L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

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L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:10 am

Identify the genre(s) [if applicable], the main plot points and the clichés [if any].

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Re: L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

Post by AshleighJackson95 on Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:57 pm

Genre
L.A. Confidential is a modern crime/noir film, which is shown through its use of genre codes and conventions such as suited detectives and a focus on white-collar crime involving drugs, prostitution and corruption. It does fall into a cliché of modern noir or neo-noir films of being set in L.A. such as others like Chinatown, Drive and Blade Runner. This is because Noir films in the golden age of Hollywood film noir was popular and cheap to produce and was generally shot on location in Los Angeles and Hollywood to keep production costs down.
 
Plot
The plot of L.A. Confidential seems very complex to start with as we are introduced in the opening to the arrest of Mickey Cohen, a real life mob boss who was in charge of the Jewish Mafia, for tax evasion. This point seems to have little bearing on the film although in actuality is the initiating event, which kicks the plot into motion. We are then introduced to three detectives of varying temperaments Bud (hard but fair), Jack (corrupt and in it for the fame) and Ed (the boy scout) from this we know that we have 3 central characters that we anticipate to be our protagonists.
 
Ed convinces internal affairs to try and indict Bud and his partner with the help of Jack for police brutality after they beat up some prisoners for no real reason but Duncan (the police captain) has the charges on Bud dropped, although he must do off the books work for him, but his partner is still removed from the police force. Ed is promoted to Lieutenant and Jack is demoted from narcotics to vice.
 
Members of Mickey Cohen’s mafia have begun to get assassinated and nobody knows who is carrying it out whether it’s internal or a rival family. Ed arrives at a murder scene with multiple victims including the Bud’s former partner. The only leads they have are that they are looking for a brown Coupe and shotguns that are suspected to belong to a gang of black men who were seen firing shotguns in the park. Jack and Ed arrest the men after stopping other officers from gunning them down and Bud gets a confession about a rape victim through force who he rescues and murders her captor and frames it so it looks like self defence. The gang escapes and Ed much to his disgust kills them and earns a medal of valour.
 
Jack finds out about a high-class prostitution ring and the person who told him is dead which peaks his suspicion and Ed thinks that the gang were not responsible for the murders as he originally thought and they decide to investigate each others cases in order to avoid suspicion. Ed is honey trapped by the prostitute that Bud has been in a relationship with and has incriminating photos taken of this in secret.
 
Jack goes to Duncan’s house to ask about an old case that has been brought up in his mind after he finds the corpse of an aging detective who was thought to be massively corrupt under the house of a dead prostitute. Duncan kills Jack but before he dies says the words Rollo Tomassi. The next day during briefing Ed is asked if he knows Rollo Tomassi, this is something that Ed made up and told Jack in a private conversation, so Ed knows that Captain Duncan is the killer. Bud has just found out about Ed sleeping with his girlfriend this was set up so by Duncan to try and get Bud to kill Ed. Bud predictably goes to fight Ed but mid-fight Ed explains to him that Duncan killed Jack and was responsible for the previous murders, they then decide to team up to take him down. They interrogate the DA who knows about Duncan’s crimes but has been blackmailed to keep silent and he tells them that Duncan has started up his own crime family to try and take over Mickey Cohen’s business and that he is responsible for the assassinations. This leads to a climactic gunfight between Bud, Ed and Duncan’s gang in which Ed kills Duncan.
 
   
This incident is covered up by the police force as Duncan dies a hero, Ed gets a second medal of valour and Bud gets the girl. Tying the story in a nice neat bow.

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Re: L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

Post by Admin on Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:52 pm

Generally well written and structured. Some punctuation issues, but these do not affect the meaning, mostly the pace. Put titles in italics.

I would have liked to see more on the film in relation to the genre and the plot points, which is something you did at the start, instead of doing a plot summary later on. However, you are all doing it. I wanted to see what you could identify as "crisis", or "turning point", "resolution", etc. It is obviously there, as you have discussed  the plot, but I wanted all of you to point at scenes and say "this is the turning point", for example.

You have not discussed whether some of the stereotypes / genre conventions in the film were clichés, for example. What about the blonde femme fatale? The corrupt cop? Would you say they are clichés here (unnecessary to the plot in this manner) or just genre conventions? Do they serve a purpose or are they there "just because a film noir has them"?

Good effort and work, though

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Re: L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

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