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.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writers:

James Ellroy (novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
592 ( 52)
Top Rated Movies #124 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 89 wins & 85 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:

Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matt McCoy ('Badge of Honor' Star Brett Chase) went on to play the role of Preston Exley (Ed's father) in a 2018 pilot that was the second unsuccessful attempt at a "LA Confidential" TV series. The pilot was aired ("burned off") as a one-off TV movie in 2019. See more »

Goofs

Near the end when Exley is awarded another Medal of Valor, a 50 star U.S. flag is clearly in the backdrop. The 50 star flag was not adopted until July 4, 1960. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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

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. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L.A. Confidential See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,211,198, 21 September 1997

Gross USA:

$64,616,940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$126,216,940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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