4 January 2013 1:58 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Time has lessened our sense that this superlative 1974 film is simply a pastiche of the classic 30s gumshoe thrillers – it now looks like a straightforward classic

"Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough," says John Huston's crooked construction magnate Noah Cross in this remarkable neo-noir by Roman Polanski, now nationally rereleased in cinemas (like Repulsion) in connection with a retrospective at London's BFI Southbank. What the passage of time has done for this superlative 1974 film is progressively lessen our sense of its being simply a  modern pastiche of the classic 30s gumshoe thrillers. The time-gap has narrowed, and it now looks like a classic in a direct line of succession to those earlier pictures.

Jack Nicholson has the Bogartian role of Jake Gittes, the La private investigator who sticks his nose into a corrupt conspiracy in the state's Department of Water and Power. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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