Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

L.A. Confidential (1997)


speedracer5
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just watched LA Confidential that I recorded last week during the noir fest.  Wow! What a great movie.  It had all the elements of noir and was a compelling story about police corruption in 1950s LA.  The leads were excellent-- I especially liked the performances of Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger. 

 

This movie, while definitely having more graphic scenes and language than the other noirs it was paired with last Friday evening, had all the noir elements intact.  It featured cynical characters who were not only trying to solve a crime but also engaging in some questionable behavior themselves.  There aren't really any "good" characters in this film, Basinger is a "good guy" but is also employed as a prostitute.  The main cops, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, are good cops but also engage in unethical behavior like having sex with Basinger.  Kevin Spacey is always fantastic in everything he does and this movie was no exception.

 

Not that I was around in 1950s LA, but I feel that the filmmakers did a great job re-creating what LA would have looked like during this time period. 

 

I also loved the soundtrack.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow we usually agree on things speedracer, but I hated LA Confidential! Grant me this, though, I only saw it once, in the theater.

 

I am probably the only person who doesn't like Kevin Spacey. I think he's good in his roles, but he comes across as smarmy to me. I know you need confidence as a performer, but I don't find him the cutest trick in shoe leather. (remember-I'm the Tom Hanks hater too)

 

I realize it's kind of a black comedy, but I loathed the violence in LAC. The graphic nature of the violence was over the top, it didn't need to be so bloody.

Plus, it was the movie that popularized the "hold the pistol sideways" style of shooting. Good thing thugs have adapted the "look" because you can't aim properly that way and their bullets always miss!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just watched LA Confidential that I recorded last week during the noir fest.  Wow! What a great movie.  It had all the elements of noir and was a compelling story about police corruption in 1950s LA.  The leads were excellent-- I especially liked the performances of Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger. 

 

This movie, while definitely having more graphic scenes and language than the other noirs it was paired with last Friday evening, had all the noir elements intact.  It featured cynical characters who were not only trying to solve a crime but also engaging in some questionable behavior themselves.  There aren't really any "good" characters in this film, Basinger is a "good guy" but is also employed as a prostitute.  The main cops, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, are good cops but also engage in unethical behavior like having sex with Basinger.  Kevin Spacey is always fantastic in everything he does and this movie was no exception.

 

Not that I was around in 1950s LA, but I feel that the filmmakers did a great job re-creating what LA would have looked like during this time period. 

 

I also loved the soundtrack.

 

Totally agree on all counts, and I'm glad you mentioned the soundtrack.  I've had that CD in my car for the past week and I've just about worn it out, especially Betty Hutton's fabulous take on "Hit The Road To Dreamland".  NOBODY can resist the lure of this song.

 

 

It was divine, but the rooster has finally crowed....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It should have won Best Picture instead of Titanic.  Great movie, expertly done and well acted.  This is the way they would have made Noir in the 30' thru 50's if they could have.

As for Spacey, a very good actor in LAC.  I just finished watching House of Cards, season one, and was not impressed.  Moreso with the show than Spacey's acting though.  He was very good in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  

Incidentally, I like Tom Hanks in comedies, but not so much in dramas.  Not as good as his reputation.

As for violance, it was supposed to depict a very violent period in LA.  Probably a little over the top, but its a movie!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I love this movie, and most of what you said. I can quibble a bit there though; unethical things like having sex with Basinger pales in comparison to unethical things like beating or killing suspects, planting evidence on them, etc. The violence didn't bother me as much ss the racism, sexism and homophobia, but again, this is LA in the 50s.

 

Overall, a good pastiche capturing the corruption of the institutions, the Hollywood scene, etc. I especially love Hollywood landmarks shown, like the Frolic Room, the Formosa Cafe, and the weird Crossroads of the World. More quibbling: in 1954, Veronica Lake was no longer much of a player, not having made a film on Hollywood in like 5 years. It would seem that the sought after blonde lookalike then would be Marilyn Monroe, not someone from the previous decade. Oh, and another blonde, Lana Turner, was played by someone that didn't come close to resembling her, despite the hilarity of that scene. Again, that's just me.

 

I saw this movie the night it opened, on a day my world seemed.to be collapsing. It was like a lifesaver for me, and I will cherish it forever.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LAC fascinates me too with the locations and that era of LA policing. How things change and how things haven't changed.  It came out around the time of the aftermath of the latest LA riots and it resonated with many in 1997.  

