The Two Jakes (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  10 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 8,168 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?


Producer Robert Evans was tapped early on to play the "second" Jake. Writer Robert Towne (who had hoped to direct the film) didn't think that Evans was up to the job and fired him, and Jack Nicholson became the picture's director. This film is/was the second in a planned trilogy of films. 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: Most cops' ethics are like the car they drive... black and white.
See more »


Referenced in The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Nicholson and writer Robert Towne revisit old haunts...
29 February 2008 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Long-delayed follow-up (of sorts) to 1974's "Chinatown", which was directed by Roman Polanski and featured Jack Nicholson as 1930s private detective J.J. Gittes. "The Two Jakes" was written by returning screenwriter Robert Towne and directed by Nicholson himself, who also stars, but--despite a certain patchy swagger and style--it's a let-down for admirers of the previous film, and a yawner to latter-day Nicholson fans who might be expecting some combative, belligerent fireworks. Jack's gumshoe delves into an infidelity scandal which quickly leads to dirty doings in the oil business (it was water the first time). Confusing and deadly slow, with the irritating, gravel-voiced narration by Nicholson failing to supply the proper mood. There are a few arty camera set-ups and good players in the cast (including Meg Tilly, Harvey Keitel, Eli Wallach, and a nice 'bit' by Faye Dunaway), but it fails to intrigue even on a nostalgic level. * from ****

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