L.A. Confidential script
Synopsis: Three policemen, each with his own motives and obsessions, tackle the corruption surrounding an unsolved murder at a downtown Los Angeles coffee shop in the early 1950s. Detective Lieutenant Exley (Guy Pearce), the son of a murdered detective, is out to avenge his father's killing. The ex-partner of Officer White (Russell Crowe), implicated in a scandal rooted out by Exley, was one of the victims. Sergeant Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) feeds classified information to a tabloid magnate (Danny DeVito).


OVER the opening strains of "I LOVE YOU, CALIFORNIA," a

a mixture of headlines, newsreel footage and

live action. Economy Booming! Postwar Optimism! L.A.:

City of the Future! But most prominent among them:

GANGLAND! Police photographers document crime scenes.

The meat wagon hauls ex-button men to the morgue. Where

will it end?


Palm trees in silhouette against a cherry sky. City

lights twinkle. Los Angeles. A place where anything is

possible. A place where dreams come true. As the sky

darkens, triple-kleig lights begin to sweep back and



The KLEIG LIGHTS are out front. Valets hurry to park a

line of elegant cars.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

the future of Los Angeles!


The MAYOR yanks a cloth to reveal a MODEL of L.A. criss-

crossed by an elaborate FREEWAY SYSTEM. The CROWD oohs.

A COUNCILMAN claps. A SOCIETY MATRON nods her approval.

PIERCE PATCHETT, 50, tuxedoed, watches off to one side.

A behind-the-scenes power broker, Patchett exudes

authority much more so than the Mayor does.


The Arroyo Seco freeway is just

the beginning. We're planning

freeways from Downtown to Santa

Monica, from the South Bay to the

San Fernando Valley. Twenty

minutes to work or play is the

longest you'll have to travel.

More applause. One REPORTER asks a little too loudly...


How many bodies you think Mickey

Cohen'll be able to hide in all

that cement?

The Mayor wears a plastic smile, ignores it.


A CLUB PHOTOGRAPHER pops snapshots, but the real action

is on the floor where MICKEY COHEN does a wicked "Lindy

Hop" with THREE different GIRLS at once. A fireplug of a

man, he hardly seems a public menace. Nearby is his

bodyguard JOHNNY STOMPANATO. Over it all:


Meyer Harris Cohen, Mickey C to

his fans. He's the big moocher,

local L.A. color to the nth

degree. You know Mickey. He runs

dope, rackets and prostitution.

He kills a dozen people a year.

But who you may not know is

bodyguard Johnny Stompanato.

His hair in a slick pompadour, Stompanato keeps an eye on

Cohen and comes onto a CIGARETTE GIRL at the same time.


Johnny's handsome, ladies, but the

real attraction is below the belt.

Second only to Steve Cochran, he's

sometimes known as 'Oscar' because

of his Academy Award-size


Mickey works a sweat on the dance floor. A bottle of

champagne pops; Stompanato reacts, nearly draws a pistol

from his shoulder holster. As he laughs at himself...

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Brian Helgeland

Brian Thomas Helgeland (born January 17, 1961) is an American screenwriter, film producer and director. He is most known for writing the screenplays for L.A. Confidential (for which he received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Mystic River, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Helgeland also wrote and directed 42 (2013), a biopic of Jackie Robinson, and Legend (2015), about the rise and fall of the Kray twins. more…

All Brian Helgeland scripts | Brian Helgeland Books

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"L.A. Confidential" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Feb. 2018. <http://www.scripts.com/script/l.a._confidential_486>.

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