L.A. Confidential

September 19th, 1997

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L.A. Confidential

Still of Kim Basinger in L.A. ConfidentialStill of Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce in L.A. ConfidentialJames Cromwell at event of L.A. ConfidentialStill of James Cromwell in L.A. ConfidentialStill of Russell Crowe in L.A. ConfidentialStill of Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito in L.A. Confidential

A shooting at an all night diner is investigated by three LA policemen in their own unique ways.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 8.4/10 (215,184 voted)

Critic's Score: 90/100

Director: Curtis Hanson

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime.

Writers: James Ellroy, Brian Helgeland

Kevin Spacey - Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe - Wendell 'Bud' White
Guy Pearce - Edmund J. Exley
James Cromwell - Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger - Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito - Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn - Pierce Morehouse Patchett
Ron Rifkin - D.A. Ellis Loew
Matt McCoy - 'Badge of Honor' Star Brett Chase
Paul Guilfoyle - Mickey Cohen
Paolo Seganti - Johnny Stompanato
Elisabeth Granli - Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Sandra Taylor - Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Steve Rankin - Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen
Graham Beckel - Dick Stensland

Taglines: Everything is suspect...everyone is for sale...and nothing is what it seems.

Release Date: 19 September 1997

Filming Locations: 1277 S. Cochran Ave, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,211,198 (USA) (21 September 1997) (769 Screens)

Gross: $64,604,977 (USA) (25 May 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

At the time the film takes place no building in Los Angeles was allowed to be taller than city hall, so the cameras were placed at certain points so that any building taller than city hall would not be seen.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When Ed Exley asks Lynn Bracken what she can tell him about Dudley Smith, she says she has never heard of him. While unlikely to be true, she was quite possibly lying.

[first lines]
Sid Hudgens: [voiceover] Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, and the orange groves stretch as far as the eye can see. There are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside every house, a happy, all-American family. You can have all this, and who knows... you could even be discovered, become a movie star... or at least see one. Life is good in Los Angeles... it's paradise on Earth." Ha ha ha ha. That's what they tell you, anyway.

User Review

Everything in this film is fantastic.

Rating: 10/10

L.A. Confidential is, without a doubt, the best film of the 1990s, and quite possibly one of the best films ever made.

As with any great film, it all starts with the writing. The story is riveting, the dialogue is smart and quite funny, and the characters are written in three dimensions.

The acting is phenomenal. Perhaps a bigger tragedy than L.A. Confidential's loss to Titanic in the Best Picture race is that none of the three lead actors even garnered nominations. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacey are absolutely phenomenal; it is their characters that drive this fascinating story about police corruption in 1950s Los Angeles. We get to know these people, to understand who they are and why they do what they do, and to root for them to overcome their imperfections.

The directing is fantastic. Curtis Hanson doesn't shove anything in the audience's face; instead, he allows the audience to discover the film's nuances on their own. (That makes this an excellent film for repeat viewings, you truly catch something new every time). 1950s Los Angeles is reproduced beautifully. The editing is quick and seamless, the music is perfect for the film (Hanson should teach other directors how to do a montage effectively), and the cinematography is great.

I can't find a negative thing to say about this film. It's truly a masterpiece.

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