The Two Jakes (1990)

 


 

They say money makes the world go round. But sex was invented before money.

Los Angeles 1948: private eye Jake Gittes shall convict the client Jake Berman\’s wife of adultery. But instead of making her a scene like planned, Berman shoots her lover in affect – or was it murder? Gittes is surprised when he learns that the dead was Berman\’s companion, who now inherits his share of the company. Of course the police doesn\’t believe it was affect and suspects Gittes too. The dead lover\’s widow manages to force Gittes into investigating against his own client… The trace leads back to an old case in Chinatown.

Written by
Tom Zoerner <[email protected]>

After the war, L.A. private eye Jake Gittes is hired by realtor Jake Berman. He proves the infidelity of Berman\’s wife Kitty and sets up a way for her to be caught in the act. At the rendezvous, Berman shoots the co-respondent who turns out to be his business partner. Gittes finds himself in the middle of a complicated web, under pressure from all sides for a wire recording of the fatal encounter. He then realises that the land the partners were developing was once an orange grove connected with a case he has never quite got over.

Written by
Jeremy Perkins <[email protected]>

Genre: Comedy,Crime,Drama,Mystery

The Two Jakes (1990)
   
Release Date: 10 August 1990 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: Jack Nicholson
Cast:
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Meg Tilly
  • Madeleine Stowe
  • Eli Wallach
  • Rubén Blades
  • Frederic Forrest
  • David Keith
  • Richard Farnsworth
  • Tracey Walter
  • Joe Mantell
  • James Hong
  • Perry Lopez
  • Jeff Morris
  • Rebecca Broussard


Incoming search terms

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33 Responses to The Two Jakes (1990)

  1. Tcjy8
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    How haunting is that closing song, "Haunted Heart" as song by the great Jo Stafford! Wow! For years I wondered what the song was and who sang it, then I heard it the other night on KRML, the Jazz station in Carmel, CA made famous in Clint Eastwood’s "Play Misty for Me." Anybody else knocked out by that lovely rendition of a great song? It fits the film perfectly. Kudos to Jack for selecting it or agreeing to it!

  2. donboudreaux
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    I have seen the movie 4 times and have not been able to find

    where the ATM machine is that there was such a big todo over.

  3. whatzwithit
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    I get that Berman had a terminal illness and was going to die anyway, but why did he have to commit sucide that way and why was he so mortified?

  4. jeffyoung1
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    You can also hear Jo Stafford singing HAUNTED HEART in the 1999 Columbia Movie, END OF THE AFFAIR, starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore and presumably takes place in 1946 London, England.

    You can listen to HAUNTED HEART as sung by Jo Stafford on YouTube. Yet her rendition on the ending credits of THE TWO JAKES is more haunting, emotional, and melodic compared to her voice on YouTube. Listen to both. You be the judge.

  5. TexasGreek
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    Instead we had actor David Keith (whom I could never stand) playing his son, without any mention of his father’s absense. Surely Richard Bakalyan wasn’t that busy.

    "Affirmative action is a stain on the American soul." – Charlton Heston

  6. moviefreak144
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    That Roman Polanski didn’t direct this. I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, but I would never be able to watch it again if he had been behind the camera.

    …I’m just kidding.

  7. Susan_Stap
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    What was Jake holding in his hands at the end?

  8. jeffyoung1
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    I finally watched THE TWO JAKES for the very first time. It didn’t get good reviews from the critics and most of the people who watched it. The director got some sadistic thrill confusing the heck out of the viewers with subplots, nuances, innuendos, twists, and confusing characterizations. I’ve seen some still photos lifted from the movie. Why did Jake Gittes start fondling Lillian Bodine’s (Madeleine Stowe) butt cheeks underneath her panties? I thought it might be a set-up. Lillian Bodine was pulling one of those now politically-incorrect rape fantasies, ‘don’t take me against my will, but go ahead and do it and make me cum’ routine. I thought Lillian Bodine didn’t have her head screwed on right and if I was Jake Gittes, I would have thrown her out of the office. I wasn’t sure if Lillian Bodine was pulling a fake, ditzy chick snowjob on Gittes and trying to set him up. There’s a lot of cunning, ruthless chicks out there who wouldn’t hesitate to stoop to pulling a fake, dumb broad routine in order to swindle some clueless guy whose little head is getting harder than his big head.

  9. wendi14501
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    Jake would have had a huge nose scar from the first movie bad guy cutting it. zzzzzzzzbut it was missing in this movie.

  10. andrewgage
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    In case anyone is curious, the building(s) used for Jake Gittes’ office are here:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4SUNA_enUS256US256&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=5608+S.+Soto+Street,+Los+Angeles+CA&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&cid=0,0,10258249327579101943&ei=0IO7SYG5FYm4sAP6jNw4&sa=X&oi=local_result&resnum=1&ct=image

    It appears they used both buildings. The exterior is 5608 S. Soto and at least one interior (with the curved corner window) is inside the building directly south of it.

