Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood. One of the best (and longest) crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy's four-novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful.
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Release dates: September 19, 1997
Running time: 138 minutes
Kevin Spacey as Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe as Officer Wendell "Bud" White
Guy Pearce as Det. Lt. Edmund "Ed" Exley
James Cromwell as Capt. Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito as Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn as Pierce Morehouse Patchett
Ron Rifkin as District Attorney Ellis Loew
Graham Beckel as Det. Richard "Dick" Stensland
Amber Smith as Susan Lefferts
John Mahon as Police Chief Worton
Paul Guilfoyle as Meyer "Mickey" Cohen
Matt McCoy as Brett Chase
Paolo Seganti as Johnny Stompanato
Simon Baker-Denny as Matt Reynolds
Shawnee Free Jones as Tammy Jordan
Darrell Sandeen as Leland "Buzz" Meeks
Marisol Padilla Sánchez as Inez Soto
Gwenda Deacon as Mrs. Lefferts
I haven't read the original book but the movie is amazing. The acting, the writing, the settings are all perfect for a film noir movie. Film noir is a genre you just don't see today, or at least not that you see done correctly. This is definitely a true nod to the noir of the 40s.
James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international best sellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2001. Ellroy lives in Los Angeles.
Ellroy is known for a "telegraphic" writing style, which omits words other writers would consider necessary, and often features sentence fragments. His books are noted for their dark humor and depiction of American authoritarianism. Other hallmarks of his work include dense plotting and a relentlessly pessimistic worldview. Ellroy has been called the "Demon Dog of American crime fiction."