LA Confidential

LA Finest
Los Angeles Finest

A couple of Saturdays ago, I returning home from a very pleasant family gathering at my youngest son’s home, I switched the television on more out of habit than anything else and there before my eyes was Detective Sergeant Jack Vincennes of the Los Angeles Police Department. Vincennes had just stepped out his car, a beautiful two-tone 1953 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe, in a vain attempt to save the life of struggling actor Matt Reynolds, unfortunately he is too late, Vincennes finds Reynolds dead, lying on the floor with his throat slashed. This is a scene from, if you haven’t already guessed it, the 1997 film L A Confidential, which is in my eyes is probably the best ever movie about police corruption although, it has to be said Sidney Lumet’s splendid Q&A is not far behind it. Curtis Hanson’s classic film is based on the James Ellroy bestseller and is set in the 1950,s in the burgeoning city that Los Angeles was becoming at that time. Featuring a stellar cast which including Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Danny De Vito, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, David Strathairn and a highly seductive Kim Basinger, the picture brilliantly uncovers the darker side of life on the west coast as opposed to the glitz and glamour that was Hollywood in 1950’s. Set to a superb musical score by Jerry Goldsmith, the film revolves around LAPD Police officers Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce) Bud White ( Russell Crowe) and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) whose lives become intertwined when trying to solve various murder cases, that involve a high class prostitution ring and drug distribution. Cooler than a popsicle, L A Confidential has everything, great 50’s L A locations, bars such as the Bob’s Frolic Room and the Formosa Cafe, or great buildings like the Hollywood Center Motel on Sunset Boulevard and Richard Neutra’s 1929 Lovell House. The clothes capture the time and period effortlessly, especially if you’re the hip Jack Vincennes the most stylish cop on the force, checkout Hollywood Jack’s wardrobe at acting wise Pearce and Crowe do a good job against Spacey but when it comes down to their attire Spacey blows the pair off the screen with his suave style. If this is not enough to entice you to watch it, or in my case watch it again, then allow high class prostitute, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger) to lure you into her boudoir, because once you are in never coming out. I don’t want to spoil the film for if you not seen all I will say is that once it starts don’t take your eyes off the screen because you will miss something in this very clever and intricate plot and this is not mistake that you can afford to make. L A Confidential was overlooked and did not win the Oscar for best picture in 1997 which is fairly unbelievable considering it went to Titanic, but don’t let this put you off, because if you are like me this is a movie that you will never tire of because it is a true classic. Just the facts Jack, just the facts.

Hollywood Jack
Hollywood Jack (Slick, slick, slick)