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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
914 ( 71)
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:

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

In preparation, Curtis Hanson showed his cast and crew Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Bad Influence (1990), The Killing (1956), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), In a Lonely Place (1950), Private Hell 36 (1954), and The Lineup (1958). See more »

Goofs

The blood on Exley's face is smeared one way when he is chasing Ray Collins down the hall and another way when he fires into the lift in the next shot, even though any blood would have spilled onto the lift door. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Baywatch: Lifeguard Confidential (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
***** Best Film of the 90s
17 February 2000 | by Bil-3See all my reviews

Hands-down my favourite American film of the nineties. Curtis Hanson shocked the world by proving to be not only a great director but an auteur with this unbeatable adaptation of James Ellroy's terrifying novel about corruption and crime among members of the LAPD in the 1950s. The hard-boiled detective story angle is brought to life so beautifully, mostly because Jeannine Claudia Oppewall's production design recreates the dark underside of the 50s to such perfection that not even a Coke bottle label is missed. Add to that Dante Spinotti's stunning lighting that rides the fine line between artistic and believable comfortably (as all period camerawork should), Ruth Myers' costume designing and a script by Hanson and The Postman scribe Brian Helgeland (I know, I don't get it either) that pares down Ellroy's mammoth plot about a multiple murder in a local diner involving a policeman with suspicious ties without sacrificing the density of the story or the spiderweb of events involved with it, and you have the best movie of 1997, not to mention the most fascinating detective film ever made since Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. The cast is all brilliant, most notably Kim Basinger as a wordly prostitute who has not only a heart of gold but a mind of steel--Basinger is so strong in her character's every nuance you'll find yourself forgetting she's even acting--and Kevin Spacey as a Dean Martin-esque detective who not only solves an important part of the puzzle, he even discovers he possesses a soul beneath his flashy suits. I just can't get enough of this film.


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