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  • L.A. Confidential [VHS] [1997]
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L.A. Confidential [VHS] [1997]

163 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: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CWBQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,846 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In Fifties Los Angeles, Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), Bud White (Russell Crowe) and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) are three very different cops. Ed is ambitious and incorruptible, Bud takes pleasure in beating up wrong-doers, and Jack works as technical advisor to the television show 'Badge of Honour'. Ed earns the enmity of Bud and Jack when he testifies that they were involved in the beating of a group of Mexicans in police custody, but all three men become involved after a mass-murder takes place at the Nite Owl cafe. Initially, it seems that a group of black junkies are responsible, but further investigation leads to evidence of blackmail, prostitution and a police cover-up in high places. Kim Basinger won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 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 LA 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 co-stars are so uniformly fine that they may have cancelled 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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
This was the best film made in '97 but like Polanski's "Chinatown" it is destined to become one of the finest movies NOT to take the Oscar home. Curtis Hanson took James Ellroy's novel, a book many doubted could be translated to the film medium, and co-wrote one of the finest adapted screenplays ever done. He then brought on board a couple of Aussie unknowns, a gorgeous star who had never lived up to her potential, maybe the finest actor working today, and began filming one of the darkest noir films of all time, in sun drenched daylight!
The end result is a dark and twisted tale of personal redemption told against the backdrop of the bright lights and sunshine of Hollywood in the early '50's. Hanson contrasts the brightly lit exteriors with the dark storyline of police corruption and Hollywood decadence. This is a movie about facade, not just Hollywood's but our own personal facade as well.
Russell Crowe became a star as LA Detective Bud White, a tough cop willing to do whatever is necessary, something the political up and comer Guy Pearce finds archaic about the force and wants to change. What may stop him from doing so is his investigation of the murder of several people at "The Night Owl" cafe, one of which is Crowe's partner, recently "retired" after a well publicized jail brawl christened "Bloody Christmas" by the papers.
Crowe and Pearce come at this from different angles but the road for both leads right to beautiful Kim Basinger and a millionaire in the lush Hollywood hills played by David Strathairn. There is a reason Basinger looks a little like Veronica Lake the first time we see her in this film, she's suppose to.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Philbee on 18 Mar. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This was easily the best Hollywood movie of 1997, but got sunk by Titanic at the box office and the Oscars. Which was a bit ironic. But not one to hold a 13-year-old grudge, this Blu-Ray disc is the third - and by far the best - format I have this film in (Laserdisc and DVD being the others). It's generally agreed that the DVD version looked a bit dark and dowdy, but in Blu-Ray all that period detail and the sublime photography is allowed to bloom - you're there, with an A-Grade cast firing on all cylinders in a story that's blindingly well told. A great one for your new Blu-Ray collection.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Mar. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
There's a moment in Curtis Hanson's 1997 peach of a film when Guy Pearce playing good-guy cop Ed Exley enters The Night Owl café to check up on possible multiple homicides in the early hours of the morning... As he does, the camera pans across the Formica counter and the nearby tabletops, the saltcellars, the napkin dispensers, the circular seats, the candy vendors... There's tons of stuff in a few seconds - all of 1950s - the attention to detail is mind-blowing... Hanson had made a $15 million dollar movie look like it cost ten times that and I'm thrilled to say that this BLU RAY version of "L.A. Confidential" does exactly the same.

While it's not "Zulu" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" perfect in terms of print - other people's reckoning of 4.5 out of 5 is accurate. I'd estimate that 80-90% of the time the picture is glorious and even when it's a little soft in places, the rest is `so' good, you hardly notice. Also, as you re-watch it, you realise just how good LAC was and what a superlative job Hanson did in bringing the seedy underbelly of Hollywood and the LAPD of the time to the screen. Everything fits on "L.A. Confidential" - the incredible ensemble cast you couldn't buy for love or money now - the chemistry between them all - the ruthlessly realistic story and spunky adaptation of it, the beautiful night locations, the dapper clothes, the colours - even Jerry Goldsmith's music - mellow brass followed by staccato piano fills - was absolute genius! It all worked - and now it looks the business too.

Watching Crowe and Basinger in the main feature in all their beautifully filmed sizzling glory is a treat for sure - but the list of extras is equally impressive too. Check these out...

1.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Like other reviewers here, I was equally dumbfounded to see the vastly overrated 'Titanic' beat LA at the Oscars. LA is like an updated version of those 50's film noir detective thrillers such as the 'Maltese Falcon' and Raymond Chandler adaptations but far better.There's enough violence here to make the point but its never overdone for the sake of it. I wasn't surprised to see Guy Pearce pull it off as he'd already put his 'Neighbours' nightmare to rest with 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert'. His character is no wimpy 'good guy' but a by-the-book type yet with an underlying menace. For me, this is Russell Crowe's best performance rather than 'Gladiator' balancing hot-headed violence with conscience. Kevin Spacey equals his 'Verbal Klint'performance (Usual Suspects) as the dodgy-but-not-wholly-corrupt cop. I'm not quite sure why Kim Basinger got an Oscar though. Her performance is fine but her actual screen time isnt that much. Like the best thrillers, this film has plenty of twists which keep you guessing till the cracker finale. For me this is the classiest cop film ever in terms of direction, acting, set, wardrobe, the lot. Outstanding!
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