 

L.A.-ConfidentialOSCARS.jpg

 

It has for me that wonderful "before they were big" appearances by many actors.  Working Girl did the same.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one of my favorite films. The soundtrack is terrific. Jerry Goldsmith does homages to Leonard Rosenman's scores from the 1950s.

 

I had the opportunity to run into Curtis Hanson at the first TCM film festival (we were just leaving an early Sunday morning screening at the Chinese multiplex) and told him how much I liked his work, especially this film.

 

He was very gracious.

 

Loved the opening titles, the City of Angels landmarks and the actors. It is one of those films I never tire of watching.

 

The one weird thing to me is that when Kevin Spacey returns to the Badge of Honor set, that scene looks like it was shot after the main filming with him was over. There is something about his hair in the scene that is different from his other scenes.

 

But that is a minor quibble.

 

Love this film.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kim Basinger is extremely underated as an actor.

She excels in both dramatic and comedic roles. 

Did anyone catch NADINE on TCM  when it aired during the Robert Benton tribute?

She cracks me up every time she says "Vernon Hightower" in that movie .

 

Basinger was just a name to me when I first saw L.A. Confidential, and all I really knew about her was a vague recollection about her buying an island off Georgia, and having some sort of relationship with Alec Baldwin, or maybe it was some other actor who looks like him.

 

But Nadine!  What a revelation. That girl can act!  I'm a total sucker for southern accented women, but Basinger's performance in Nadine went far beyond that, and rescued what otherwise was a pedestrian movie whose only other saving graces were Rip Torn and a cameo by Jerry Stiller. I'd see it again just for her.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow we usually agree on things speedracer, but I hated LA Confidential! Grant me this, though, I only saw it once, in the theater.

 

I am probably the only person who doesn't like Kevin Spacey. I think he's good in his roles, but he comes across as smarmy to me. I know you need confidence as a performer, but I don't find him the cutest trick in shoe leather. (remember-I'm the Tom Hanks hater too)

 

I realize it's kind of a black comedy, but I loathed the violence in LAC. The graphic nature of the violence was over the top, it didn't need to be so bloody.

Plus, it was the movie that popularized the "hold the pistol sideways" style of shooting. Good thing thugs have adapted the "look" because you can't aim properly that way and their bullets always miss!

I understand why you didn't like this film.  I agree that the film is violent and gruesome at times, which sometimes can be a turnoff for me too, but for whatever reason, it didn't bother me when I watched this movie. 

 

I can see Kevin Spacey as being "smarmy" but it doesn't bother me for whatever reason (at least when it comes to him), maybe it's because he appears in so many movies that I enjoy. 

 

I think what I liked about LA Confidential was the overall aesthetic.  I liked the look of the film.  The "look" and the cool soundtrack gave the film a cool vibe for me. 

 

It's okay that we didn't agree :) Different opinions are what makes conversations more interesting.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I love this movie, and most of what you said. I can quibble a bit there though; unethical things like having sex with Basinger pales in comparison to unethical things like beating or killing suspects, planting evidence on them, etc. The violence didn't bother me as much ss the racism, sexism and homophobia, but again, this is LA in the 50s.

 

Overall, a good pastiche capturing the corruption of the institutions, the Hollywood scene, etc. I especially love Hollywood landmarks shown, like the Frolic Room, the Formosa Cafe, and the weird Crossroads of the World. More quibbling: in 1954, Veronica Lake was no longer much of a player, not having made a film on Hollywood in like 5 years. It would seem that the sought after blonde lookalike then would be Marilyn Monroe, not someone from the previous decade. Oh, and another blonde, Lana Turner, was played by someone that didn't come close to resembling her, despite the hilarity of that scene. Again, that's just me.

 

I saw this movie the night it opened, on a day my world seemed.to be collapsing. It was like a lifesaver for me, and I will cherish it forever.

I also liked seeing the Hollywood landmarks.  I'd heard of the Formosa Cafe.  That scene where Guy Pearce called Lana Turner a hooker and completely insulted her before Kevin Spacey smugly told him he was wrong was hilarious.  I don't blame Pearce though, that woman did not look like Lana Turner at all.  I would have believed more that she was a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, but that wouldn't have made the scene as funny.

