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L.A. Confidential (Snap Case) (1997)

Kevin Spacey , Russell Crowe , Curtis Hanson  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (752 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell
  • Directors: Curtis Hanson
  • Writers: Curtis Hanson, Brian Helgeland, James Ellroy
  • Producers: Curtis Hanson, Arnon Milchan, Brian Helgeland, Dan Kolsrud
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 1998
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (752 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790734850
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "L.A. Confidential (Snap Case)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes material
  • 3 behind-the-scenes documentary features: Off the Record, including cast-creator interviews; director Curtis Hanson's Photo Pitch; and The L.A. of L.A. Confidential interactive map tour
  • 3 TV Spots

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In a time when it seems that every other movie makes some claim to being a film noir, L.A. Confidential is the real thing--a gritty, sordid tale of sex, scandal, betrayal, and corruption of all sorts (police, political, press--and, of course, very personal) in 1940s Hollywood. The Oscar-winning screenplay is actually based on several titles in James Ellroy's series of chronological thriller novels (including the title volume, The Big Nowhere, and White Jazz)--a compelling blend of L.A. history and pulp fiction that has earned it comparisons to the greatest of all Technicolor noir films, Chinatown. Kim Basinger richly deserved her Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a conflicted femme fatale; unfortunately, her male costars are so uniformly fine that they may have canceled each other out with the Academy voters: Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, and James Cromwell play LAPD officers of varying stripes. Pearce's character is a particularly intriguing study in Hollywood amorality and ambition, a strait-laced "hero" (and son of a departmental legend) whose career goals outweigh all other moral, ethical, and legal considerations. If he's a good guy, it's only because he sees it as the quickest route to a promotion. --Jim Emerson

Product Description

L.A. Confidential (Snap Case)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW VERSION DVD review.... September 20, 2008
Format:DVD
Rather than review this amazing modern Noir...I just want to say..BUY this new version...it looks fabulous and the bonus features are PLENTIFUL and very meaty with content and the good news is they ALSO have brought over the features from the first release allowing all of us to dump that one and that isn't always the case. They also have a nearly 1 hr TV movie/pilot called LA CONFIDENTIAL starring Keifer Sutherland which is fun. There is also a bonus CD disc of music which is icing on the cake. I just spent a few hours watching all the bonus features and will absolutely watch them again ( a rarity) and as I said..the movie never looked better..I've only checked out a bit of the commentary which has a staggering number of contributors and should make another viewing of the movie with it running a fun trip indeed. WB does it well when they re-issue and not just with the sexy new cover image ..this baby got a complete overhaul...

enjoy!
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Movie, and Well Worth Owning on DVD July 28, 2000
Format:DVD
"LA Confidential" takes detective film noir in a different direction-something I didn't think could be done. Director Curtis Hanson stated that he wanted the focus of this period piece to be on the characters and dialogue rather than the locations, clothing, cars, etc. I think he got it right for the most part, but the cinematography is so spectacular that you can't help but notice the backdrops against which the scenes are set.
The acting performances in this picture are for the most part first rate: Guy Pearce plays the ambitious Edmund Exley to perfection, Russell Crowe is superb as tough guy detective Bud White, and Kevin Spacey (one of my favorite actors of all time) turns in a stellar performance as the hip narco detective who also acts as a consultant on a Dragnet-like TV series. Strong performances by James Cromwell, Ron Rifkin, and the ubiquitous David Strathairn round out the picture. Although I liked Kim Basinger, I thought she was cast more for her look than for her acting skills. She played the role of a Veronica-lake lookalike prostitute quite well, but hers didn't look like a performance any other competent actress couldn't have pulled off.
The DVD version of this picture is more full of features than any other title I've owned thus far. It includes a documentary about the making of the film which includes cast interviews and clips of Crowe's and Pearce's screen tests. There's also a location map that tells the viewer about each of the major locations where scenes were shot, cast bios, a promo for the soundtrack (featuring some very good early 50's jazz courtesy of Chet Baker and other artists of the era), and the movie can be played with just the soundtrack running.
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111 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern noir at its finest. January 20, 2002
Format:DVD
What is a good cop? One who joined the police force because he was unable to save his mother from being killed by an abusive husband, but who now uses violence not only against wife-beaters but whenever called for by his superior officers; be it to beat a confession out of a suspect
or to discourage criminals from settling in town? Or one who joined the police force to emulate his father, a department legend; to go after "Rollo Tommasi" (the guy who thinks he can get away with anything), but who thereafter lets his career and department politics dictate his actions? Or, in the end, is it the one who has let corruption wipe out so thoroughly the reasons why he once joined the police force that he doesn't even remember a single one of them, but who for once in his life still finds it in himself to go after real criminals, even at the risk of his own life? This is just one, although maybe the central question asked in "L.A. Confidential," the movie based on James Ellroy's novel with the same name. And as does the book, the movie refuses to provide an answer to this and the other questions it asks.

The story is set up by tabloid editor Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito), who during the movie's opening credits gleefully sums up the L.A. clichés that still hold true today: "Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, ... there are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside the house a happy, all American family. You can have all this, and who knows, you can even be discovered - become a movie star or at least, singer. Life is good in Los Angeles: it's paradise on earth." Laughing sarcastically, however, he adds: "That's what they tell ya', anyway, 'cause they're selling an image.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complex and Absorbing Thriller! May 7, 2005
Format:DVD
Manohla Dargis, a film critic for The New York Times and former editor for the L.A. Weekly film section, presented L.A. Confidential, one of her favorite movies, for the Cal State Northridge Cinemateque Critics Series, where I saw this film a few weeks ago. The film was followed by an insightful Q & A between Dargis and David Kipen, a book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, and continued with answers to questions from members of the audience.

As mentioned by Dargis, L.A. Confidential was released in 1997 to huge critical acclaim. It went on to be nominated for nine Academy Awards and is now considered a key film for the 90s. In fact, in answer to a question from an audience member, Dargis feels that had Titanic been released another year, L.A. Confidential would have garnered all the major awards of 1997. Although it didn't, it is still widely regarded as one of the best movies of that year.

Based on the novel by James Ellroy, the film is a dark and gritty noir set in 1950s Los Angeles and deals with police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. The seemingly idyllic Los Angeles of the early 1950s provides the glitzy backdrop for the grisly crime that is the focus of the story: a bloody shotgun slaying of the patrons at an all-night diner. One of the victims was Dick Stensland, a subpar police officer forced into retirement after a drunken brutality incident not long before his death.

Heading the investigation are three very different cops.
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