'Chinatown' (1974)

Incest and the corruption of Los Angeles through water-rights and real-estate scams in the 1930s supplied the background to this 1974 classic. According to <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEHST001048" title="Pauline Kael" href="/topic/arts-culture/pauline-kael-PEHST001048.topic">Pauline Kael</a>,  legendary film critic of the New Yorker,  the screenplay originally had a more upbeat ending in which Jake Gittes, the nosy private eye played by <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB003305" title="Jack Nicholson" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/jack-nicholson-PECLB003305.topic">Jack Nicholson</a>,  realized how badly Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) had been treated by her sexually abusive father (John Huston), and helped Mulwray's sister escape a similarly horrible fate. But the movie was changed  to a far more sinister and hopeless conclusion.
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( File photo )

Incest and the corruption of Los Angeles through water-rights and real-estate scams in the 1930s supplied the background to this 1974 classic. According to Pauline Kael, legendary film critic of the New Yorker, the screenplay originally had a more upbeat ending in which Jake Gittes, the nosy private eye played by Jack Nicholson, realized how badly Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) had been treated by her sexually abusive father (John Huston), and helped Mulwray's sister escape a similarly horrible fate. But the movie was changed to a far more sinister and hopeless conclusion.

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