As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writers:

James Ellroy (novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
901 ( 122)
Top Rated Movies #125 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 89 wins & 85 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe ... Bud White
Guy Pearce ... Ed Exley
James Cromwell ... Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger ... Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito ... Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn ... Pierce Patchett
Ron Rifkin ... D.A. Ellis Loew
Matt McCoy ... 'Badge of Honor' Star Brett Chase
Paul Guilfoyle ... Mickey Cohen
Paolo Seganti ... Johnny Stompanato
Elisabeth Granli ... Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Sandra Taylor ... Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Steve Rankin ... Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen
Graham Beckel ... Dick Stensland
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Storyline

1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything is suspect...everyone is for sale...and nothing is what it seems. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bud says to Lynne, "All they get is Veronica Lake. I get Lynne Bracken." This is a reference to a statement by classic Hollywood star Rita Hayworth referring to her most popular role, who said, "Men go to bed with Gilda, but wake up with me."

Although it is be unrelated to this specific reference, Pierce Patchett's "Rita Hayworth" was Susan Lefferts. As seen in the story, no one gets Rita Hayworth. See more »

Goofs

When Bud White goes to visit Lynn Bracken and they sleep together, when he leaves the Victory Motel, it is dark. When he is waiting outside and she says goodbye to her "company", it is also dark. But as she goes around straightening up her place, the pink light from the setting sun is coming through the windows, and when she opens the door to Bud, it's twilight outside. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

At the end of all the credits, there is a brief scene from "Badge of Honor" featuring a onscreen dedication in honor Sgt. who served as an advisor to the film. The scene shows a black-and-white closing moment of "Badge of Honor" with the credits as Badge of Honor actor (Matt McCoy) closes the door on the HOMICIDE office and walks sorrowfully away. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Hong Kong television version, during the scene where Bud breaks into the interrogation room, the part where he removes all the bullets from the gun but one is removed for some reason. So it cuts straight from his coming into the room and then sticking the gun into the rapist's mouth without giving it a Russian roulette feel. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O.C.: The O.C. Confidential (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Hit the Road to Dreamland
(1942)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Betty Hutton
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
One of the best
11 March 2019 | by sallyshirlaSee all my reviews

We've not come very far since this classic in terms of high quality cop crime dramas. Acting and direction is perfection.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L.A. Confidential See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,211,198, 21 September 1997

Gross USA:

$64,616,940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$126,216,940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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