Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Entertainment Discussion Forums > Film Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 23-03-2004, 16:19   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
LA Confidential: Book vs. Film (spoilers for both)

Over my holiday I read LA Confidential, mainly because the extras on the DVD mentioned how the book was much more densely plotted, and yet the film had been impressive in boiling it down.

I picked up the 'Dudley Smith Trio' single volume, which comprises 'The Big Nowhere', 'LA Confidential' and 'White Jazz'; it was only while reading LA Confidential that I discovered this represents (bizarrely) the last three of the LA Quartet, which begins with 'Black Dahlia'.

That aside, I've now read The Big Nowhere and LA Confidential, and I don't think I've ever seen quite such a difference between book and film before. Both are excellent IMO, but it's interesting that the entirity of the Rollo Tomassi twist of the movie is not present in the book.

James Ellroy's style is interesting and he really seems to write as if he is in the 50's. It's good to see the two compliment each other so well, and I guess it's clear to see how the various plots not only couldn't be included into LA Confidential as a movie (because they'd probably have made it an 'X'!), and would have dragged the film's pace down also.

What did others think, particularly those who'd read the book in advance of the film?
  Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 16:34   #2
gZa
Trusted User
 
gZa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,223
Thanks: 115
Thanked 34 Times in 29 Posts
Re: LA Confidential: Book vs. Film (spoilers for both)

Quote:
Originally posted by TheoGB
That aside, I've now read The Big Nowhere and LA Confidential, and I don't think I've ever seen quite such a difference between book and film before. Both are excellent IMO, but it's interesting that the entirity of the Rollo Tomassi twist of the movie is not present in the book.
Wow! That's the best bit of the film!

I had a similar thing happen with Once Upon A Time In America. The film has tons of different/better bits than the book (The Hoods). There's no 60's scenes in the book for instance.

Ditto Fight Club and Straw Dogs/The Siege At Trencher's Farm.
__________________
Last films I watched (TV-DVD/BD/OD-Cinema)
Rick & Morty - Kiki's Delivery Service - Dark Waters
gZa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 16:45   #3
CRB
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,433
Thanks: 8
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
If you liked the LA Quartet I thoroughly recommend you read Ellroy's autobiography - "My dark places". It will enlighten you as to how he came to write such stuff, his own mother was murdered in similar cirumstances to the Black Dahlia. There was an utterly fantastic BBC documentary on him a few years ago. I wish they'd show it again. It ended with him visiting his mothers grave.

In that quartet I love the way characters come in and out of the books, eg there's reference in book 2 to characters in book 1, characters in book 3 and 4 and a reference to book 2. Its like a biography of the LA police dept. over about 12 years.

He certainly is tough writer though!

It's a CRYING SHAME that "The Black Dahlia" will be filmed with that muppet Mark Walberg. "The Black Dahlia" is my favourite out of the 4 and this will ruin it no end.
CRB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 16:52   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Re: LA Confidential: Book vs. Film (spoilers for both)

Quote:
Originally posted by Garry Cowell
Wow! That's the best bit of the film!

I had a similar thing happen with Once Upon A Time In America. The film has tons of different/better bits than the book (The Hoods). There's no 60's scenes in the book for instance.

Ditto Fight Club and Straw Dogs/The Siege At Trencher's Farm.
Hmm. But Fight Club follows the plot of the book really quite closely. LAC is a different animal altogether, with whole swathes of story points being removed, and ideas transformed to different parts of the story.

Also, I seem to remember that in the film the first name of Meeks is not Turner, which seems strange.

In the context of the book, the Rollo Tomassi reference would not have made much sense. Interestingly I could see that twist coming a mile off when watching the film (and I know I'm not alone, since it's a standard film noir sort of thing), and was interested to see that Ellroy hadn't employed it in his work. The realisation about Dudley sort of comes out in The Big Nowhere, and even then, it's in a different form.

I'll definitely be reading more of Ellroy's work. Shame there isn't going to be a re-release with commentary and that BBC docu included as an extra. Would be nice...
  Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 17:44   #5
MARKMAN
**** pretentious ****
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Gone but not errr......
Posts: 1,650
Thanks: 117
Thanked 109 Times in 69 Posts
Ellroy (my favourite author) has a real passion for the period he writes about - and I think that it was captured qutie well with the film L.A. Confidential. All we need is for someone to dare tackle "American Tabloid" and "The Cold Six Thousand" - surely with their twisty plots they are pretty unfilmable.:confused:
MARKMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 18:51   #6
Guest 33835
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: 6' from the screen with remote
Posts: 1,359
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ellroy's novels are superb.

LA Confidential: the book ownz the film.


Check out his early novel Silent Terror - a chiling portrayal of a serial killer.
Guest 33835 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 19:40   #7
bronso
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1,364
Thanks: 75
Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Re: Re: Re: LA Confidential: Book vs. Film (spoilers for both)

Quote:
Originally posted by TheoGB
The realisation about Dudley sort of comes out in The Big Nowhere, and even then, it's in a different form.
The nature of Dudley is revealed back in Black Dahlia.

Last edited by bronso; 23-03-2004 at 19:41.
bronso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-03-2004, 20:22   #8
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I read the book a few years after seeing the film, and IIRC the biggest difference was the time span of the book (several years) compared to the film. I intended to read a few more of Ellroy's novels but never got around to it... is The Black Dahlia the first in the series then?
  Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2004, 15:01   #9
new forms
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: North London
Posts: 1,558
Thanks: 4
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i had read the book after seeing the film and was more impressed by the book (the film was very good as well, just could not obviously capture everything the book delved into)


and as for the dudley smith trio
new forms is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 22:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018 Poisonous Monkey Ltd. Part of The Digital Fix Network