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 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:04 AM   
 By:   gittes_fan   (Member)

Hi all, bit of an irregular here, although it's always very informative - I'm researching the films Chinatown & The Two Jakes for a personal project & finally obtained a copy of Van Dyke Parks' soundtrack to The Two Jakes the other day.

Listening to the score on its own confirmed what I've always felt - it's awful. While there are some nice moments in there, its silly, over-the-top approach really sounds like it should be accompanying the light-hearted adventures of detectives like Dick Tracy, Inspector Clouseau or Hercule Poirot - not Jake Gittes. It couldn't be any more different from Jerry Goldsmith's brilliantly understated score to Chinatown if it tried.

What I'm curious about, & perhaps someone here can provide some concrete information about it - given that he'd been nominated for an Oscar for Chinatown, why wasn't Goldsmith commissioned to score The Two Jakes? I've heard a couple of vague rumours - that he was on board in 1985, but when the initial production fell apart he felt burned & didn't want to do it anymore when the project was resurrected; also that Jack Nicholson just brought Van Dyke Parks in because he was an old buddy, like so many others who worked on TTJ.

Anyone know anything about this? For some reason it's very difficult to find out solid information about the troubled production, although there's many unreferenced tidbits out there.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:24 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I've always wondered this as well. I also wonder if The Two Jakes would've been held in more higher regard had Goldsmith returned to score it.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)


Jack Nicholson just brought Van Dyke Parks in because he was an old buddy, like so many others who worked on TTJ.


DING,DING,DING

Give the man a Cigar.

It was just that simple....


Ford A. Thaxton

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 11:44 AM   
 By:   merlyn   (Member)

Hi all, bit of an irregular here, although it's always very informative - I'm researching the films Chinatown & The Two Jakes for a personal project & finally obtained a copy of Van Dyke Parks' soundtrack to The Two Jakes the other day.

Listening to the score on its own confirmed what I've always felt - it's awful. While there are some nice moments in there, its silly, over-the-top approach really sounds like it should be accompanying the light-hearted adventures of detectives like Dick Tracy, Inspector Clouseau or Hercule Poirot - not Jake Gittes. It couldn't be any more different from Jerry Goldsmith's brilliantly understated score to Chinatown if it tried.

What I'm curious about, & perhaps someone here can provide some concrete information about it - given that he'd been nominated for an Oscar for Chinatown, why wasn't Goldsmith commissioned to score The Two Jakes? I've heard a couple of vague rumours - that he was on board in 1985, but when the initial production fell apart he felt burned & didn't want to do it anymore when the project was resurrected; also that Jack Nicholson just brought Van Dyke Parks in because he was an old buddy, like so many others who worked on TTJ.

Anyone know anything about this? For some reason it's very difficult to find out solid information about the troubled production, although there's many unreferenced tidbits out there.




Originaly Jerry Goldsmith was going to do this score - but the film was delayed and Jerry had to pass. When the problem was resolved Jerry was not available so Van Dyke Parks did it

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Hi all, bit of an irregular here, although it's always very informative - I'm researching the films Chinatown & The Two Jakes for a personal project & finally obtained a copy of Van Dyke Parks' soundtrack to The Two Jakes the other day.

Listening to the score on its own confirmed what I've always felt - it's awful. While there are some nice moments in there, its silly, over-the-top approach really sounds like it should be accompanying the light-hearted adventures of detectives like Dick Tracy, Inspector Clouseau or Hercule Poirot - not Jake Gittes. It couldn't be any more different from Jerry Goldsmith's brilliantly understated score to Chinatown if it tried.

What I'm curious about, & perhaps someone here can provide some concrete information about it - given that he'd been nominated for an Oscar for Chinatown, why wasn't Goldsmith commissioned to score The Two Jakes? I've heard a couple of vague rumours - that he was on board in 1985, but when the initial production fell apart he felt burned & didn't want to do it anymore when the project was resurrected; also that Jack Nicholson just brought Van Dyke Parks in because he was an old buddy, like so many others who worked on TTJ.

Anyone know anything about this? For some reason it's very difficult to find out solid information about the troubled production, although there's many unreferenced tidbits out there.




Originaly Jerry Goldsmith was going to do this score - but the film was delayed and Jerry had to pass. When the problem was resolved Jerry was not available so Van Dyke Parks did it


That movie was supposed to be released Christmas, 1989 and Paramount yanked it at the last minute, never a good sign. Then they fobbed it off to theaters in August, 1990 because they knew it was not a class A release. I remember sitting with maybe 8 other people in the audience of the Lakewood Theater in East Dallas for a matinee the Friday it opened. It was gone in 2 weeks. Jerry was better off not doing this one.

