La Confidential

Question: Why did Exley appear so traumatised after killing the man in the elevator? He is, after all, a police officer in homicide, and he killed people before that. Also, did he kill him intentionally?

MikeH
3

Chosen answer: A 12g shotgun blast at that range would cause an incredibly bloody death, especially as there is a good chance it hit the man in the face. Exley has killed a person in the line of duty before this, but not in such a spectacular way. And while he may not have meant to kill him he chose to shoot over letting the man escape.

Grumpy Scot
1

Question: Ed Exley recommends that the LAPD shift the blame for Bloody Christmas to men whose pensions are secured, and he names Bud White and Richard Stensland as two such men. But when Dudley Smith later tells Bud White that Stensland has been forced to retire, White says "A year from his pension!" So was Stensland entitled to a pension or not?

3

Answer: Exley is suggesting two things: to shift some blame to three officers with secured pensions and forcing them to retire; when he refers to White and Stensland though, he is saying "someone has to swing" and that they should be charged, tried and imprisoned - so Stensland is not entitled to a pension.

Sierra1 Premium member
1

Question: How did the corpse Bud finds wind up in the woman's basement, and whose body was that?

2

Answer: The corpse under the house is the ex-cop named Meeks. He was working with Dick Stensland to deal drugs - things turned sour and Stensland killed him, hiding the body under the house belonging to his girlfriend's mother.

Tailkinker Premium member
1

Question: What is Lynn's connection to the Nite Owl killings?

2

Answer: She doesn't really have one - not directly, anyway. The only link is that Susan Lefferts died at the Night Owl, and Bud saw Lynn with Lefferts when he was buying the alcohol for the party. Lefferts had the bandage on her nose at the time, which sparked Bud's curiosity and prompted him to seek out Lynn after Lefferts was murdered.

Tailkinker Premium member
1

Question: Why did Dudley order the killings at the Nite Owl in the first place?

1

Answer: To get rid of Stensland and take over the drug racket. Dudley knew if he killed Stensland seperately the police would start looking into why they would want to kill a cop. Killing him and everyone at the Nite Owl then making it look like a robbery would just make it look like Stensland was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but as we find out later it was set up to look like that and also could easily be placed on the black criminals.

Lummie Premium member
2

Question: Sid Hudgens uses the phrase "Off the record, on the q.t., and very hush-hush." What does "q.t." stand for?

Cubs Fan
1

Chosen answer: "QT" is slang which literally means "quiet" and it is also used as a police radio term which means "secrecy required regarding location."

Super Grover Premium member
2

Question: What is up with the corpse in the woman's basement, and how did it get there?

1

Answer: The corpse under the house is the ex-cop named Meeks. He was working with Dick Stensland to deal drugs - things turned sour and Stensland killed him, hiding the body under the house belonging to his girlfriend's mother.

Tailkinker Premium member
1

Question: Was Dudley Smith written as an Irishman, or was the accent something James Cromwell just did for kicks?

Cubs Fan
1

Chosen answer: Yes, Dudley Smith was Irish.

Mark English
1

Question: About 3/4 of the way through the film, Vincennes finds the body of the actor he arrested early in the movie, with his throat slit. Who killed him and why?

1

Answer: Reynolds has been sent by Sid Hudgens to sleep with Loew, the District Attorney. Dudley Smith and Pearce Patchett, who are trying to take over everything, have been threatening Loew, who initially refused to play along. They set Loew up, probably in much the same way that Hudgens tried to, with the intention of blackmailing him with photos so that he couldn't prosecute them. According to Loew, who spills the details while Bud's dangling him out of the window, Reynolds overheard all this - presumably Smith and/or Patchett followed Loew to the motel room to do the blackmailing - so they killed him.

Tailkinker Premium member
1

Question: Was the police force in the 50s really that corrupt and brutal?

MikeH

Chosen answer: Yes.

1

Question: Why wasn't Bud, the police detective who was shot but not killed, treated as a hero but instead is shown leaving town with the Veronica Lake look-alike played by Kim Bassinger? It doesn't make and sense.

