Review Detail

9.3 18 10
FanFix June 20, 2012 2223
(Updated: August 26, 2017)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
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.
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