Re: RARA-AVIS: Whoa there, fellas

Mark Sullivan (
Wed, 22 Dec 1999 11:23:31 -0500 (EST)

Terrill wrote:

<<Towne's work also falls short of the high water mark he set with CHINATOWN.>>

One thing I think is being overlooked in this Chinatown/Two Jakes discussion is that Chinatown as shot has some very distinct differences with Chinatown as written. There was a highly contentious battle between Polanski and Towne, settled by Evans in Polanski's favor, over certain elements in the film. According to various interviews, Towne's original script was far more specific about what happened to Jake in Chinatown, but more importantly, the ending was completely different. Evelyn Mulray shot her father dead and silently/stoically stood trial while Jake whisked her daughter away to Mexico.

It's been a while since I saw Two Jakes (in the theater when it came out). I enjoyed it well enough, seeing old friends, but was not blown away. This discussion will definitely get me to check it out again. However, doesn't the daughter's backstory in the sequel start with the written Chinatown, that she had somehow gotten to Mexico and away from her father/grandfather, after all?

I found it very interesting that the recent publication of Towne's Chinatown script is the one on the screen. I was really hoping to read the original, see the specifics of the differences. Does anyone know if this is available anywhere?


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