    The art department did a nice job of distracting the viewer from the more modern buildings nearby by putting that oil rig in the parking lot!

    What lovely art deco bon-bons they are!

  11. mrg_500
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    Does anyone know what make and model of car Jake is driving in the film ? (The grey metallic convertible)

  12. a_reservoir_dog
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    Don’t get me wrong, I love this film..

    But it seems like Jack plays Gittes a little dumber in this sequel, maybe because of stress? For example, the whole "What’s this?" about the grenade, or lighting up a cigarette near oil, getting lost in conversation.

    At any rate, he still put on an excellent performance.


    "Please allow me to introduce myself.. I’m a man of wealth and taste."

  13. easmax
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    For anyone who has not seen Chinatown , this movie

    would seem quite different.

    But in this movie there were too many characters

    I will have to see it again to try to figure out

    who is who.

    Also can anyone tell me what year is depicted

    Gittes says this was 15 years ago . So this

    would be Hollywood in about 1963?

  14. lovin_cat
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    The Two Jakes is a direct continuation of Polanski’s Chinatown, and subsequently J.J Gittes manages to catch up with Katherine (Noah Cross’s daughter with Evelyn), but why does Gittes never ask her about Cross and what happen to him? You would think that be eating away at him after all those year, after all Cross is the ultimate bad guy in Chinatown and caused the death of Evelyn and Hollis Mulwray? Anyone got any ideas?

  15. sgraf_x
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    Theres a user review on the main page for The Two Jakes that perfectly sums up this films predicament "A wonderful film that had the misfortune of being a sequel to a classic film." Well I dont know that "wonderful" is the most appropiate descriptor but its a good film. Its basically Chinatown lite.

    If this was a stand alone film and it had no connection to Chinatown it would probably be better liked. The story is better than that of most films as you would come to expect from Robert Towne who is one of the best scripters ever. But its a rung on the ladder below the water system story of Chinatown. Nicholsons direction is also solid but again just a level below that of Polanski in Chinatown. Also it a lacks that knockout punch that Chinatown had with its sudden, unexpected, harsh ending.

    All in all I think this film gets a an unnecessarily bad rap mostly due to the unrealistic expectations that only a sequel to Chinatown could illicit. Now I say tts time to bring on chapter three of the Jake trilogy…Cloverleaf!!!

    I give 7/10

    There is NO Gene for the Human Spirit.

  16. clockworkpi
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    I just saw Chinatown for the first time, and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Knowing ahead of time there was a sequel I looked it up and was surprised to see it had gotten poor reviews. Now I’m sure this is no Chinatown, but is it as bad as they say?

    —————————————-

    I’m never gonna die… Only old people die.

  17. Michael_Cronin
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    It’s listed here & there (IMDB, Wikipedia, few other sites) that the third film of the JJ Gittes trilogy was to be set in the 1950’s, & to centre around a conspiracy involving the freeway system. Supposedly the film was to be called ‘Cloverleaf’, after a type of freeway interchange configuration.

    Most likely this would have been based on the real-life case involving General Motors, Firestone Tyres & Standard Oil of California buying up the old street car systems & dismantling them. (Interestingly enough, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" used this as part of its plot & also called the company involved ‘Cloverleaf’).

    I’ve also heard a couple of very minor tidbits about the third Jake Gittes film – it was to involve air pollution due to the freeway system, also that it would have something to do with the introduction of no-fault divorce in Los Angeles.

    What I’m curious about is where all this comes from. I can’t find a single bit of information regarding the film from what could be considered an original source – no actual quotes from Robert Towne, Robert Evans or Jack Nicholson, just very minor throwaway references (by the author, not the subject) in biographies & so on when discussing "The Two Jakes", or statements on discussion forums. I don’t doubt that the information is correct, I’d just like to know when Robert Towne actually stated that there were to be three films, that the third was to be called Cloverleaf, what it was about & so on.

    The only solid piece of info I’ve been able to find so far is in David Thomson’s ‘The Whole Equation’, in which it’s stated that at a talk Towne was giving, his only response to a question about whether the third film would ever be made was an emphatic "No". That’s the closest thing I’ve seen to an acknowledgement by any of the filmmakers that it was ever considered as a possible project.

    Does anyone have any further information?

  18. Mark-85-LA
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    This is a ’70s porno. You know how I can tell? Because the guy’s dick has sideburns

  19. mmoore181
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    I thought it was pretty far-fetched that Berman, after killing someone with a gun, would be out on bail awaiting while awaiting trial. A first-degree murder charge isn’t one that you’re often able to walk around free while the case is pending. That, among other things, bothered me throughout the movie.

  20. AngelEyes1864
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    I thought this movie was great. It had great characters, a great story, great acting, and great directing. I really think that this movie has more strength than Chinatown.

