ACF Critic Series #36: LA Confidential


Terry Teachout and I discussed L.A. Confidential, the last famous neo-noir, and yet another story about the origins of Los Angeles and the modern America defined by glamour. We have a reversal of the noir here–the femme fatale helps redeem rather than damn protagonists who were corrupt before they came to make a serious moral decision. Curtis Hanson’s movie makes for a revision of heroism away from noir’s tragic destiny toward American drama, where happy ends are possible, in limited ways, for some of the people who deserve them. It’s in that sense even better than the rather gloomier James Ellroy novel it’s based on!

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  1. RufusRJones Member

    I love this movie. 

    • #1
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Coolidge
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…

    One of my favorite movies.  Will listen to podcast soon. 

    • #2
  3. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I love this movie.


    • #3
  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    This was a popular one–no surprises there, the movie’s on its way to classic status & Terry’s a charmer!

    So LA Confidential was made into a pilot for a cop show twice–in 2003, starring Kiefer Sutherland (strangely enough, he was already seasons into 24), & again in 2018, with Walton Goggins (did well on Justified). These things didn’t sell for whatever reason, so there’s never going to be an Ellroy series…

    It’s remarkable how rarely Ellroy’s been adapted & with how little success…

    • #4
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