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The Two Jakes (1990) Poster

(1990)

Trivia

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Robert Towne had originally planned a trilogy of movies chronicling at eleven-year intervals (in narrative terms) the development and decline of southern California as the result of rapacious developers and tycoons. Chinatown (1974) had been water rights, The Two Jakes (1990) was to deal with oil and a third movie, set in the 1950s, would deal with pollution caused by the building of the freeway system. The final movie was to be called "Gittes vs. Gittes" in which Jake would get a divorce.
Jack Nicholson gained weight to play the older Jake Gittes to show that he was "settling in".
Writer Robert Towne, producer Robert Evans and director Jack Nicholson founded the production company T.E.N. in 1985 just to produce this film. When legal and financial problems occurred, Nicholson finished the project alone.
The movie takes place in 1948 which is eleven years after the events of Chinatown (1974) which took place in 1937.
Final film [to date, July 2013] directed by Jack Nicholson.
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Jack Nicholson performed a number of roles on this picture. Nicholson was top billed lead actor and star, the film's director, an uncredited producer, and the movie's narrator.
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The movie's trouble production start was summarized in an article in the 10th September 1989 edition of 'The New York Times'. It reported: "Paramount almost made the picture four years ago with Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Towne and 'Robert Evans' as financial partners in the venture. Mr. Towne was to direct and Mr. Evans, the producer of Chinatown (1974) in 1974, was to produce and also play the second Jake opposite Mr. Nicholson. But Mr. Towne suddenly decided that Mr. Evans wasn't a strong enough actor and tried to drop him from the part. Mr. Evans balked. There was a vicious fight between the two. The film fell apart. A million dollars' worth of sets were torn down, and the lawsuits commenced. 'I was the only person who had any money, so the lawsuits went after me', Mr. Nicholson says. 'It bored me to death. When I work, I don't just step in and learn my lines. I have to plan a year in advance. And I had to work my schedule around the lawsuits'. It was Mr. Nicholson who mended the project, patiently cementing the pieces back together a year ago".
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Eighteen months elapsed between the film's US release and its first (minimal) appearance in UK cinemas.
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Robert Evans underwent major plastic surgery before the film began, reportedly bringing pictures of cats with him to get the look he wanted. Jack Nicholson and Robert Towne were horrified when they saw the results because Evans had become unrecognizable.
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.
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The Jake Berman character, which is played by Harvey Keitel, is closely modeled after writer Robert Towne's father Lou.
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Harvey Keitel's line to Jack Nicholson: "You know something, Jake, you might think you know what's going on around here, but... you don't." is almost a verbatim line spoken by John Huston in "Chinatown."
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A number of actors worked on both this sequel and the original Chinatown (1974). These included Perry Lopez, James Hong, Joe Mantell, Allan Warnick, Jack Nicholson, and in the smallest of capacities, actress Faye Dunaway. Lopez, Hong, Dunaway and Nicholson all played the same characters as they had done in Chinatown (1974). Writer Robert Towne and producer Robert Evans also worked on both pictures.
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First film directed by Jack Nicholson since 1978's Goin' South (1978) which was a gap of around twelve years.
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According to 'Halliwells', the film " . . . was originally to have been made in 1985 with Robert Towne directing and producer Robert Evans in the role played by Harvey Keitel".
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'Rating the Movies' stated that "this follow-up to Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) had a rocky road from inception to release. The project had been in the works for several years, and the actual production was plagued by delays and personnel changes".
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The make and model of the car that J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) drives the most in the movie, is a gray 1948-49 Hudson Brougham Super Convertible, though it has been speculated on the IMCDB that the vehicle may be a 1950 model, which would make it anachronistic, as the picture is set in 1948.
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One of two 1990 sequels from Paramount Pictures to three 1970s film classics from that studio. This movie was a follow-up to Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) whereas the other film, The Godfather: Part III (1990), was, after The Godfather: Part II (1974), Francis Ford Coppola's second sequel to The Godfather (1972). Ironically, actor Eli Wallach appeared in both 1990 Paramount sequels.
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Dennis Hopper and Joe Pesci were considered for the role of Jake Berman which in the end was cast with Harvey Keitel.
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This film is a sequel to Chinatown (1974). Appearing in the film is actress Meg Tilly who is actually half-Chinese, her birth name being Margaret Elizabeth Chan.
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Most of the lead cast have starred in other 'film noir' movies. Meg Tilly was in Masquerade (1988), Madeleine Stowe was later in China Moon (1994), Frederic Forrest was in Hammett (1982), Harvey Keitel was in Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976) and later in Pulp Fiction (1994) whilst Jack Nicholson was in Chinatown (1974), Blood and Wine (1996) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).
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This sequel to Chinatown (1974) was made and released about sixteen years after that movie had first debuted in 1974.
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Second of two films that Harvey Keitel and Jack Nicholson have both worked on. The first had been The Border (1982) around eight years earlier.
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This was the second major picture that actor Frederic Forrest appeared in that involved a plot with a major audio recording story element, called a wire recording in this movie. The other film was Francis Ford Coppola's earlier film The Conversation (1974).
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J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson)'s fee per day plus any expenses is never disclosed.
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The nickname of Julius Berman (Harvey Keitel) was "Jake" whilst the nickname of Michael Weisskopf (Rubén Blades) was "Mickey Nice".
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The make and model of the murder weapon according to the film was a Smith and Wesson .38 calibre police special with a twin inch gun-barrel. According to the IMFDb, the firearm is a Smith & Wesson Model 36 snubnose revolver, the gun being an anachronism in the movie, it was introduced in 1950, and wasn't in issue at the time the film is set (1948).
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Fourth Jack Nicholson movie lensed by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. The films include The Border (1982), The Two Jakes (1990), The Crossing Guard (1995) and The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
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John Hackett, who appears briefly as the murdered Mark Bodine, is Jack Nicholson's stand-in.
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When the film was originally conceived in the mid-1980s, Cathy Moriarty was set to star opposite Jack Nicholson. However, repeated production delays and Moriarty's physical and emotional rehabilitation following a devastating automobile accident ultimately cost her the part.
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Usually seen having black hair, actress Meg Tilly sports strawberry blonde hair in this picture.
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The film's title refers to two characters who are both first-named "Jake". They are Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel) and Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson).
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Kelly McGillis and Cathy Moriarty were considered for the female lead.
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The picture was filmed during April, May, June and July 1989.
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The name of the detective agency was "Gittes Investigations".
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Second and final cinema movie [to date, July 2013] that actors Meg Tilly and Harvey Keitel have both worked on. The first had been Off Beat (1986) around four years earlier.
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Principal Cast Billing: Jack Nicholson plays a character, Jake Gittes, reprized from his earlier film Chinatown (1974), with a first name similar to his own.
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Final film of Joe Mantell.
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Harrison Ford and Roy Scheider were Robert Towne's choice for the part of the older Jake Gittes.
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Cameo 

Faye Dunaway: As the voice of Evelyn Mulwray, her character from Chinatown (1974). The film's final credits bill "special thanks" to Dunaway.
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Tom Waits: Uncredited, as a plain clothes police detective.
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