Maximum Russell Crowe


"It's maybe the first real adult film I've made. Man -- this was definitely a journey to go on."Movieline Sept. 1997

The kiss

bud white

Also starring: Kevin Spacey (Jack Vincennes), Guy Pearce (Ed Exley), Kim Basinger (Lynn Bracken), Danny DeVito (Sid Hudgens) James Cromwell (Capt. Dudley Smith), David Strathairn (Pierce Patchett)

Directed by Curtis Hanson

Based on the book "L.A. Confidential" by James Ellroy

Sreenplay: Warner Books

Available on Video, Laser and DVD

Soundtrack: Restless Brand/Regency Entertainment

Original Motion Picture Score: Varese Sarabande/Monarchy Enterprises

Audio Book: Random House (read by David Strathairn)

Bud confronts Patchett

What it's about: In 1950s Los Angeles, a team of three very different cops stumble upon police corruption, a drug war and a prostitution ring while investigating the mass slayings at an all-night diner. Based on the book by James Ellroy.


Some of the DVD extras include a 19-minute documentary with behind-the-scenes footage, including snippets from Russell's and Guy Pearce's screen tests (also on the laser disc); a map of landmarks seen in the film; and an alternative music-only track of Jerry Goldsmith's oscar-nominated score. Available at here.

Though they only had a few scenes together, Russell and Danny became good friends after meeting on the set of L.A. Confidential. Danny has even sat in on rehearsals by Russell's band during a trip to Australia a few years back.

Co-writer/co-producer Brian Helgeland also wrote 1997's Conspiracy Theory, which starred that other famous actor from Down Under, something Gibson (Mel, we believe).

Stay for the end! At the end of all the credits, there is a brief scene from Badge of Honor (the Dragnet-type show depicted in the film) featuring a dedication.

In preparation, director Curtis Hanson showed his cast and crew an array of 1950s movies, all but one a noir, to get them in the mood. The films were: Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955), Bad Influence (Curtis Hanson, 1990), The Killing (Stanley Kubrick, 1956), The Bad and the Beautiful (Vincente Minnelli, 1952), In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950), Private Hell 36 (Don Siegel, 1954) and The Lineup (Don Siegel, 1958).

Bud at window


Bud and Lynn are seen watching Roman Holiday in early 1953, but the movie didn't premiere until late summer.

Mrs. Lefferts' glasses move from being under her kerchief to on top of it (without her taking the glasses off) when Bud interviews her at home.

Bud's car leaves dust clouds when he leaves Lynn's house during a rain storm.

Susan Lefferts is supposedly dead, yet her body has goosebumps.

During the "movie premiere pot bust," the opening of When Worlds Collide (1951) is depicted as occurring in December 1952.

At least one car has a seven-digit license plate, which weren't introduced in California until the 1970s.

In the street scene after the kidnapped woman is rescued, a blue U.S. Postal Service box is visible. In the 1950s, all of the boxes were olive-colored.

In the final scene, Ed and Lynn are facing each other yet the sun is behind both of them.

Johnny Stompanato was the real-life gangster boyfriend of Lana Turner. (Her daughter eventually killed him.) But the time period is wrong. The film is set in the early 1950s, but they didn't actually meet until 1957.

There really was a "Bloody Christmas" when L.A. cops beat up prisoners, causing a scandal. But it actually took place over 24 hours; it wasn't just a brief incident as depicted in the film.

Bud and Ed find Patchett

Russell on playing Bud White:

He enjoyed playing the character of Bud, but "at first I didn't like him at all."

"[Ellroy] told me, 'In my world of tarnished people, Bud's the only one I consider a hero.' I said, 'Wait a minute -- he's got to assassinate people and he's a hero?' I had to find the ways in which you might like Bud -- because you have to."Movieline Sept. 1997

"He's a racist. He's self-righteous. He's foul-mouthed. He's a son of a bitch. However, in the course of the movie, you get an indication as to why he's taken this attitude toward life. He doesnt realize just how much he's looking for love and affection and confirmation of his good points, buried as they may be. ... I think he is a good man -- but he's very much a product of his environment and his job.Detour magazine, Oct. 1997

On co-star Kevin Spacey:

"Oh Kevin's a gem ... He's very definitely one of a kind. He has this innate understanding of comedy and as a man he's a very deep thinker, and I think that's reflected in the character."Empire magazine, Dec. 1997

On working with Guy Pearce:

"One of the best things about doing this movie was working with him. It was so great to have someone like him there to help me through. I mean, when the days were long and the thing feels like a real job, hard work, it was terrific to have someone there who was both a great actor and a great guy." Celluloid 1997

"One of the things that we discussed when we first talked, when we knew we were going to do the job was when we did actually come together as a team, it should be like two halves of a whole. These two guys should actually make up one decent cop."LAC news conference, Toronto 1997

On Kim Basinger:

"Kim - now there's someone who really fits in with the tone of L.A. Confidential - her image is so against what she's really like, just like her character. All that stuff the media say about her, and then she shows up, so unaffected, in jeans and a t-shirt, and gives off this tremendous energy in her acting. She's going to go on to even greater things." Celluloid 1997

On the toughest part of filming:

"I disagreed with him, but James Ellroy told me my character doesn't drink beer," says Crowe, who had to drink scotch instead. "So I didn't drink a beer for five months, and as an Australian, that's a helluva damn hard thing to do. I kept saying, 'You're killing me, Ellroy, I've been on this set for 10 hours!' "

Did he like scotch?

"I had to bloody learn, didn't I? Now I can tell what's blended and what's single malt. But I haven't actually had any since the moment we finished shooting this movie, because it's disgusting." (USA Today 1997)


The Official Page

View the trailer .(Also includes photos)

View the Austrailan trailer

Buy the screenplay here

(by Mark Ramsey)

Buy this film HERE!

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