March 01, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Film noir was a natural touchstone for directors of the ’70s and ’80s, if only because a hero looks cooler in a trench coat than a leisure suit. Chinatown was the best of the neo-noirs, but a few others were terrific too.

Night Moves (1975, Warner)
Gene Hackman tails runaway teen Melanie Griffith in Arthur Penn’s enigmatic mystery. One of the great downers of the decade. A

The Late Show (1977, Warner)
Old noir meets new: Neurotic L.A. flake Lily Tomlin helps aging detective Art Carney find his partner’s killer in Robert Benton’s puckish comedy. A-

Farewell, My Lovely (1975, Nelson)
Robert Mitchum plays Philip Marlowe as a weary old lion in this languid tribute to ’40s film noir. B

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