Secret Marilyn Tapes Revealed - Otash was the inspiration for Chinatown Jack

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by cookie, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. liten

    liten One of the Regulars

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    hearing is believing
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    It appears that JFK's "Irish Mafia" cleaners missed a spot.....
     
  3. liten

    liten One of the Regulars

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    a 51 year ago clean and still spotless
     
  4. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

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  5. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    It's interesting, I always felt that JJ Gittes in Chinatown was not a iconic PI like the characters of Hammett, Chandler or MacDonald, he was too slick, daintily dressed, and successful. A Hollywood style narcissist in many ways except for his fairly minimal "code." Now I've never seen Fred Otash, a man known to my father, as a JJ Gittes type but he did do a lot of "matrimonial work," which was only occasionally the territory of the more classic and fictional detectives. Gittes is definitely a guy who could stand to be taken down a rung or two ... as happens in Chinatown. Generally you feel that those earlier characters had already experienced some humbling event.

    It's odd but this got me thinking about The Two Jakes. Chinatown deals with LA's water wars, which actually occurred much earlier than the 1930s and TTJ deals with SoCal's oil boom, which happened much earlier than the late 1940s. It all works, given other changes in those eras like the building out of the San Fernando valley for Chinatown and the coming petroleum based economic expansion of the 1950 for TTJ but those were interesting choices.
     
  6. Inkstainedwretch

    Inkstainedwretch Practically Family

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    Fred Otash figures prominently in James Ellroy's non-fictional writings, and under various guises in his novels.
     
  7. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Revisiting this Fred Otash seems like the progenitor of a number of real-life Hollywood fixers, the most extreme fictional version I'm aware of might be Showtime's Ray Donovan. Commenting on the once great, and hopefully soon to be great again, James Ellroy: many of these ... well, I call them train-wreck shows, TV Series that are about a tragic protagonist who keeps digging himself in further and further, owe a great debt to Ellroy for perfecting the genre. I suspect the basic idea goes back to the pulp or paperback original era possibly with Cornell Woolrich or Patricia Highsmith but Ellroy took it to a different level. It's best TV incarnations are, IMO, Breaking Bad (Maybe. I have structural reservations.) and The Shield (Definitely. It avoided setting up the sort of thing I feel didn't pay off in Breaking Bad.).

    Getting back to JJ Gittes: I really think he's his own thing. An evolution and melding of the talents of Towne, Polanski and Nicholson. He's a fairly unique and well developed character.
     
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