The City Of Angels

by jasonforno | created - 30 Apr 2012 | updated - 19 Oct 2016 | Public

A list of my favorite films from the L.A. up through the Eisenhower years.

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1. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
90 Metascore

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

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 453,449 | Gross: $64.62M

2. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
86 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 240,206 | Gross: $29.20M

3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
83 Metascore

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 155,035 | Gross: $156.45M

4. The Black Dahlia (2006)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
49 Metascore

Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" murder investigation.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank

Votes: 65,894 | Gross: $22.52M

5. Changeling (2008)

R | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Gattlin Griffith

Votes: 211,399 | Gross: $35.74M

6. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 157,227

7. Mildred Pierce (2011)

TV-MA | 336 min | Drama

7.7
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Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.

Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, Brían F. O'Byrne

Votes: 15,686

8. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 417,983 | Gross: $40.22M

9. The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
77 Metascore

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly

Votes: 286,920 | Gross: $102.61M

10. Barton Fink (1991)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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69 Metascore

A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner

Votes: 96,965 | Gross: $6.15M

11. Ed Wood (1994)

R | 127 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
70 Metascore

Ambitious but troubled movie director, Edward D. Wood Jr, tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 150,269 | Gross: $5.89M

12. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
89 Metascore

A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 204,480 | Gross: $44.67M

13. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 172,490 | Gross: $8.82M

14. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.7
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78 Metascore

An African-American man is hired to find a woman, and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.

Director: Carl Franklin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals, Don Cheadle

Votes: 14,568 | Gross: $16.03M

15. The Hours (2002)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
81 Metascore

The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 109,315 | Gross: $41.68M

16. Dead Again (1991)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.0
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66 Metascore

An amnesiac and a private eye find they might have a past life connection.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 22,974 | Gross: $38.02M

17. RKO 281 (1999 TV Movie)

R | 86 min | Biography, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst.

Director: Benjamin Ross | Stars: Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich

Votes: 5,180

18. In a Lonely Place (1950)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.0
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A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid

Votes: 19,711

19. Gods and Monsters (1998)

R | 105 min | Biography, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
74 Metascore

The last days of Frankenstein (1931) Director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich

Votes: 26,197 | Gross: $6.39M

20. The Blue Dahlia (1946)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 6,121 | Gross: $2.70M

21. The Day of the Locust (1975)

R | 144 min | Drama, Thriller

7.1
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An art director in the 1930s falls in love and attempts to make a young woman an actress despite Hollywood who wants nothing to do with her because of her problems with an estranged man and her alcoholic father.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, William Atherton

Votes: 4,288 | Gross: $17.79M

22. The Majestic (2001)

PG | 152 min | Drama, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
27 Metascore

Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 47,438 | Gross: $27.81M

23. Guilty by Suspicion (1991)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
64 Metascore

David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood Director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on... See full summary »

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, George Wendt, Patricia Wettig

Votes: 6,663 | Gross: $9.48M

24. Hollywoodland (2006)

R | 126 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
62 Metascore

A detective examines the mysterious death of George Reeves, the star of the television series Adventures of Superman (1952).

Director: Allen Coulter | Stars: Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins

Votes: 30,445 | Gross: $14.42M

25. The Cat's Meow (2001)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, Romance

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes, Edward Herrmann, Eddie Izzard

Votes: 7,116 | Gross: $3.21M

26. De-Lovely (2004)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Music

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
53 Metascore

Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce, Kevin McNally

Votes: 10,068 | Gross: $13.34M

27. Imitation of Life (1959)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner

Votes: 12,093 | Gross: $13.99M

28. The Way We Were (1973)

PG | 118 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Votes: 18,157

29. Chaplin (1992)

PG-13 | 143 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
47 Metascore

A film about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charles Chaplin.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw

Votes: 46,378 | Gross: $9.49M

30. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated | 118 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell

Votes: 10,755

31. The Last Tycoon (1976)

PG | 123 min | Drama, Romance

6.3
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jeanne Moreau

Votes: 6,824 | Gross: $1.82M

32. Bugsy (1991)

R | 136 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.8
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The story of how Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 22,375 | Gross: $49.11M

33. Mulholland Falls (1996)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.2
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In 1950's Los Angeles, a special crime squad of the LAPD investigates the murder of a young woman.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Nick Nolte, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Connelly, Chazz Palminteri

Votes: 13,830 | Gross: $11.50M

34. True Confessions (1981)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama

6.4
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A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

Director: Ulu Grosbard | Stars: Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning, Kenneth McMillan

Votes: 5,919 | Gross: $10.20M