The Two Jakes
|The Two Jakes|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jack Nicholson|
|Produced by||Robert Evans
|Written by||Robert Towne|
|Music by||Van Dyke Parks|
|Editing by||Anne Goursaud|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||138 minutes|
The Two Jakes is a 1990 American Neo-noir mystery film, and the sequel to the 1974 film Chinatown. Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, it also features Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Richard Farnsworth, Frederic Forrest, Pia Gronning, David Keith, Rubén Blades, Tracey Walter and Eli Wallach. Reprising their roles from Chinatown are Joe Mantell, Perry Lopez, James Hong, Allan Warnick and, in a brief voice-over, Faye Dunaway. The character of Katherine Mulwray returns as well played by Meg Tilly.
It was released by Paramount Pictures on August 10, 1990 (the same year as another high profile sequel from Paramount, The Godfather Part III). The film was not a box office or critical success, and plans for a third film about J. J. Gittes, with him near the end of his life, were abandoned.
In Los Angeles in 1948, Jake Berman (Keitel) hires private investigator J. J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicholson) to catch his wife in the act of committing adultery. During the sting, Berman kills his rival, identified as his partner in a real estate company. Gittes, under scrutiny for his unwitting role in the crime, must discover whether it was justifiable, and how it connects with California's booming oil industry, and must understand its connection to his own past in a wire recording that mentions Katherine Mulwray, the daughter of Evelyn Mulwray of the previous film. Thereafter Gittes is involved with the dead man's widow while trying to prove to Berman's wife that her paramour's death had been carefully planned. He does so, after having learned that Mrs. Berman is Katherine Mulwray.
- Jack Nicholson as J. J. "Jake" Gittes
- Harvey Keitel as Julius "Jake" Berman
- Meg Tilly as Kitty Berman/Katherine Mulwray
- Madeleine Stowe as Lillian Bodine
- Eli Wallach as Cotton Weinberger
- Rubén Blades as Michael "Mickey Nice" Weisskopf
- Frederic Forrest as Chuck Newty
- David Keith as Det. Lt. Loach
- Richard Farnsworth as Earl Rawley
- Tracey Walter as Tyrone Otley
- Joe Mantell as Lawrence Walsh
- James Hong as Kahn
- Perry Lopez as Capt. Lou Escobar
- Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray (voice)
- Tom Waits as Plainclothes policeman (uncredited)
Made 16 years after its famous predecessor, the film had a very troubled production, and was supposed to be made around 1985. Originally, producer Robert Evans was to play the "second" Jake, but Towne, who was going to direct the film at that time, did not think he was the right choice and fired him. After this, Nicholson ended up directing (and it would be his last film to date).
Unlike its predecessor, the film performed poorly in terms of box office, was not nominated for any awards and critical reception was very mixed, although it found some success in the home media market. The film holds a 65% rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3.5 stars out of four, writing that "every scene falls into place like clockwork [...] exquisite." Vincent Canby writing for The New York Times called it "an enjoyable if clunky movie". Variety called the film "a jumbled, obtuse yet not entirely unsatisfying follow-up to Chinatown". Desson Howe writing for The Washington Post said that "at best, the movie comes across as a competently assembled job, a wistful tribute to its former self. At worst, it's wordy, confusing and -- here's an ugly word -- boring."
Planned third film
- Allan Warnick in the Internet Movie Database
- Broeske, Pat H. (1990-08-13). "The Two Jakes Fails to Do Land-Office Business". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Hunt, Dennis (1991-03-14). "VIDEO RENTALS : Roberts Shows Her Box-Office Clout". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- "The Two Jakes". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- "A Jake Gittes Who's Older (And Wider)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "The Two Jakes". Variety. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "The Two Jakes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- MTV.ca | News - Jack Nicholson Talks! In Rare Interview, Actor Reveals Details of Never-Shot 'Chinatown' Sequel
- The Two Jakes at the Internet Movie Database
- The Two Jakes at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Two Jakes at Box Office Mojo
- Feature story by Aljean Harmetz, The New York Times (September 10, 1989)