 

I didn't think about the timeline of the film vs the timeline of Lake's career, but now that you bring it up, I agree.  Maybe they're just finding women who resemble sex symbols (current and prior) in Hollywood.  I found the concept of the brothel kind of funny--sleep with women who look like your favorite starlets.  I loved the brothel owner's Hollywood house.  Kim Basinger didn't really look like Veronica Lake at all--the only similarity was her hairstyle.  That didn't really matter though, she was so good in this film and earned that Oscar that she won.

 

I haven't seen Nadine.  I'll have to look out for it on future TCM schedules.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a little kid in the mid-50's, I remember my mom and her friends talking about the divorced father of one of my school friends. Several times I would hear "Yeah, but he can get away with that because he is one of Mickey Cohen's boys."

Of course I had no idea that they were refering to a real gangster. At that age I thought anybody with the name of "Mickey" had to be alright.

So, I especially liked LA CONFIDENTIAL because it reminded me of the era of my friend's dad, and how naive I was as a kid.

 

Also liked BUGSY (1991) for the same reason.

Plus they're both pretty darn good movies.
 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a little kid in the mid-50's, I remember my mom and her friends talking about the divorced father of one of my school friends. Several times I would hear "Yeah, but he can get away with that because he is one of Mickey Cohen's boys."

Of course I had no idea that they were refering to a real gangster. At that age I thought anybody with the name of "Mickey" had to be alright.

So, I especially liked LA CONFIDENTIAL because it reminded me of the era of my friend's dad, and how naive I was as a kid.

 

Also liked BUGSY (1991) for the same reason.

Plus they're both pretty darn good movies.

 

I haven't seen Bugsy, but I agree with you about LA Confidential and gangster movies in general.  I don't know what it is about gangster films (or films about criminal syndicates), I find them fascinating.  Aside from the classic Cagney/Robinson/Bogart gangster flicks, which are contemporary stories, I find myself drawn to the modern gangster films.  I think it's because these are traditionally period pieces, so they have to re-create earlier eras.  I love the music and the overall vibe that these films have.  I loved Public Enemies and Goodfellas too.  Even though these groups of criminals are out committing crimes, you end up rooting for them (or I do at least). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen Bugsy, but I agree with you about LA Confidential and gangster movies in general.  I don't know what it is about gangster films (or films about criminal syndicates), I find them fascinating.  Aside from the classic Cagney/Robinson/Bogart gangster flicks, which are contemporary stories, I find myself drawn to the modern gangster films.  I think it's because these are traditionally period pieces, so they have to re-create earlier eras.  I love the music and the overall vibe that these films have.  I loved Public Enemies and Goodfellas too.  Even though these groups of criminals are out committing crimes, you end up rooting for them (or I do at least). 

 

There is a documentary exploring the gangster films of the past and those today. I believe this was at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. The earlier gangster films focused more on the strategy of crime and law enforcement, which is why they tend to be more action and less drama. There wasn't much background or depth to most characters because it wasn't known nor understood. It wasn't until 1972's The Godfather where we see, on film, crime as an organization, the complex lives of these gangsters (family life vs. criminal life) and the introduction of the term "mafia". This was unheard of in 1930s-40s films because it was quite covert. Its exposure didn't come about until 1951 with the Kefauver Committee. Having this understanding of the gangster in American history, it provides more depth for modern gangster films.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also liked seeing the Hollywood landmarks.  I'd heard of the Formosa Cafe.  That scene where Guy Pearce called Lana Turner a hooker and completely insulted her before Kevin Spacey smugly told him he was wrong was hilarious.  I don't blame Pearce though, that woman did not look like Lana Turner at all.  I would have believed more that she was a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, but that wouldn't have made the scene as funny.

 

I didn't think about the timeline of the film vs the timeline of Lake's career, but now that you bring it up, I agree.  Maybe they're just finding women who resemble sex symbols (current and prior) in Hollywood.  I found the concept of the brothel kind of funny--sleep with women who look like your favorite starlets.  I loved the brothel owner's Hollywood house.  Kim Basinger didn't really look like Veronica Lake at all--the only similarity was her hairstyle.  That didn't really matter though, she was so good in this film and earned that Oscar that she won.

 

I haven't seen Nadine.  I'll have to look out for it on future TCM schedules.

One more anachronism, albeit minor; Lana Turner is linked with Johnny Stompanato; however, in 1954 she was just.getting hitched to Lex Barker, and the tragic Stompanato relstionship came a few.years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basinger was just a name to me when I first saw L.A. Confidential, and all I really knew about her was a vague recollection about her buying an island off Georgia, and having some sort of relationship with Alec Baldwin, or maybe it was some other actor who looks like him.

