Based on the best-selling novel by James Ellroy, this award-winning crime drama explores corruption of the 1950’s Los Angeles police force and the sleazy world of organized crime. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD, Bud White (Russell Crowe) is an aggressive, cynical detective. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a detective who plays it strictly by-the-book and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a flashy “Hollywood” detective who receives kickbacks from Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito), publisher of a scandal magazine in exchange for information on celebrities. During a multiple murder investigation, they find themselves caught up in politcal corruption, violence and betrayal. Kim Basinger’s performance earned her an academy award for Best Supporting Actress. Curtis Hanson cast Russell Crowe after seeing his performance in Romper Stomper. Studio execs were adamantly against the idea of casting two non-Americans (Crowe and Pearce) in an American period piece – both Pearce and Crowe are Australian.