THE TWO JAKES is one of those "If only this could have happened..." movies that have their little way of tormenting me.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

finally obtained a copy of Van Dyke Parks' soundtrack to The Two Jakes the other day.

Is this an unofficial release, or is it available somehow?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

finally obtained a copy of Van Dyke Parks' soundtrack to The Two Jakes the other day.

Is this an unofficial release, or is it available somehow?


It's only been available as a composer promo disc.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I remember liking the end titles, though. Jo Stafford singing HAUNTED HEART, by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 12:34 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

I remember liking the end titles, though. Jo Stafford singing HAUNTED HEART, by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.

Pretty sad when one of the highlights of a score is an old Jo Stafford recording.

Boy, that score stank. Not one redeeming minute in it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I remember liking the end titles, though. Jo Stafford singing HAUNTED HEART, by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.

Pretty sad when one of the highlights of a score is an old Jo Stafford recording.



At least they had the class to use one of her songs. The rest, film and score, were dreadful.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

I remember liking the end titles, though. Jo Stafford singing HAUNTED HEART, by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz.

Pretty sad when one of the highlights of a score is an old Jo Stafford recording.



At least they had the class to use one of her songs. The rest, film and score, were dreadful.


THE TWO JAKES was one of the biggest cinematic letdowns in terms of a sequel in my life. It still breaks my heart, I loved CHINATOWN so.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Didn't anybody at least appreciate Vilmos Zsigmond's gorgeous cinematography? It's a beautifully shot film IMO, though I was surprised they went with 1.85 instead of 2.35.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Didn't anybody at least appreciate Vilmos Zsigmond's gorgeous cinematography? It's a beautifully shot film IMO, though I was surprised they went with 1.85 instead of 2.35.

I give the movie it's moments. The late 40's settings and Art Deco look, the style and look of the movie were not an issue. I think Bob Evans stated in clear terms that Towne did not give them a clean, defined script with a conclusion. And he was rightfully pissed off because of it.
I can watch TTJ and admire parts, but the whole leaves - a great big HOLE.

Actually, some of the dialogue is very good.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Hate to say it, but didn't poor Jerry end up scoring enough films that really sucked!

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2009 - 4:48 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Hate to say it, but didn't poor Jerry end up scoring enough films that really sucked!

This movie would not have assisted him in that equation.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2009 - 8:10 PM   
 By:   gittes_fan   (Member)

Thanks for the replies - just to confirm, yes, the CD I got was the Wild Bill / Two Jakes promo CD. I haven't even bothered listening to Wild Bill yet, the music for the Two Jakes isn't very encouraging.

So it was the case that Jerry Goldsmith was on board for the intial production, then simply wasn't available when it was resurrected. With such a tumultuous production, I can't imagine he'd be inclined to say, "Yes, absolutely guys, I won't commit to anything else, I'll be here when you need me."

I suppose it was easy enough for Jack to simply find out if Goldsmith was available, & when he wasn't, good excuse to give some work to a mate. It's a shame the music is so utterly dreadful. The 'Main Title' isn't even used as such - I can imagine Jack watching the main titles with Van Dyke Parks' theme, panicking, then getting an assistant to buy a stack of old records.

He could have always called Phillip Lambro & promised to pay back the ten bucks with interest...

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2009 - 8:38 PM   
 By:   Scott McOldsmith   (Member)

I've always wondered this as well. I also wonder if The Two Jakes would've been held in more higher regard had Goldsmith returned to score it.

No more than his scoring elevated the regard of 250 other crap movies. At the very least, film score geeks would have said "well, at least it had a cool Goldsmith score. But the CD left off the best stuff!"

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2009 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I don't know if the score doesn't have one redeeming minute--there's at least one reference to the Goldsmith score in a scene with Meg Tilly I believe.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2009 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

The book The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans talks about it quite a bit, Evans produced Chinatown, and he and Jack were close friends. It sounds like the whole production was a disaster, and it barely got made at all. The issues were probably scheduling, but the score is not specifically discussed. It does however discuss how Jerry saved the first picture, after he rescored the picture.

 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2009 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   gittes_fan   (Member)

I'd happily do a favour for the Mafia to get my hands on a copy of Lambro's original score - it's a shame that the Perseverance deal fell through, but I can't imagine that a re-done version would accurately reflect the one that was rejected, & from reading excerpts from Lambro's book, no doubt we've also been spared deranged, defamatory liner notes trashing the film & everyone involved.

Presumably the masters still exist - is it possible that they might ever be allowed to see the light of day? Perhaps as an alternate soundtrack on a future DVD release?

 
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