Ernest Dickerson on

Chinatown

Released 1974
Distributor Paramount

One of the greatest of all film noirs came at the very end of the cycle. A troubled production whose cinematographer and composer were replaced at the last minute (Jerry Goldsmith had only ten days to write and record his classic score). Writer Robert Towne (who won an Oscar) initially envisioned this as the first of three films, but only a sequel, The Two Jakes, was produced. He and director Roman Polanski disagreed about the ending, with the director writing the final scene the night before he shot it.

About Ernest Dickerson

In the tradition of Mario Bava and Jack Cardiff, Ernest Dickerson is an Emmy and Peabody-award winning film and television veteran. The NYU grad photographed many films for director Spike Lee, including Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Mo' Better Blues and Malcolm X. In 1992 he made his feature directorial debut with Juice and has been working steadily ever since with credits like Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Bulletproof, Bones and Never Die Alone. Dickerson's acclaimed TV work includes AMC's The Walking Dead and Low Winter Sun, Showtime's Dexter, and HBO's The Wire and Treme, for which he won a 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Director.