Essential Cinema: L.A. Confidential (1997)

Other | Thursday 18th February 2016 | Sam

L.A. Confidential - Dir. Curtis Hanson (1997)

"Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona."

Curtis Hanson’s 1997 epic neo-noir crime film, L.A. Confidential, is a true masterpiece centring around the corruption of the L.A.P.D. intersecting with the celebrities of Hollywood. The focus is on three different officers; one ‘good’ cop, Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), one angry cop, Wendell White (Russell Crowe) and one slimy bastard of a cop, Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey). Each with their own unique way of bringing justice to the streets of L.A., which in turn forms the basis of an incredibly well structured story.

As well as holding an incredible score of 99% Fresh on RottenTomatoes, L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine Oscars, winning two and losing the other seven to James Cameron’s Titanic. At the box office, the film managed to rake in a respectable $126.2 million, and had critics such as Roger Ebert singing it’s praises with phrases like ‘seductive and beautiful, cynical and twisted, and one of the best films of the year’. Time magazine even went as far as rating L.A. Confidential as it’s film of the year for 1997.

Fun Fact: The Confidential part of the title is a reference to a popular scandal magazine at the time of the same name, portrayed in the film through the magazine Danny DeVito is the publisher for, Hush Hush.

The opening scene of the movie, narrated by DeVito's character, Sid Hudgens is a thing of beauty. Full of rich imagery and impressive footage from back in the day, it is hard to think of another film that sets the scene as well as L.A. Confidential does. But of course, the impressiveness of the movie does not stop there, with non-stop action from start to finish, and a plot which twists and turns more than a helter skelter, prepare to be firmly glued to your seat!