 

But Nadine!  What a revelation. That girl can act!  I'm a total sucker for southern accented women, but Basinger's performance in Nadine went far beyond that, and rescued what otherwise was a pedestrian movie whose only other saving graces were Rip Torn and a cameo by Jerry Stiller. I'd see it again just for her.

Actually, she supposedly purchased Braselton in northeast Georgia.  She is from nearby Athens GA.  I think actually she just purchased the buildings that comprised the town.  Probably not legal to purchase a town.  Think it turned out to be a big financial mistake.  She may have purchased an island too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, she supposedly purchased Braselton in northeast Georgia.  She is from nearby Athens GA.  I think actually she just purchased the buildings that comprised the town.  Probably not legal to purchase a town.  Think it turned out to be a big financial mistake.  She may have purchased an island too.

I remember hearing she bought a town (or perhaps just the buildings).  I wonder what owning a town would do for you financially.  I'm not sure if you can legally buy a town.  Though it doesn't seem any different than buying an island.  I remember a few years ago hearing that you could buy a town in South Dakota for something like $850k. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a documentary exploring the gangster films of the past and those today. I believe this was at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. The earlier gangster films focused more on the strategy of crime and law enforcement, which is why they tend to be more action and less drama. There wasn't much background or depth to most characters because it wasn't known nor understood. It wasn't until 1972's The Godfather where we see, on film, crime as an organization, the complex lives of these gangsters (family life vs. criminal life) and the introduction of the term "mafia". This was unheard of in 1930s-40s films because it was quite covert. Its exposure didn't come about until 1951 with the Kefauver Committee. Having this understanding of the gangster in American history, it provides more depth for modern gangster films.

I believe a lot of the movies before mid-60's also had to insure that the good guys won.  Or that justice was served in the end. Even when code was diminishing, the studios still were concerned about how general public and communities would accept movies.  Didn't want to "banned" from all the communities where they had to be shown to make money.

Not to mention the American standard of "hero worship" in movies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, she supposedly purchased Braselton in northeast Georgia.  She is from nearby Athens GA.  I think actually she just purchased the buildings that comprised the town.  Probably not legal to purchase a town.  Think it turned out to be a big financial mistake.  She may have purchased an island too.

 

My understanding is that she purchased all or the vast majority of the land and the buildings that made up the town and that is what was meant by 'purchased a town'.   Either way it was a big financial mistake in that she overpaid for the property.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember hearing she bought a town (or perhaps just the buildings).  I wonder what owning a town would do for you financially.  I'm not sure if you can legally buy a town.  Though it doesn't seem any different than buying an island.  I remember a few years ago hearing that you could buy a town in South Dakota for something like $850k. 

 

Here's what I found online:

 

In 1989 actress and Georgia native Kim Basinger and other investors bought 1,751 acres of [brasellton's] 2,000 privately owned acres for $20 million from Braselton Brothers Inc, intending to turn it into a tourist destination. Five years later, on the eve of personal bankruptcy, she and her partners sold the town at a large loss

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kim Basinger is extremely underated as an actor.

She excels in both dramatic and comedic roles. 

Did anyone catch NADINE on TCM  when it aired during the Robert Benton tribute?

She cracks me up every time she says "Vernon Hightower" in that movie .

She's very funny in My Stepmother is an Alien with Dan Ackroyd.   

 

I agree that she's underrated as an actress.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow we usually agree on things speedracer, but I hated LA Confidential! Grant me this, though, I only saw it once, in the theater.

 

I am probably the only person who doesn't like Kevin Spacey. I think he's good in his roles, but he comes across as smarmy to me. I know you need confidence as a performer, but I don't find him the cutest trick in shoe leather. (remember-I'm the Tom Hanks hater too)

 

I realize it's kind of a black comedy, but I loathed the violence in LAC. The graphic nature of the violence was over the top, it didn't need to be so bloody.

Plus, it was the movie that popularized the "hold the pistol sideways" style of shooting. Good thing thugs have adapted the "look" because you can't aim properly that way and their bullets always miss!

sucks i agree

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Kim Basinger was very good in MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN. 

She  was also good as Eminem's mother in 8 MILE.

Yes, another good role for her.  I also liked her in "The Door in the Floor,"  if I have the name right, with Jeff Bridges. 

 

I first saw her in a TV movie in the '70s, something like "Portrait of a Centerfold," and have been a great fan since then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...