“LA Confidential” took the No. 1 on the list of films made in the last 25 years about Los Angeles culture.
In a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times, Curtis Hanson’s 1997 drama outperformed PT Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”.
1. “LA Confidential” (1997)
2. “Boogie Nights” (1997)
3. “Jackie Brown” (1997)
4. “Boyz N the Hood” (1991)
The Player” (1992)
7. “Clueless” (1995)
8. “Repo Man” (1984)
9. “Collateral” (2004)
10. “The Big Lebowski” (1998)
Entertainment News Service
The opening scene of “LA Confidential” is devoted to building up the three main characters, all of them cops. We might be forgiven for expecting that they would be antagonists; indeed, they themselves think so. But the film has other plans, and much of its appeal comes from the way it puts three cops on the same side and never actually declares anyone the antagonist until near the end. What the three cops struggle with, most of the time, is the widespread corruption that pervades the world in which they move.
The film also documents a particular time when the world of police work edged into show business. These days, when we can watch video footage of police arresting suspects, when celebrity trials are shown on live TV, when gossip is the main ingredient of many news outlets, it’s hard to imagine a time when crime and crime lived hidden in the shadows. subject matter. “LA Confidential” (1997) suggests the era of sensationalism is currently being born.
The first voice heard from the screen comes from the quirky Hush-Hush magazine publisher Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito). He set the tone: “Insiders” knew the score and escaped murder. His most valuable contact is Detective Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), a technical advisor on “Badge of Honor,” a “Dragnet”-style TV show. Jack also starred in some Hudgens news. They frame celebrities or politicians to compromise the situation, Vincennes barges in to destroy them and Hush-Hush gets the story.
Vincennes will be one of the film’s protagonists. The other two cops are Officer Bud White (Russell Crowe), who believes in bending the law to enforce it, and Detective Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), a straight arrow type whose morality makes the department restless. These three cops, very different from each other, all have important honorific qualities that unite them in unraveling the web of film corruption.
For most of its time, “LA Confidential” appears to be episodic — one sensational event after another, with no apparent connection. A millionaire named Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn) has sidelines in slick porn and expensive call girls, and specializes in prostitutes who have had plastic surgery to make them resemble movie stars. A group of drunk cops beat up Mexican suspects and get their picture on the front page. Exley and Vincennes, for very different reasons, testify against their fellow officers, violating the department’s code of silence. There was a massacre at the Nite Owl Cafe downtown, and one of the victims was a police officer. Calling emphatically for justice to be served in all these cases is Capt. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell), who leads the morning call.
The plot, based on the novel by James Ellroy, can only be described as a maze. For a long time, we weren’t even sure it was a plot, and one of the joys of this film is the way director Curtis Hanson and writer Brian Helgeland put all the pieces in place before we fully realized they were parts. How might these people and events be related? We don’t mind, as long as the cut itself is very interesting
Consider a call girl business that has been “cut” to make them look like movie stars. One of them, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), looks like Lake Veronica, but in reality, she’s never had plastic surgery. White tracks him down because he was a friend of a girl who was killed at Nite Owl. Then he made a return visit because he was very interested in her, and they fell into bed without having a six word private conversation. Is that the typical behavior of a prostitute? Does he have other motives? When Basinger’s character is played, his real motives and feelings entangle with each other, creating a deep and sympathetic character. Even though it was Crowe, Pearce and Spacey, it was probably Basinger who gave the film the best performance. His speech to Exley, about how he saw Bud White, was a simple and touching monologue.