Answer: To cover up the corruption and protect the department's image, the LAPD hid Smith's crimes by claiming that he died as a hero in the shootout. Exley also bargained to be hailed a hero and received a medal for bravery.

raywest Premium member

Question: When Smith kills Jack he says, "Have you got a validation, boy-o?", to which of course, Jack says, "Rollo Tomasi." But why would Smith think Jack would expose his source, especially if he is about to die?

Answer: Smith actually says, "Have you a valediction," i.e., any last words. He's not asking Jack to name his source, he's just asking, in a slightly mocking way, if Jack wants to say anything else before he dies.

4

Question: What made Vincennes and Exley think Smith was Rollo Tomasi? Surely it wasn't just because he was a criminal.

MikeH

Chosen answer: As he died, Vincennes mentioned the name "Rollo Tomasi" to Smith because he knew he would follow it up, which would reveal to Exley that he was with with Vincennes when he was killed. Exley did not really think Smith was Tomasi (the purse snatcher who shot his father), but when Smith asked him about the name, he knew he had killed Vincennes. The nickname also fit because Smith had been getting away with his crimes, as "Tomasi" had.

Sierra1 Premium member
2

Question: How was the Mexican girl connected to the story? The three Night Owl suspects abused her and then burned their blood-stained clothes. She is found tied up at a house (why?), and later she says "Would anyone care that they raped a Mexican girl if they hadn't killed those white people at the Night Owl? I did what I had to do for justice." What does she mean?

Neulwen

Chosen answer: Inez's statement that they left her at midnight meant the suspects had time to commit the Nite Owl massacre at 1am. However when Exley questions her about the time, she implies that she only said that so they would be in the frame for the Nite Owl and would be arrested (and likely killed) by the police. No one would care about her rape, so she indirectly accused them of the killings "for justice".

Sierra1 Premium member
2

Question: Did Smith really kill Exley's father?

MikeH

Chosen answer: Possibly. Smith mentions that Exley's father was a straight cop, much to Exley's wish. Smith, being as corrupt as he is, may have killed Exley's father.

2

Answer: No he did not. Rollo Tomasi was a term only Vincennes knew, so that would lead Exley to conclude that Smith was with Vincennes when he was killed. Rollo Tomasi was also an idea, someone who got away with crime, and that was what Smith was.

1

Question: How did Exley know about Leow and Reynolds when speaking to Leow?

Answer: Vincennes, most likely. The condition under which Jack gives his help to Exley in solving the Nite Owl case is Exley's help in solving Reynolds' murder, so Jack must have filled him in on the case details.

Cubs Fan
1

Question: Smith asks Exley if he'd be wiling to shoot a criminal in the back to prevent a lawyer getting him off. Were the police really allowed to play judge, jury and executioner in the 50s?

MikeH

Chosen answer: No they were not legally allowed to, but corrupt, rogue cops who brandished their own form of justice would do that type of thing.

raywest Premium member
1

Question: There may not be an explanation to this, but did Exley know what the DA and Chief were talking about in the end when he is being interrogated and they ask him why he is smiling. When he answers and says "A Hero?", I presumed he was simply thinking like they did and that when those that were interrogating left the room, he overheard a bit of their conversation and just put two and two together. The reason I ask, was there any evidence he was able to hear them (like the door was slightly open or somehow he knew how to hear them even in the interrogation room).

Lummie Premium member

Answer: He was always thinking ahead, after the shootout, he predicated what the fallout would be and how to cover it up. Saying, "A Hero" was his way of answering the question of what knew what they needed to do it.

Continuity mistake: Bud and Exley are sitting in their car talking - Exley looks OK. His lip and eye are almost healed and there's only a little black and blue on the upper part of his left cheek. Than in the next scene with Lyn he looks like he's been beat up again worse than before. (01:56:10 - 01:56:40)

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More mistakes in La Confidential

Bud White: Merry Christmas.
Lynn Bracken: Merry Christmas to you, officer.
Bud White: That obvious, huh?
Lynn Bracken: It's practically stamped on your forehead.

More quotes from La Confidential

Trivia: The film has eighty speaking parts.

More trivia for La Confidential

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