L.A. Confidential Recut
This is the first in my “Quick Fix” series. QuickFixes are simple fanedits of films I enjoy. The primary intention is to trim the movie here and there to improve pacing, tone or characters. These aren’t edits that substantially fix a bad movie. If you don’t like the source movie you won’t care for this fanedit.
- Added FanEdit.org video logo. Added “Recut by Neglify” to the title.
- Trimmed the beginning and ending of Bud going to Lynn’s house for the first time.
- Cut out Bud and Lynn’s first sex scene.
- Trimmed their scene in bed together. Cut out reference to Bisbee, Arizona and cut it before Bud starts talking about the Night Owl case.
- Re-ordered the scene with Exley taking Inez out of the hospital. It used to come before the above scene but now it’s right after.
- Cut out scene of Exley and Lynn at the police station. As well, trimmed two lines of dialogue between Exley and Bud right before this scene.
- Cut the epilogue. The film fades to black on the image of Exley holding up his badge to the police.
- Removed the upbeat music during the end credits and replaced it with Jerry Goldsmith’s main theme. (As well I added an extra music track in the credits.)
- Cut out the “Badge of Honor” bits from the end credits as they didn’t fit with this edit.
This Fanedit Was Nominated for "Best Fanedit By A New Editor" in the 4th Annual Fanedit Awards
What a pleasure L.A. CONFIDENTIAL is. A story of cops burdened by their corruption and their consciences, lots of moral ambiguity, and wonderful characterizations and acting. But while I admire the film, I didn’t quite love it when I last saw it several years ago. I wondered, could Neglify’s edit change my mind?
Let’s begin by accentuating the positive. Technically, the edit works on its own terms. Meaning there are no holes created in story, character, etc., and I didn’t detect a single issue in audio or video editing. If I didn’t know the movie beforehand, I wouldn’t have guessed it was an edit.
Some of the choices really worked for me. The editor cuts the beginning and ending from Bud meeting Lynn – following the rule of “enter late, leave early” – a good way to maintain audience interest. And nothing is really lost. In fact, it’s a gain: budding romance is still suggested, but with more subtlety.
I was also happy to skip Bud and Lynn’s first love scene, which felt like it was included in the original simply to tick the “sex” box for the marketing campaign. We don’t need to peep on the couple’s private time. Besides, we get to be voyeurs again when Ed and Jack watch them through a window later.
Other changes I didn’t enjoy as much. Sure, we don’t need Bud discussing the Nite Owl case with Lynn. But I missed the grace note of her Arizona backstory, which gives the character something of a life outside her relation to the film’s events. I also missed Ed talking to Lynn at the station, which provides a breather between scenes of corpses piling up. Without that scene, things start to feel rushed.
Rushed is how I would describe the ending, as well: a big action sequence, fade out, roll credits. To me, the arrival of a film’s end credits feels like the closing of a book. Here, I wanted to linger on the last page a little longer, i.e. I wanted an extra 5 seconds of black with nothing but Jerry Goldsmith’s music before the end credits rolled.
Lastly, I wonder if the editor considered keeping the final scenes of Ed being questioned and receiving a hero’s medal (of course, Lynn would have to be removed from this). These scenes could add some character interest after all the action while still providing a suitably cynical finish. Or were these scenes considered part of the unnecessary Hollywood happy ending with Bud and Lynn?
I’m not sure I’ve succeeded at accentuating the positive in my review… But to be honest, I find that song pretty annoying. So one more positive point: thank you for removing that song from the end credits.
In summary: I appreciated L.A. CONFIDENTIAL RECUT for its subtler romance and for dropping the sugary ending. But a little too much material was cut and the conclusion felt rushed, so I ended up enjoying the edit about as much as the original. 8.5/10.
Wonderful edit. This takes a really good movie and makes it great in my opinion.
A/V Quality: 8/10 - No complaints at all, good DVD quality
Visual Editing: 10/10 - Great work. No noticeable seams at all when lots of little things are trimmed. Technically top notch.
Audio Editing: 10/10 - Also great work. Nothing noticeable at all other than great music.
Narrative: 10/10 - The pace of this movie at times was the only real complaint I had with the theatrical cut. This expert trimming makes it flow really well from start to finish, in my opinion. The ending is supremely better than the original.
Enjoyment: 10/10 - Total replacement of my theatrical cut. Improvement on an awesome movie. The title in red is kinda odd surrounded by the yellow credits but that's the most minor complaint imaginable. Highly recommended!
Having not seen the original film for 5 or 6 years, it was distant enough in my memory for me not to get nitpicky about exactly what was missing and just enjoy the ride.
This edit is an excellent example of a how a change of emphasis to a good film can yield a fanedit with really interesting results, provided the narrative is treated with utmost respect. And that's what Neglify is done here.
Firstly, I felt that I totally understood Bud and Lynn's relationship - no more footage was needed. And secondly, the story ended in exactly the right place - very powerful. These two changes put the film's focus back more on Ed's story, and to very good effect.
Technically it's great - no seams or bumps that I could see/hear.
Wouldn't mind a nice x264 encode in addition to the DVD9 however. The pic would be a little sharper.
A crackling, tightly paced crime noir tale!
A part of me feels bad for poor Kim, as I enjoy her performance in the original (though definitely not Oscar worthy) but this edit clearly proves this movie works wonderfully with less of her.
I still love the original, but this alternate version moves swiftly and the tension remains taunt throughout. The new ending by Neglify is far more fitting for a noir tale and I applaud his choice.
It should be noted, I watched this one with my bride who is a crime movie addict, and she LOVED this edit, and could not believe anything had been cut out until I popped in the original afterwards for comparison. So fantastic work Neg!
Pretty freaking swell edit.
First of all, I would like to apologize to Neglify, as it has taken me a very long time to finally watch this. Second of all, I would like to thank Neglify for making such a cool edit.
Here, LA Confidential is a non-stop noir thriller. And it's awesome. Why don't they make movies like this anymore? I know the phrase is overused, but I really feel like we're missing out. Anyway, seamless editing here. Really seamless. I knew I was missing stuff from the original, but from where? I didn't know. Really flawless editing. And a lot less Kim Basinger. That's always a plus.
So I guess the question is, did I prefer this version to the original? I think my answer is no. Like I said, here LA Confidential is a non-stop noir thriller. I just feel like the original is all of that and then some. But I really love this edit. Cutting back on Basinger and removing the epilogue really does work very well. I'm glad to have this version of the film as well as the original. Awesome work.