I’ve never seen … Chinatown

Even if you’re already aware of the ending, the final moments of the ultimate sunshine noir can shock even the most hardened box-set veteranSee the other classic missed films in this seriesDespite the eternal sunshine, not all stories set in Los Angeles cast much of a shadow.

Chinatown (1974) is one of those perceived classics that has left a genuinely lasting mark.

A buzzy hit on release, it claimed an Oscar for its screenwriter Robert Towne from a raft of 11 nominations that also recognised director Roman Polanski, and stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.In the decades since, it has joined the Wizard of Oz, Some Like It Hot and Casablanca in that nebulous canon of movies with final lines that have become assimilated into pop culture.

Forget it? Not likely.

Even in 2020, books are still being written about this stylish and unsettling noir.

The latest tome – Sam Wasson

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