Watch Selected Independent and Cult Films

Watch hundreds of rare independent and arthouse films, cult films and hand-picked documentaries from around the world with a single subscription, on any device. No limits, no ads.

L.A. Confidential

Table of Contents

“L.A. Confidential” is a thriller film of 1997 directed by Curtis Hanson and based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name. It’s a noir movie which takes place in 1950s Los Angeles and is considered one of the best films of the genre.

The plot revolves around three LAPD detectives: Bud White (played by Russell Crowe), Ed Exley (played by Guy Pearce) and Jack Vincennes (played by Kevin Spacey). Each of them represents a different shade of morality and a sense of justice in the corrupt and violent society of the time.

Bud White is a violent and ruthless cop who fights for the weak and takes revenge on those who mistreat women. Ed Exley is an ambitious and unscrupulous young officer who tries to rise through the ranks by exploiting every opportunity. Jack Vincennes is instead a detective who works as a technical consultant for a television series, seeking celebrity and press favors more than he cares to solve cases.

The plot gets complicated when an actress, played by Kim Basinger, becomes involved in a corruption and murder case involving the police. The three detectives thus find themselves facing a vast conspiracy involving politicians, corrupt policemen and unscrupulous businessmen. Throughout the story, characters intertwine and develop in unpredictable ways, testing their allegiances and values.

The film is known for its intricate plot and twists as well as outstanding performances by the actors. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey deliver memorable performances, with a talented supporting cast that also includes Danny DeVito and James Cromwell.

“L.A. Confidential” achieved critical acclaim and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two statuettes for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is a film that captures the noir atmosphere of the time, with impeccable direction, a fascinating screenplay and a detailed setting reminiscent of 1950s Los Angeles.

In conclusion, “L.A. Confidential” is a well-crafted and gripping film noir, offering an immersion into the corruption and darkness of 1950s Los Angeles. It is a must for fans of the genre and for those who appreciate complex storylines, well-developed characters and an immersive setting.

Plot

LA-Confidential

The plot of “L.A. Confidential” takes place in 1950s Los Angeles and centers on three police detectives with different backgrounds and personalities: Bud White, Ed Exley and Jack Vincennes.

Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a tough and violent cop with a strong sense of justice. He is known for his protection of abused women and his tendency to use physical force to obtain information.

Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is an ambitious young police officer who seeks to emerge in the police force through intelligence and manipulation. He is obsessed with his desire for success and does not hesitate to betray his colleagues to get promotions.

Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a detective who works as a technical consultant for a popular police television show. He is fascinated by fame and wants to appear in the press more than he cares about doing his job. However, he finds himself involved in a series of events that will change his perspective.

The three detectives find themselves involved in a case involving the murder of a young woman, who is revealed to have been linked to a large conspiracy involving the police, corrupt politicians and unscrupulous businessmen. As they try to solve the murder mystery, they discover the truth is far more complex than they ever imagined.

During the investigation, the characters are faced with intrigue, corruption and violence. Their lives intertwine and collide as they fight for the truth and for their very survival. Each of them will have to face their own morality and decide which side to take in the battle between justice and corruption.

The plot of “L.A. Confidential” is intricate and full of twists and turns, as the characters develop and change throughout the story. The film explores themes such as police corruption, individual ambition, moral integrity and the search for truth in a dark and violent city like Los Angeles in the 1950s.

Subscribe

Movie Characters

LA-Confidential

Here are some of the main characters of the film “L.A. Confidential” (L.A. Confidential):

Bud White (portrayed by Russell Crowe): Bud White is an LAPD detective known for his violent temper and his tendency to protect abused women. He is a man with a big heart, but with a difficult past that has shaped his personality.

Ed Exley (played by Guy Pearce): Ed Exley is a young and ambitious police officer who desperately wants to move up the ranks. He’s smart, cunning, and willing to do anything to be successful, even if it means betraying his colleagues.

Jack Vincennes (portrayed by Kevin Spacey): Jack Vincennes is a detective who works as a technical consultant for a police television show. He is fascinated by fame and seeks to appear in the press more than solve cases. However, he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that will test his morality.

Lynn Bracken (played by Kim Basinger): Lynn Bracken is a mysterious femme fatale and high-end prostitute who becomes a key plot element. She is connected to the murder that triggers the film’s events and becomes an object of desire and protection for the detectives.

Dudley Smith (played by James Cromwell): Dudley Smith is a senior, respected and influential LAPD officer. He is an enigmatic character who hides a number of secrets and connections with corruption and organized crime.

Sid Hudgens (portrayed by Danny DeVito): Sid Hudgens is a tabloid journalist who works for a tabloid. He is always on the lookout for sensational stories and does not hesitate to manipulate events to obtain information.

These are just some of the key characters in the film. There are also other supporting characters and corrupt figures who contribute to the atmosphere of 1950s Los Angeles, where corruption and crime are mixed with the struggle for truth and justice.

Production

LA-Confidential

The film “L.A. Confidential” (L.A. Confidential) was directed by Curtis Hanson and produced by Arnon Milchan, Curtis Hanson and Michael Nathanson. The film’s production was handled by Regency Enterprises and the Wolper Organization, with backing from Warner Bros. Pictures.

Director Curtis Hanson, together with co-writer Brian Helgeland, adapted James Ellroy’s novel “L.A. Confidential” for the big screen. The original novel was published in 1990 and was a great success with critics and audiences.

