September 24, 2006

L.A. Confidential vs. The Black Dahlia

These James Ellroy novels have many parallels. Naturally, so do their movie adaptations...
 L.A. Confidential (1997)The Black Dahlia (2006)
The Obsessed CopBud White, hates wife-beaters after his mother was beaten to death by his father when he was a child. Should have died in the end, but mysteriously survives and drives off into the sunset with Lynn Bracken. Lee Blanchard, obsessed with Black Dahlia case because his own sister's murder was never solved. Should die, and does, while avenging Kay upon her former tormentor/pimp, Bobby DeWitt.
Blonde Call Girl with a Heart of GoldLynn Bracken came to L.A. from Bisbee, Arizona, with stars in her eyes, instead becomes Veronica Lake lookalike call girl. Bud White becomes obsessed with her. Kay Lake came to L.A. from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with stars in her eyes, instead becomes call girl. 'Saved' from tricking by Blanchard, and lives in bizarre love triangle with Blanchard and Bleichert.
Ambitious RookieEd Exley, looks like a straight arrow, but shows hidden dark side as story progresses. Moves in on Lynn Bracken in twisted (and ill-advised) power play with Bud White. Bucky Bleichert, looks like a straight arrow, but shows hidden dark side as story progresses. Moves in on Kay Lake after Lee Blanchard dies.
Political PromotionEd Exley is promoted to Detective Lieutenant, Homicide, in exchange for testifying in Bloody Christmas scandal. Lee and Bucky get promoted to Warrants division after agreeing to return to boxing ring, to help push ballot item through.
Cabin-style roadside motel?The Victory Motel (abandoned) is the site of the climactic gun battle; Ed Exley shoots Captain Smith after Exley learns Smith shot Jack Vincennes. The Red Arrow Motel is where Bucky and Madeleine meet for cheap sex; Bucky shoots Madeleine there after he discovers Madeleine killed Lee.
The Frolic Room?Exley and Vincennes agree to meet there; Exley stands up Vincennes. Bleichert parks in front of the Frolic Room.
D.A. Ellis Loew played by...Ron RifkinPatrick Fischler
Overused solo trumpet score composed by...Jerry Goldsmith Mark Isham