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L. A. Confidential Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

L. A. Confidential

Rated R for violence and language.

R In Theaters 09/19/1997 , 136min.
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Plot & Details

Based on the best-selling novel by James Ellroy and directed by Curtis Hanson, this award-winning crime drama explores both the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early '50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of sophistication, glitter, and glamour. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD and is loyal to his officers and eager to turn a blind eye to violence or corruption within his department, as long as it's the "bad guys" who are getting hurt. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a police detective whose violent and cynical nature is often at war with his basic sense of decency and justice. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a beat cop-turned-detective whose strict by-the-book philosophy and willingness to blow the whistle on other officers is balanced by a shrewd and opportunistic understanding of the internal politics of the department. And Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a flashy "Hollywood" detective who serves as technical advisor for the TV series Badge of Honor. He is also in cahoots with Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito), publisher of the scandal sheet Hush Hush, who throws kickbacks to Vincennes in exchange for being brought along when showbiz figures get busted. White, Exley, and Vincennes find themselves drawn into a tangled and sticky web of violence and betrayal following a multiple murder at a coffee shop that is believed to be part of an effort by Mickey Cohen (Paul Guilfoyle) to consolidate his hold on organized crime in L.A. This lead appears to be connected to the discovery of a bizarre pornography and call-girl ring operated by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn), whose women are given plastic surgery so that they more closely resemble well-known movie stars. White's role in the investigation is complicated when he falls for Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), one of Patchett's prostitutes, who is the spitting image of Veronica Lake. L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine Academy Awards and netted two, with Brian Helgeland honored for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Kim Basinger taking home a statuette as Best Supporting Actress.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Kirk A. Francis Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Jeannine Oppewall Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Curtis Hanson Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Curtis Hanson Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Kim Basinger Won
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Michael Nathanson Won
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Editing Peter Honess Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Cinematography Dante Spinotti Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Dramatic Score Jerry Goldsmith Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Brian Helgeland Won
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Curtis Hanson Won
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Jay R. Hart Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Anna Behlmer Nominated
1997 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Andy Nelson Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Drama Nominated
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Curtis Hanson Nominated
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Brian Helgeland Nominated
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Kim Basinger Won
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Curtis Hanson Nominated
1997 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Original Score Jerry Goldsmith Nominated

American Society of Cinematographers

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 American Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography Dante Spinotti Nominated

Broadcast Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Adapted Screenplay Brian Helgeland Won
1997 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Picture Won
1997 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Adapted Screenplay Curtis Hanson Won

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Curtis Hanson Won
1997 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Brian Helgeland Won
1997 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Director Curtis Hanson Won
1997 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Picture Won

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Directors Guild of America Best Director Curtis Hanson Nominated

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Picture Won
1997 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Cinematography Dante Spinotti Won
1997 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Director Curtis Hanson Won
1997 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Curtis Hanson Won
1997 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Brian Helgeland Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1997 National Board of Review Best Picture Won
1997 National Board of Review Best Director Curtis Hanson Won

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