Purchase History: 1997 from the very first group of VHS tapes I ever got from Columbia House.
L.A. Confidential has been sitting in my VHS collection for the longest time, just collecting dust. I had forgotten about it. But for some reason I was compelled to see it because it was one of the few VHS tapes I had never seen. Also, I have a goal to watch movies from the IMDb Top 250. So I was killing two birds with one stone. The movie stars with Guy Pearce as Ed Exley, a cop who witnesses a beating between a few officers and some Mexican citizens one night. He decides to reveal what he knows about that night in exchange of getting promoted as a detective. Kevin Spacey plays Jack Vincennes, a police officer who is also working as a consultant on a TV show about law enforcement. Russell Crowe, who in my eyes, is the best actor in this movie, as Bud White, another fellow cop who falls in love with a prostitute named Lynn (Kim Basinger in her Academy Award winning role). This movie has a lot going on under the surface. It shows that L.A. in the 1940‘s wasn’t perfect. In fact, it was a crime-ridden area filled with corruption and a poorly recieved police department. This movie has probably one of the best death scenes I’ve seen on film. All I’ll say is that it involves James Cromwell and Kevin Spacey in a kitchen. You’re going to have to see the movie to figure out what I’m talking about. If you haven’t see this yet, don’t be like me and wait 15 years to see it. This is an excellent movie that has to be seen.
Trivia: Simon Baker’s big screen debut. He plays an actor on the show that Kevin Spacey’s working on.
How does this hold up? All the actors, including Danny DeVito and David Strathairn, are great. That said, Russell Crowe steals this movie. He should've gotten the Oscar or a nomination, at least. The Oscar winning script by Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson is excellent as is the direction by Hanson. I’m surprised I didn’t see it earlier. It’s a must-see for sure.
Is it worth double dipping on DVD? See above.
Would I recommend it? Yes. It's the perfect example for what Hollywood movies should be.