  21. Kolobos51
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    What was the worst sequel to a great film, only counting part 2’s. Once you get into the third, forth and so on installments, as in “Halloween 8” (the one with Busta Rhymes), I don’t really think there’s any point comparing anymore.

    Not that I don’t think "The Two Jakes" is a bad movie made even worse when comapred to "Chinatown," but to me, the worst is "Exorcist 2" followed by "Caddyshack 2" and “Highlander 2 The Quickening.” At least "The Two Jakes" has that great scene where Jake beats the hell of Loach Jr. and makes him fellate the gun.

    I’m not surprised there’s so much violence in this country. I’m surprised there’s so little.

  22. Anonymous
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  23. chelseafc78
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    I just saw The Two Jakes, and I think I did’t get the endning right, how does it end??.. Any one?

    Thanks in advance..

    http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=10457669

  24. sirawesome90
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    im pretty confused by what the hell was going on in the movie. could anybody shed some light???

  25. Godbrother-1
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  26. bruce-k-morrison
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    I like The Two Jakes very much – I think it’s very atmospheric and the ending is especially haunting. I would say it’s easily Jack Nicholson’s best film as a director. But one or two moments did rather bug me, especially that shot during the golf sequence where the camera is pointing upwards from inside the hole on the green to show that the ball has stopped on the brink. Why do directors feel the need to indulge in these weird shots from such unnatural camera positions? Someone once said that the definition of a good director is someone who doesn’t annoy you. How true!

  27. pantera2112
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    Is this a sequel to Chinatown or he just used the same name?

  28. Anonymous
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  29. jabaw1
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    What disease did he have which was too traumatic to tell his wife about, so traumatic that he ended up suiciding? I mean, if I had some diseasethat wsa causing my skin to go weird and which could end up killing me, I’d tell my wife straight away what the problem is. I just want to know what his problem was, and why he was too nervous to tell anyone about it.

  30. amkatz
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    ***********SPOILERS****************

    First, I admit, I goofed. I’d never seen the Two Jakes till the other day. I thought it was on Sundance–no commercials, full length–but it was actually on Sleuth–two hours with commercials. So, obviously I didn’t see the entire film.

    Still, I thought the repetition of the above line summed up most of the problems with this sequel. Its use in Chinatown couldn’t have been more appropos. Chinatown is rife with darkness and layers of mystery and ambiguity. Certainly LA wasn’t the first town built in such a manner, but the sheer scale of the land grab was so audacious … who could have imagined? Then there’s Katherine’s origins. Even this final revelation is fraught with ambiguity, witness Evelyn’s reaction to Gittes’s question: "He raped you?" Although there’s no way a fifteen year old girl can consent to sex with her father, it’s not that clear-cut to Evelyn.

    Segue to The Two Jakes. What’s going on is really rather banal: Someone’s trying to steal mineral rights, drill underneath subdivisions … okay. Wasn’t that pretty much what Jake figured was going on by that point?

    Repition of a significant line for its own sake, in spite of the logic of the story, usually indicates a sequel done for the sake of doing a sequel rather than a real need to continue the story.

    Other issues with the film:

    In what way was Jake always looking after Kitty? He didn’t even know how to find her (hence his visit with Kahn). And why would Kitty have any clear idea of his role in trying help her and Evelyn escape? Surely her father/grandfather didn’t enlighten her.

    Don’t get the deal with Bodine & Kitty. If Bodine knew–through his research–that Kitty was Katherine, why is talking to her on the wire about Katherine as though she weren’t in the room? (Perhaps that was an effect of the truncating of the film, but I thought I understood that Bodine was sleeping with Jake Berman’s wife, and Jake Berman’s wife was Kitty/Katherine).

    What was wrong with Jake Berman? The chest x-ray seems to clue Gittes in, but the only thing a layman might recognize from a chest x-ray are the spots of increased density associated with lung cancer. Berman confirms this by stating that the radiation implants aren’t working. But why the need to keep it secret? Why offer Gittes’s money for it?

    And does anyone really buy JJ Gittes as a war hero?

    WTF….?

    More’s the pity because the cast is, overall, quite good. Nicholson in middle age exudes a gravity he lacked fifteen years earlier–one could almost see him as the definitive Philip Marlowe, outdoing even Bogart in the role.

    Keitel was fine as usual, and casting Ruben Blades as a Jewish hood (Mickey Cohen, obviously), was sheer genius. Despite being a thug through and through Mickey’s genuine affection for Jake Berman redeems him.

    But this makes the disappointment all the more acute.

    Andy

  31. Anonymous
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  32. Anonymous
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  33. lovin_cat
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    Does anyone know if Polanski has ever given his take on the The Two Jakes? It would be interesting to see what he thought of Jack Nicholson’s very extreamly careful directing.

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