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L.A. Confidential (1997)

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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

Writers:

James Ellroy (novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
832 ( 82)
Top Rated Movies #107 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 86 wins & 83 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe ... Bud White
Guy Pearce ... Ed Exley
James Cromwell ... Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger ... Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito ... Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn ... Pierce 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
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Storyline

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. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a crime saga that will shock you. It's a mystery that will keep you guessing. It's a thriller that will keep you riveted. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los Ángeles al desnudo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,211,198, 21 September 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$64,616,940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$126,216,940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers Executive Bill Gerber showed the script to Michael G. Nathanson, CEO of New Regency Productions (who had a deal with the studio). Nathanson was bowled over by the screenplay, but knew he would have to get approval from his company head, Arnon Milchan. He got Curtis Hanson to prepare a presentation that included pictures of orange groves, beaches, and the opening of the Hollywood Freeway to symbolize how prosperous the area appeared to be at the time. Then Hanson would show the darker side of Hollywood at the time, with scandal rags and the famous shot of Robert Mitchum coming out of jail, following his drug bust. Hanson took great pains to emphasize that the period detail would be in the background, with the characters fully in the foreground. Milchan was immediately impressed with his presentation, and agreed to finance the film. See more »

Goofs

When Bud White confronts Ed Exley in the hospital just outside the morgue, a modern lit "EXIT" sign above the door can be clearly seen in the background. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of all the credits, there is a brief scene from "Badge of Honor" featuring a onscreen dedication in honor of Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), who within the film had served as the "Hollywood cop" and advisor to the film. The scene shows a black-and-white closing moment of "Badge of Honor" with the credits inscribed as "Dedicated to Sgt. Jack Vincennes," as Badge of Honor actor (Matt McCoy) closes the door on the HOMICIDE office and walks sorrowfully away. See more »


Soundtracks

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
(1944)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Johnny Mercer
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

On of the best movies of the past 20 years.
26 November 2001 | by medicinemanSee all my reviews

L.A. Confidential most likely falls into the category of one of the best movies of the past twenty years. The complex story line seemed to burst at the seams with intelligence. I found the complexity of several different sub-plots working together challenged the intellectual part of my brain while the intense action through out the entire movie satisfied the craving of the not-so-intellectual part of my brain that enjoys seeing a good brawl followed by a good shoot-out. Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson did and excellent job of combining many elements of several different kinds of films into one. They seem to have made this movie with several different audiences in mind. I for one, as I have mentioned, enjoyed the intellectual aspect as well as the action, while my wife enjoyed the combination of a love story with drama. It really has something for everyone. Bringing together all of these elements into one film sets it apart from many others. Of course the best aspect of L.A. Confidential is the way that not everything is as it seems, and then, in an instant, all of the plots are sprung like a trap and come together for a grand finale. Overall L.A. Confidential is an exceptional film that contains something for everyone.


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