The casting process for the film was careful, with actors like Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito and James Cromwell being selected for the lead roles. Each of them brought to life the complex characters of the film.

Filming for “L.A. Confidential” was primarily done in Los Angeles, which provided the authentic setting for the story. The film was shot in various iconic locations in the city, which helped recreate the atmosphere of the 1950s.

The production worked closely with cinematographer Dante Spinotti to create the film’s noir aesthetic, with the use of soft lighting, atmospheric shadows and visual compositions that recall the historical period.

The film score, curated by Jerry Goldsmith, was highly praised for its contribution to the film’s setting and tone, using jazz and orchestral elements to capture the mood of the era.

“L.A. Confidential” was released in theaters in September 1997 and was both a critical and commercial success. It garnered numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The production of the film was an example of collaboration between the director, the actors and the creative team, who worked together to bring to the screen the dark and engaging vision of James Ellroy’s novel.

Distribution and Reception

“L.A. Confidential” (L.A. Confidential) was released in theaters on September 19, 1997 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received wide distribution both in the United States and internationally.

The film’s reception was overwhelmingly positive from film critics. It has been praised for its faithfulness to James Ellroy’s novel, its enthralling script and the performances of the actors. In particular, Curtis Hanson’s direction was lauded for capturing the noir mood of the 1950s masterfully.

In terms of box office receipts, the film achieved moderate success. It grossed approximately $126 million worldwide, exceeding its production budget by approximately $35 million. Although it was not a blockbuster, the film has achieved great recognition and has gained a loyal following of fans over the years.

“L.A. Confidential” was critically acclaimed, garnering numerous awards and nominations. It received 9 nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and three nominations for lead actors. It eventually won two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Kim Basinger and Best Adapted Screenplay for Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland.

The film also received accolades from other prestigious award ceremonies, including the Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. It was considered one of the best films of the year and one of the best film noirs of all time.

In the following years, ‘L.A. Confidential’ was recognized as a classic of the noir genre and continued to be appreciated for its intricate storyline, actors’ performances and authentic setting. It is considered one of the best screen adaptations of a James Ellroy novel and a benchmark for contemporary film noir.

Style

The style of “L.A. Confidential” (L.A. Confidential) is a key element contributing to its success and relevance in the noir genre. The film was widely praised for its direction, cinematography, production design and setting, which paid homage to the visual and narrative style of classic film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s.

Here are some of the distinctive stylistic elements present in the film:

Noir Atmosphere: The film perfectly captures the dark, gloomy and melancholic atmosphere of the noir genre. He uses soft lighting, dramatic shadows and stark contrasts to create an atmosphere of mystery, tension and corruption.

Detailed Setting: “L.A. Confidential” is set in 1950s Los Angeles, and the production took great care to recreate the era accurately. The sets, costumes and props accurately reflect the style and aesthetics of the era.

Soundtrack: The soundtrack, curated by Jerry Goldsmith, plays a significant role in setting the mood of the film. It uses jazz and orchestral elements to accompany the scenes and underline the action, helping to evoke the typical atmosphere of noir.

Complex narrative: The film features an intricate storyline with several narrative twists and turns. The stories of the characters intertwine and influence each other, creating an investigative puzzle that keeps the viewer glued to the screen.

Actors Performance: The film’s actors give memorable performances that fit the noir style perfectly. Their performances are intense, mysterious and often charged with emotional tension.

Sharp Dialogues: The screenplay of “L.A. Confidential” features sharp and well-written dialogues, with quips that reveal the complexity of the characters and contribute to the noir atmosphere.

These stylistic elements combine to create an immersive and compelling cinematic experience that recalls the distinctive style of the great noir films of the past, but with a modern awareness and contemporary edge.

cult-movie

Director

 Curtis-Hanson

The director of “L.A. Confidential” (L.A. Confidential) is Curtis Hanson. Born March 24, 1945 in Reno, Nevada, Hanson had a successful career in the motion picture business as a director and screenwriter.

Before directing “L.A. Confidential”, Hanson had already directed several films, including “The Bedroom Window” (1987), “Bad Influence” (1990) and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” (1992). However, it was precisely with “L.A. Confidential” that he gained great exposure and recognition.

Hanson’s direction on ‘L.A. Confidential’ was acclaimed by critics and audiences. He was able to capture the atmosphere of James Ellroy’s noir novel and transpose it to the screen in a masterly way. He worked with great attention to detail, creating an authentic 1950s Los Angeles and directing the performances of the actors flawlessly.

His directing style focused on the use of light and shadow, visual contrasts and suggestive shots to create a dark and mysterious atmosphere. He was able to skillfully handle the complex plot of the film, keeping the suspense and keeping the viewer’s interest until the end.

Curtis Hanson’s work on “L.A. Confidential” has earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for the film and won the BAFTA Award for Best Director.

After the success of ‘L.A. Confidential’, Curtis Hanson went on to direct other notable films such as ‘Wonder Boys’ (2000), ‘8 Mile’ (2002) and ‘In Her Shoes’ (2005). His career has been marked by great versatility and ability to work on different film genres.

Sadly, Curtis Hanson passed away on September 20, 2016 at the age of 71, but his contributions to filmmaking especially with ‘L.A. Confidential’ remains a major landmark in his career.

Picture of Indiecinema

Indiecinema