DVD 138 mins IMDB 8.4 (83,081 votes) top 250: #53
L.A. Confidential
Warner Brothers (1997)
In Collection

My Rating:

Seen It:
(2003 )
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
USA  /  English

Kevin Spacey Sgt. Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe Officer Wendell 'Bud' White
Guy Pearce Det. Lt. Edmund Jennings Exley
James Cromwell Capt. Dudley Liam Smith
Kim Basinger Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn Pierce Morehouse Patchett
Ron Rifkin Dist. Atty. Ellis Loew
Matt McCoy Brett Chase
Paul Guilfoyle Meyer Harris 'Mickey' Cohen
Amber Smith Susan Lefferts
Paolo Seganti Johnny Stompanato
Graham Beckel Det. Sgt. Richard Alex 'Dick' Stensland
Sandra Taylor Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Steve Rankin Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen
Elisabeth Granli Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner

Director Curtis Hanson
Producer Curtis Hanson; Arnon Milchan; Arnold Milchin; Michael Nathanson
Writer James Ellroy; Brian Helgeland; Curtis Hanson
Cinematography Dante Spinotti
Musician R. Alex Anderson; Harold Arlen; Joe Bushkin; Buddy G. DeSylva; John DeVries; Walter Donaldson; Jerry Goldsmith; Mack Gordon; Franz Grüber; David Holt; Jerome Kern; Carmen Lombardo; James Pierpont; Cole Porter; Steve Rochinski; Richard Rodgers; Harry Warren
User Credit 1 Peter Honess
User Credit 2 Ruth Myers

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. — Mark Deming

Edition Details
Barcode 085391491323
Region Region 1
Chapters 40
Release Date 3/30/2004
Packaging Snap Case
Screen Ratio Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Subtitles English; French; Spanish
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Layers Single Side, Dual Layer
No. of Disks/Tapes 1

Color Closed-captioned Widescreen Dolby
Personal Details
User Lookup 1 DVD Original
User Text 2 Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush...
Links IMDB
All Movie Guide
Amazon US
DVD Empire

Trivia: Curtis Hanson cast Russell Crowe after seeing his performance in Romper Stomper (1992). Studio execs were adamantly against the idea of casting two Australians (Crowe and Guy Pearce) in an American period piece. Kevin Spacey's character was loosely modeled off of Dean Martin. (more)

Goofs: Continuity: In the final scene, two woman walk past each other, behind and to Ed's left, as he is standing on the sidewalk. However, when he is seen through the rear window of the car - from Bud's perspective - the original women have disappeared and two new women (walking together, toward Ed) have taken their place. (more)

[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 tell you, anyway.

Awards: Won 2 Oscars. Another 67 wins & 43 nominations (more)