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The Two Jakes

The Two Jakes

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The Two Jakes is a 1990 American mystery film
Mystery film
Mystery film is a sub-genre of the more general category of crime film and at times the thriller genre. It focuses on the efforts of the detective, private investigator or amateur sleuth to solve the mysterious circumstances of a crime by means of clues, investigation, and clever deduction.The...

, and a sequel
Sequel
A sequel is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work...

 to the 1974 film Chinatown.

Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

, it also features Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe
Madeleine Stowe
Madeleine Mora Stowe is an American actress. She rose to prominence appearing in films such as Stakeout, Revenge, Unlawful Entry, The Last of the Mohicans, Blink, China Moon, 12 Monkeys, and We Were Soldiers...

, Richard Farnsworth
Richard Farnsworth
Richard W. Farnsworth was an American actor and stuntman. His film career began in 1937; however, he achieved his greatest success for his performances in The Grey Fox and The Straight Story , for which he received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor.- Early life :Farnsworth was born...

, Frederic Forrest
Frederic Forrest
-Life:Forrest was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Virginia Allie and Frederic Fenimore Forrest, a furniture store owner. He is known for his roles as Chef in Apocalypse Now, When The Legends Die, It Lives Again, the neo-Nazi surplus store owner in Falling Down, Right to Kill? and for playing...

, Pia Gronning
Pia Gronning
Pia Gronning is a Danish actress who also performed in Hollywood movies. Her first appearance in a Danish movie was Collective Marriage or Marriage Collectif in 1970. She also appeared in The New Twilight Zone's episode "Dead Woman's Shoes" as Susan Montgomery. She starred in Hosekraemmeren in...

, David Keith
David Keith
David Lemuel Keith is an American actor and director. He received Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and New Star of the Year – Actor for his performance in An Officer and a Gentleman.-Career:...

, Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, lawyer, actor, Latin jazz musician, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres...

, Tracey Walter
Tracey Walter
Tracey Walter is an American character actor. He has appeared in over 100 films and television shows.-Life and career:Walter was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of a truck driver....

 and Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
Eli Herschel Wallach is an American film, television and stage actor, who gained fame in the late 1950s. For his performance in Baby Doll he won a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and a Golden Globe nomination. One of his most famous roles is that of Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

. Reprising their roles from Chinatown are Joe Mantell
Joe Mantell
Joe Mantell was an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as "Angie" in the 1955 film Marty, which earned the Best Picture Award....

, Perry Lopez
Perry Lopez
Perry Lopez was an American film and television actor. His acting career lasted over 40 years before his death in 2008....

, James Hong
James Hong
James Hong is an American actor and former president of the Association of Asian/Pacific American Artists . A prolific acting veteran, Hong's career spans over 50 years and includes more than 350 roles in film, television, and video games.-Early life:Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His...

, and, in a brief voice-over, Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway is an American actress.Dunaway won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Network after receiving previous nominations for the critically acclaimed films Bonnie and Clyde and Chinatown...

.

It was released by Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 on August 10, 1990. The film was not a box office success, and received mixed critical reviews. Plans for a third film about the character of J. J. Gittes near the end of his life have been abandoned.

Plot


In Los Angeles in 1948, Jake Berman (Keitel) hires private investigator
Private investigator
A private investigator , private detective or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private detectives/investigators often work for attorneys in civil cases. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims...

 Jake Gittes (Nicholson) to catch his wife in the act of committing adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

. During the sting, Berman shoots the man, who turns out to be his partner in a real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 company.

Gittes, under scrutiny for his unwitting part in the crime, must figure out if it was justifiable homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

 or murder and how it connects with California's booming oil industry. There is also a connection to his own past after Gittes stumbles upon a wire recording during the investigation that mentions Katherine Mulwray, the daughter of Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway) from Chinatown.

Cast

  • Jack Nicholson
    Jack Nicholson
    John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

     as Jake "J. J." Gittes
  • Harvey Keitel
    Harvey Keitel
    Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

     as Julius "Jake" Berman
  • Meg Tilly as Kitty Berman
  • Madeleine Stowe
    Madeleine Stowe
    Madeleine Mora Stowe is an American actress. She rose to prominence appearing in films such as Stakeout, Revenge, Unlawful Entry, The Last of the Mohicans, Blink, China Moon, 12 Monkeys, and We Were Soldiers...

     as Lillian Bodine
  • Eli Wallach
    Eli Wallach
    Eli Herschel Wallach is an American film, television and stage actor, who gained fame in the late 1950s. For his performance in Baby Doll he won a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and a Golden Globe nomination. One of his most famous roles is that of Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

     as Cotton Weinberger
  • Rubén Blades
    Rubén Blades
    Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, lawyer, actor, Latin jazz musician, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres...

     as Michael "Mickey Nice" Weisskopf
  • Frederic Forrest
    Frederic Forrest
    -Life:Forrest was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Virginia Allie and Frederic Fenimore Forrest, a furniture store owner. He is known for his roles as Chef in Apocalypse Now, When The Legends Die, It Lives Again, the neo-Nazi surplus store owner in Falling Down, Right to Kill? and for playing...

     as Chuck Newty
  • David Keith
    David Keith
    David Lemuel Keith is an American actor and director. He received Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and New Star of the Year – Actor for his performance in An Officer and a Gentleman.-Career:...

     as Det. Lt. Loach
  • Richard Farnsworth
    Richard Farnsworth
    Richard W. Farnsworth was an American actor and stuntman. His film career began in 1937; however, he achieved his greatest success for his performances in The Grey Fox and The Straight Story , for which he received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor.- Early life :Farnsworth was born...

     as Earl Rawley
  • Tracey Walter
    Tracey Walter
    Tracey Walter is an American character actor. He has appeared in over 100 films and television shows.-Life and career:Walter was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of a truck driver....

     as Tyrone Otley
  • Joe Mantell
    Joe Mantell
    Joe Mantell was an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as "Angie" in the 1955 film Marty, which earned the Best Picture Award....

     as Lawrence Walsh
  • James Hong
    James Hong
    James Hong is an American actor and former president of the Association of Asian/Pacific American Artists . A prolific acting veteran, Hong's career spans over 50 years and includes more than 350 roles in film, television, and video games.-Early life:Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His...

     as Kahn
  • Perry Lopez
    Perry Lopez
    Perry Lopez was an American film and television actor. His acting career lasted over 40 years before his death in 2008....

     as Capt. Lou Escobar
  • Faye Dunaway
    Faye Dunaway
    Faye Dunaway is an American actress.Dunaway won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Network after receiving previous nominations for the critically acclaimed films Bonnie and Clyde and Chinatown...

     as Evelyn Mulwray (voice)
  • Tom Waits
    Tom Waits
    Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."...

     as Plainclothes policeman (uncredited)

Production


Screenwriter Robert Towne
Robert Towne
Robert Towne is an American screenwriter and director. His most notable work may be his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for Roman Polanski's Chinatown .-Film:...

 originally planned a trilogy involving private investigator J. J. Gittes. The third movie, called Gittes vs. Gittes, was to be set in 1968 and deal with Gittes' divorce.

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. Nicholson ended up directing.

Box office


The film performed poorly in terms of box office receipts. Critical reception was mixed, with one critic noting that The Two Jakes needed "fewer and better Jakes," while Roger Ebert wrote "every scene falls into place like clockwork...exquisite"

External links

  • Feature story by Aljean Harmetz
    Aljean Harmetz
    Aljean Harmetz is a Hollywood journalist and film historian. She has written as a Hollywood film correspondent for The New York Times since 1981....

    , The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    (September 10, 1989)