L.A. Confidential is a 1997 American neo-noir crime film directed, produced, and co-written by Curtis Hanson. The screenplay by Hanson and Brian Helgeland is based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same name, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. The film tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in 1953, and the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. The title refers to the 1950s scandal magazine Confidential, portrayed in the film as Hush-Hush.
At the time, Australian actors Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe were relatively unknown in North America. One of the film's backers, Peter Dennett, was worried about the lack of established stars in the lead roles, but supported Hanson's casting decisions, and the director had the confidence also to recruit Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito.
L.A. Confidential was a critical and commercial success. It grossed $126 million against a $35 million budget and received acclaim from critics, with praise for the acting, writing, directing, editing, and Jerry Goldsmith's musical score. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning two: Best Supporting Actress (Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay; Titanic won in every other category L.A. Confidential was nominated for. In 2015, the Library of Congress selected L.A. Confidential for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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