuous film, beautiful to look at, brilliantly scripted, directed and acted, and containing everything you would want from a story: drama, thrills, intrigue, humour, tragedy and a deep, painful twist. Robert Towne’s screenplay is an object lesson in writing for the movies, but fair play to Roman Polanski for pressing for that dark, dark climax. I love Jerry Goldsmith’s shimmering score, the chemistry between Nicholson and Dunaway (her awkwardness, his almost disgusted curiosity in her), John Huston’s towering menace, and the fact that the story could have been done and dusted during Jake Gittes’ first visit to the Mulwray household, when he sees something gleaming in the pond (bad for glass) but is disturbed from his retrieval of it by Evelyn… Wonderful cinema.


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