L.A. Confidential (1997)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


L.A. Confidential (1997) Poster

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.


8.2/10
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  • Kim Basinger at an event for L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Ron Rifkin in L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Kevin Spacey in L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Kevin Spacey and Curtis Hanson in L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • James Coburn at an event for L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Kevin Spacey and Symba in L.A. Confidential (1997)

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Reviews & Commentary

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1 September 2003 | flipgirl38
Three Phenomenal Actors Give The Performances Of A Life Time
Six years ago, a director by the name of Curtis Hansen came out with a small time film named L.A. Confidential. Though the movie garnered several big nominations at the 1997 Academy Awards, the nation had been swept up by the gigantic and romantic blockbuster, Titanic, thus shrinking the chances of this brilliant movie from garnering any real awards. 1997 completely screwed this phenomenal film, in which three brilliant actors gave the performances of their careers.

Russell Crowe plays Detective Bud White, a tough L.A. cop who bends the rules in order to bring justice to the city. He is ruthless, and unforgiving of anyone, which brings him into direct conflict with Detective Lieutenant Ed Exley, played by Guy Pearce. Russell Crowe became with this role a full pledged character actor,: the cop with a steel physique, and a vulnerable heart. He becomes so believable and real to the audience, you can not help but sympathize for his character under the circumstances. From this role, Crowe went on to garner three best actor nominations, winning for his role in Gladiator.

Guy Pearce, the little known Australian body builder, became the character known as Ed Exley, a straight, uptight detective trying to live up to the legend his father created before him. Exley has so much to prove to the LAPD, trying to show them that he is just as good, maybe even better, than his father. He plays the politics in a corrupted police department very well, and is able to use these skills in solving the corrupt and mysterious case of the Night Owl murders. This film officially put Guy Pearce in the big leagues of film, making his next appearances in Memento and The Count of Monte Cristo. He is a severely underrated actor who deserves better than what he has been getting.

Finally, the ever wonderful Kevin Spacey. Spacey plays Lieutenant Jack Vincenes, a cop who gives a popular LA police show, Badge of Honor, real solved cases in return for money. Jack sees his life as an ever going soap opera, until he comes across a case that somehow has a connection to the Night Owl murders. Kevin Spacey has proved time and again his abilities as an actor, and he continues with this performance.

Curtis Hansen does a wonderful job bringing this story to the big screen. His talents, although recognized, have not been awarded as of yet. I can only hope that someday, someone will give this amazing director something worthy of his talents.

Highly Recommended.

MJR

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Did You Know?

Trivia

White encounters Stompanato at the Formosa restaurant. Established in 1938 and located at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and North Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood, is still in business and its interior is virtually unchanged. Photos on the restaurant's web site include some of the same angles seen in the film, along with the exact same celebrity photos arranged around the top of the walls.

Director Curtis Hanson noted that L.A. has many locations that date back to the period in this film but most of the classic homes and buildings have fallen to the city's never ending private development projects. Beyond this, there is so much film and television production going on in the area that many places, such as the old Spanish-style apartment buildings refuse to cooperate.

The Formosa, having been in continuous operation for 48 yeas by the time of filming, was one of the classic sites that retained the ambiance of bygone times. In preparation for this film, Hanson had the cast watch a number of classic L.A. film noir and suspense movies and he took them to such places as the Formosa. It was during their visit there that he told the cast that it would be one of the shooting locations.


Quotes

Sid Hudgens: 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 ...


Goofs

When Ed Exley kisses Lynn Bracken and guides her to the couch, his glasses or on. When Lynn Bracken takes him to the floor, his glasses are gone.


Crazy Credits

Characters from the movie were incorporated into period stock footage shown during the credits


Alternate Versions

In the Hong Kong television version, during the scene where Bud breaks into the interrogation room, the part where he removes all the bullets from the gun but one is removed for some reason. So it cuts straight from his coming into the room and then sticking the gun into the rapist's mouth without giving it a Russian roulette feel.


Soundtracks

Looking at You
(1929)
Written by
Cole Porter
Performed by Lee Wiley
Courtesy of Audiophile Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

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