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L.A. Confidential (1997, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey)



Eighty roles, 45 locations and two Ramsay Street runaways combine to make L.A. Confidential one classic movie. Having been ignored for a TV mini-series, Hanson’s epic period thriller is a riveting and unforgettable tale, perhaps one of the 1990s’ outstanding films.

Post-war Los Angeles is a sewer overflowing with ambition, corruption and turf war between lawmakers and lawbreakers. When two cops take a Christmas Eve beating, the squad go tit-for-tat with the suspects. Shocked by the scenes, officer Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) reports his colleagues, ‘Hollywood’ Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) and Bud White (Russell Crowe), who are disciplined.

Exley is promoted by Captain Smith (James Cromwell), and put on the trail of those responsible for a cop-killing coffee shop carnage spree, Vincennes goes after a gang of lookalike hookers (led by a Veronica Lake double, Kim Basinger), while career jawbreaker White takes on organised crime. Slowly, the men realise there is a link between all their cases and are brought together to discover that betrayal and death are not far behind unless they bury their differences and act as a team.

Preserving Ellroy’s machine gun dialogue and bloody canvas, Hanson and co-writer Helgeland distil a 500-page novel into a screenplay of rare intensity (lines like ‘You get the girl, I get the coroner’ are typical). This in turn raised the bar for all concerned. Spacey was given two words of advice for his glorious role (‘Dean Martin’) and Danny DeVito’s sleaze magnet journalist is a joy. But watching Bud White evolve from thug to patsy to hero is L.A Confidential’s pivotal genius, and Crowe’s rise to glory was now unstoppable.

production details
USA | 138 minutes | 1997

Writers: Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson based on the novel by James Ellroy
Director: Curtis Hanson

Guy Pearce as Det. Lt. Edmund Jennings ” Ed ” Exley
Paul Guilfoyle as Mickey Cohen
David Strathairn as Pierce Patchett
Kevin Spacey as Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes
Jordan Marder as Officer at Detective Bureau
Simon Baker as Matt Reynolds
Jimmy Ortega as Second Mexican (uncredited)
Steven Lambert as Roland Navarette
Ron Rifkin as D.A. Ellis Loew
Danny DeVito as Sid Hudgens
James Cromwell as Cap. Dudley Liam Smith
Brian Lally as Officer / Detective at Hollywood Station
Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken
Russell Crowe as Bud White
Matt McCoy as ‘Badge of Honor’ Star Brett Chase
Paolo Seganti as Johnny Stompanato
Elisabeth Granli as Mickey Cohen’s Mambo Partner
Sandra Taylor as Mickey Cohen’s Mambo Partner
Steve Rankin as Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen
Allan Graf as Wife Beater
Bob Clendenin as Reporter at Hollywood Station
Lennie Loftin as Photographer at Hollywood Station
Will Zahrn as Liquor Store Owner
Amber Smith as Susan Lefferts
Darrell Sandeen as Buzz Meeks
Thomas Rosales, Jr. as First Mexican
John Mahon as Police Chief
Tomas Arana as Breuning – Dudley’s Guy
Michael McCleery as Carlisle – Dudley’s Guy
Jack Conley as Vice Captain
Jack Knight as Detective at Detective Bureau
Gene Wolande as Forensic Chief
Michael Chieffo as Coroner
Ingo Neuhaus as Jack’s Rejected Partner
Jeremiah Birkett as Ray Collins – Nite Owl Suspect
Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Inez Soto – Rape Victim
Rebecca Klingler as Police File Clerk
Irene Roseen as D.A. Ellis Loew’s Secretary
David St. James as Detective at Hush-Hush Office
Jeff Austin as Detective
Brenda Bakke as Lana Turner
Graham Beckel as Dick Stensland
Jim Metzler as City Councilman
Michael Warwick as Sid’s Assistant
Symba as Jack’s Dancing Partner
Shawnee Free Jones as Tammy Jordan
Norman Howell as Officer / Detective at Hollywood Station
Salim Grant as Louis Fontaine – Nite Owl Suspect
Jeff Sanders as Sylvester Fitch
April Breneman as Look-Alike Dancer
Scott Eberlein as West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputy
Gregory White as Mayor
Robert Foster as Detective
Robert Thompson as Detective
Nectar Rose as Marilyn Monroe (uncredited)
Rocco Salata as Uniformed Patrol Officer (uncredited)
Dell Yount as Court Bailiff (uncredited)
Jan Citron as 1940s Courthouse (uncredited)
Don Pulford as Officer / Detective at Hollywood Station
George Oliver as Deuce Perkins (uncredited)
Scott McKinley as Cop (uncredited)
Gilbert Rosales as Third Mexican (uncredited)



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