The Two Jakes (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  10 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 8,169 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 51 user | 34 critic | 17 from

The sequel to Chinatown (1974) finds Jake Gittes investigating adultery and murder... and the money that comes from oil.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cotton Weinberger
Michael 'Mickey Nice' Weisskopf
Chuck Newty
Earl Rawley
Tyrone Otley
Jeff Morris ...
Ralph Tilton


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barrio chino 2  »

Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$10,005,969 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson)'s fee per day plus any expenses is never disclosed. See more »


When Jake strolls towards the gay bar, the Getty Museum, built in 1994, is plainly seen lighted up in the background. See more »


Jake Gittes: [narrating] the city's different at night: the air smells better, it's harder to see that the oil rigs outnumber the palm tress; it's almost like the good old days, at least the way I'd like to remember them. But stay in this business long enough and every street leads to a place you'd like to forget, every case brings back memories of what you should have done & what might have been, and every skirt reminds you of another woman... or, if you've got it bad enough, the same woman.
See more »


Referenced in Chinatown: Filming (2007) See more »


Haunted Heart
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Words by Howard Dietz
Sung by Jo Stafford
See more »

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User Reviews

Has real potential, but in the end, it's just too convoluted and long-winded
3 December 2006 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This sounded pretty good... Nicholson is mostly fun to watch, and I enjoyed Chinatown immensely(Towne returning to write this sequel was a treat, as well). I enjoyed it for a while, but not too far past the half-way point, I realized that it had run out of steam... the film kept rolling, but it no longer kept the viewers' attention. Jack Nicholson is no director, and it shows... while he is a skilled actor, he should stay in front of the camera instead of trying his hand behind it. The cinematography is close, but doesn't quite make it to being good... we have shots that linger, and wasted opportunities aplenty. Polanski's loose, involving camera is sorely missed here. The pacing is also off... the film ends up seeming heavy as a result. The writing is quite good. The acting varies, but is mostly on the positive end. The tone isn't entirely sure what it wants to be, but does create some great "noir" moments. Jake's monologues are occasionally spot-on. The mystery varied some... parts of it, I had figured out before the lead, whereas others only became clear to me just as they were revealed. This is a hit and miss scenario... and unfortunately, it misses more than it hits. This is worth watching as a continuation of Chinatown for those that want more of the plot, and can compromise with the drop in style and finesse of the film-making values. I recommend this to big fans of Jack Nicholson and those interested in seeing what occurred after the events of Chinatown. 6/10

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