The Two Jakes

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, who reprises his role of J.J. “Jake” Gittes from the first film, the cast also features Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Richard Farnsworth, Frederic Forrest, David Keith, Rubén Blades, Tracey Walter and Eli Wallach. Also reprising their roles from Chinatown are Joe Mantell, Perry Lopez, James Hong, and, in a brief voice-over, Faye Dunaway. The musical score for the film is by Van Dyke Parks, who also appears as a prosecuting attorney. Set a decade after the first film, The Two Jakes follows private investigator Gittes as he becomes embroiled in a web of corruption, adultery, and murder involving a client, also named Jake. The deeper he goes, the more he realizes the events may be related to the events surrounding Evelyn Mulwray ten years prior. The Two Jakes faced a troubled production and went through several years of development hell. Various actors were attached at several points, including Joe Pesci and Roy Scheider, with screenwriter Robert Towne also at one point set to direct and producer Robert Evans set to co-star. Filming finally took place with Nicholson at the helm, filming around Los Angeles in the early summer of 1989. The film was released by Paramount Pictures on August 10, 1990. It received mixed reviews and was not a box office success and plans for a third film, with Gittes near the end of his life, were abandoned.

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