L.A. Confidential (1997)
Genre Crime/Mystery
Director Curtis Hanson
Writer Brian Helgeland
Producer Dan Kolsrud
Photographer Dante Spinotti
Studio Regency Enterprises / Warner Brothers
Language English
Country USA
Color Color
MPAA R
Runtime 136 minutes
Rating  8/10
Type Movie

 Plot
Based on the best-selling novel by James Ellroy, this award-winning crime drama explores both the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early '50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of sophistication, glitter, and glamour. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD and is loyal to his officers and eager to turn a blind eye to violence or corruption within his department, as long as it's the "bad guys" who are getting hurt. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a police detective whose violent and cynical nature is often at war with his basic sense of decency and justice. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a beat cop-turned-detective whose strict by-the-book philosophy and willingness to blow the whistle on other officers is balanced by a shrewd and opportunistic understanding of the internal politics of the department. And Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a flashy "Hollywood" detective who serves as technical advisor for the TV series Badge of Honor. He is also in cahoots with Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito), publisher of the scandal sheet Hush Hush, who throws kickbacks to Vincennes in exchange for being brought along when showbiz figures get busted. White, Exley, and Vincennes find themselves drawn into a tangled and sticky web of violence and betrayal following a multiple murder at a coffee shop that is believed to be part of an effort by Mickey Cohen (Paul Guilfoyle) to consolidate his hold on organized crime in L.A. This lead appears to be connected to the discovery of a bizarre pornography and call-girl ring operated by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn), whose women are given plastic surgery so that they more closely resemble well-known movie stars. White's role in the investigation is complicated when he falls for Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), one of Patchett's prostitutes, who is the spitting image of Veronica Lake. L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two, with Curtis Hanson (who directed) and Brian Helgeland honored for Best Adapted Screenplay and Kim Basinger taking home a statuette as Best Supporting Actress.

 Actors
Kevin Spacey ..... Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe ..... Bud White
Guy Pearce ..... Ed Exley
James Cromwell ..... Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger ..... Lynn Bracken
David Strathairn ..... Pierce Patchett
Danny DeVito ..... Sid Hudgeons
Amber Smith ..... Susan Lefferts
Paolo Seganti ..... Johnny Stompanato
Paul Guilfoyle ..... Mickey Cohen
Simon Baker-Denny ..... Mat Reynolds
Gwenda Deacon ..... Mrs. Lefferts
Graham Beckel ..... Dick Stensland
David St. James ..... Detective at Hush-Hush Office
Ron Rifkin ..... D.A. Ellis Loew
John Mahon ..... Police Chief
Matt McCoy ..... Brett Chase

 Reviews
A polished policier in the tradition of Chinatown (1974), with a plot as convoluted as film noir chestnut The Big Sleep (1946), L.A. Confidential (1997) proved that it was still possible to fashion an actor-driven detective yarn in 1990s Hollywood. Adapting the story from James Ellroy's novel, director Curtis Hanson deftly captures the glamour and sleaze of post-war Los Angeles, where hookers look like movie stars and movie stars are mistaken for hookers, as an antagonistic trio of police detectives discovers how deeply ingrained the city's corruption has become. Russell Crowe's pugnacious White, Guy Pearce's smug Exley, and Kevin Spacey's smooth, celeb-struck Vincennes are all somewhat tainted, but even they cannot quite believe the rot they uncover; the accompanying gallery of rogues and innocents, including scandal mongers, prostitutes, and other cops, constantly shifts the moral order. Dante Spinotti's cinematography and Jeannine Oppewall's detailed production design lend a period sheen while richly alluding to the shadowy truth hidden by symbols of law and order. Opening to raves, particularly for the lead trio and Kim Basinger's Veronica Lake-esque pro, L.A. Confidential swept the critics' awards for Best Film and received nine Academy Award nominations. In the wake of Titanic, though, only Basinger and co-screenwriters Hanson and Brian Helgeland won statuettes.

 Awards
(1997) Academy - Best Adapted Screenplay (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) Academy - Best Adapted Screenplay (win) ..... Brian Helgeland
(1997) Academy - Best Supporting Actress (win) ..... Kim Basinger
(1997) Broadcast Film Critics Association - Best Adapted Screenplay (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) Broadcast Film Critics Association - Best Adapted Screenplay (win) ..... Brian Helgeland
(1997) Broadcast Film Critics Association - Best Picture (win) .....
(1997) Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Director (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Picture (win) .....
(1997) Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Brian Helgeland
(1997) Golden Globe - Best Supporting Actress (win) ..... Kim Basinger
(1997) L.A. Film Critics Association - Best Cinematography (win) ..... Dante Spinotti
(1997) L.A. Film Critics Association - Best Director (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) L.A. Film Critics Association - Best Picture (win) .....
(1997) L.A. Film Critics Association - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) L.A. Film Critics Association - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Brian Helgeland
(1997) National Board of Review - Best Director (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) National Board of Review - Best Picture (win) .....
(1997) National Society of Film Critics - Best Director (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) National Society of Film Critics - Best Picture (win) .....
(1997) National Society of Film Critics - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Brian Helgeland
(1997) National Society of Film Critics - Best Screenplay (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) New York Film Critics Circle - Best Film (win) .....
(1997) Screen Actors Guild - Best Supporting Actress (win) ..... Kim Basinger
(1997) Toronto Film Critics Association - Best Director [Runner-up] (win) ..... Curtis Hanson
(1997) Toronto Film Critics Association - Best Picture [Runner-up] (win) .....

Features

Released 2005
Region Region 1
Chapters 40
Screen Ratio Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Layer Dual
Sides Single
Subtitles English
Spanish
French
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Features 3 Behind the Scenes Documentaries
Music-Only Track in 5.1
Production Notes
Theatrical Trailers
Disk No. 1/1
Edition
UPC 085391491323

Library

Catalog # 0225
Reference # 00125
Location Home
Owner John
Status Own
Purchased 11/24/2004
Price $15.00
Value $15.00
Vender Target
Seen it? Yes
Seen When 12/16/1997
Seen Where Star Southfield Center, Detroit, MI