People often complain about opening credits, and for good reason. Too long, too boring, too uninspired. But because film-related jobs are run by different unions (putting a movie together really is a contractual nightmare), opening credits are required, unless every person who would be represented in the opening credits agrees to not include them. My point is, if you have to include opening credits, what better way to do it than this? The opening 3 minutes of L.A. Confidential are as informative as they are entertaining. The entire plot(s) of the movie is packed in here. And Danny DeVito’s narration never ceases to amuse.
The way Bud White (Russell Crowe) opens his car door so quickly, before he’s even looking outside. Dude mad.
The back-and-forth exchange of morality between Ed and his captain, Dudley (James Cromwell). It succinctly encapsulates who both men are.
The barkeep’s response to being ripped off by Bud and the LAPD: “If I ever get held up, you guys better be here.”
Bud’s partner, Dick (Graham Beckel), laughing after he tells Bud that Buzz (Darrell Sandeen) used to be a cop. Man plays a convincing drunk.
Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) running out of the bushes. Is there ever a bad time to watch Danny DeVito running out of bushes?
Everything about this: Sinatra playing in the background, the sound design of the glass breaking, Kevin Spacey’s cool entrance. The man is a movie star, and this movie is a masterpiece.
One of the best parts about this movie is its ability to plant subtle seeds throughout. It’s one of those films that really benefits from multiple viewings.
Music. Music can be everything. As soon as Dick hear’s that “the Mexicans” who assaulted to cops are downstairs, the music becomes foreboding for the first time.
A lot here to love. One, it says a lot about Bud that he doesn’t give a shit about the party. He’d much rather clock in work and (presumably) write the report on the wife beater. Two, it’s nice that Jack (Spacey) knows Bud well enough to warn him what Dick is about to do. Also worth mentioning that this is the only scene (however brief) that Spacey and Crowe directly share together in the film.
Love how the respective things that set Bud and Jack off during the fight are the mention of Bud’s mother, and the tainting of Jack’s clothing. Priorities.
I love this. Bud’s simple reply of “…Councilman,” let’s us know that Bud knows who this shitbird is. He’s got more sway than he thinks, that Bud White.
Bud breaking the top off the fucking chair. I know people talk about this a lot, but damn, what emotional and physical command Crowe had over this character.
I’ve always wondered if Bud actually had a round in his gun, or if he was bluffing. Dude pulls the trigger three times. That’s some bold shit.
The cops running into the house after they hear Bud’s shots. I love that we never leave the house; it’s all from Bud’s POV.
Everything about this sequence is masterful. The small detail of Ed in pain over blood getting in his eyes (it hurts more than you’d think), the framing of that second shot, Ed running down the hallway, barely making it, the gun going off, Ed’s face after... just great.
All it took for “Shotgun” Ed to be accepted was to kill a few guys society didn’t give a shit about.
How the color palette reflects the coldness of the majority of Lynn’s house, against the warmth of her personal room. That’s expert cinematography.
Jack getting embarrassed that Sid (Danny DeVito) invites Matt (Simon Baker) over. (And the way Matt doesn’t remember Jack).
I love moments like this in movies. Why does Jack decide to grow a conscience right now? Who knows. He just does. There’s no monologue explaining it, only a quick glance at himself in the mirror. He just does, and that’s life.
I love how quickly Bud offers up insight of his troubled past to Lynn. He’s really going all in with her, and she him.
This is my favorite scene in the film. It’s Jack and Ed as we’ve never seen them. Jack is pissed off about Matt’s murder, and Ed is genuinely vulnerable. The two meet in the middle of their differences and find common ground. The way Jack gets emotional over Ed’s story about his father’s murder is so moving. (Read more of my thoughts on this scene here.)
The way the sound design turns ominous when the film’s real villain is revealed. And whatta creepy line.
The way Lynn gently holds her face after Bud smacks her. So often in movies we see characters take punches like they’re no big deal. But getting rocked in the face hurts.
Bud realizing Ed is right about the conspiracy, so instead of continuing to beat Ed, he tosses a chair through the window in frustration.
More No One Talks About Posts