L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy, book review, movie review, film review, entertainment

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"L.A. Confidential"

"L.A.Confidential", is overworking the superlative adjectives from the critics; dazzling, riveting, brilliant, seamy, steamy, stylish, elegant, erotic, blazing thriller, totally corrupt and believe me it is worthy of all of them and than some. Curtis Hanson has directed flawlessly an ensemble cast of actors to die for, especially those men from down-under. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and James Cromwell, beautifully complimented by their American counterparts, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger.

There has not been a movie like this since the sensational "Chinatown", the Mickey Cohen era of the fifties had ended and the corruption in the police force still exists. From the top ranks to the average man in blue, if there is such a thing as average. James Cromwell, is as villainous as they come, as Capt. Dudley Smith, reeking absolute poison. Yes he is the same charmer farmer from last year's "Babe", he only proves that he has the right beat for playing such diverse roles. Russell Crowe, last seen in the Australian flick, "Romper Stomper" sneaks up on you with his off-manner performance. It is Guy Pearce that really steals the picture with his star is born look and his desire to be a good cop even if he has to be bad at it. Would you believe he was the young drag queen in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert." Kevin Spacey as the third corrupt man in blue comprises the trio with brio. Danny DeVito as the editor of his Hush Hush magazine, is really a set-up artist that deals in all kinds of kinky blackmail, some that includes call-girls that a plastic surgeon turns into movie stars look-alikes, Kim Basinger as Veronica Lake. She delivers a performance that comes right off the screen of the Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake in "This Gun For Hire", movie.

Curtis Hanson selected a group of real artists to create this particular era. Dante Spinotti, photography is aided by the Jerry Goldsmith score, costumes by Ruth Myers and the overall production by Jeannine Oppewall. Of course the fact that the five hundred page novel by James Ellroy, has been brilliantly translated into a screenplay is the sheer genius of Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson. If you miss this, it is your loss.

L.A. Confidential
Warner Bros.
Produced by: Arnon Milchan, Curtis Hanson, Michael Nathanson
With: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell
L.A. Confidential
Novel by James Ellroy
Warner Books

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Original Date Monday 22 September 1997
Updated Tuesday, 23 September, 1997