The Two Jakes
The Two Jakes is the much-delayed and rather convoluted sequel to the 1975 classic Chinatown. Released in 1990 after an abortive stab at shooting that began in the mid-'80s, the film was the subject of a creative feud between its principals, star Jack Nicholson, producer Robert Evans, and screenwriter Robert Towne. Private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is a middle-aged war hero, paunchy, snobbish about his golf game, and about to marry a lovely and much younger woman. Then a fleeting reference to a woman he once loved that he heard on a wire recording plunges him into a past he has tried to escape. It comes while he was spying on a philandering wife (Meg Tilly) and her paramour in her motel room for her husband, Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel). Then Berman shocks Gittes when he shoots his wife's lover. Gittes is doubly stunned when he learns that Berman was partners with the dead man in a subdivision that may contain huge oil deposits. So now Gittes wonders, was it justifiable homicide or murder? The answer lies in the wife (Madeleine Stowe) of the dead man, her shady oil baron friend (Richard Farnsworth), and in the past he has tried to avoid. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr.