The Influences of L.A. Noire

Learn about the classic movies, TV shows, music, and locations that influenced Rockstar's L.A. Noire.

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No Caption Provided L.A. Noire is a game steeped in the history of a mid-20th-century Los Angeles--a particularly interesting place and time in America's past that has heavily influenced various facets of popular culture. And these different forms of media have come to influence L.A. Noire. We asked Team Bondi cofounder Brendan McNamara to give us a rundown of the movies, TV shows, books, music, and locations that contributed to the classic theme, look, story, sounds, and style of L.A. Noire.

The Movies

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Sweet Smell of Success
This late-'50s noir inspired L.A. Noire with its stunning views of a city at night.

The Naked City
Any case-based police procedural, whether film, TV, or video game, owes a debt to this influential film.

Chinatown
A defining moment in film for its take on corruption and the form it took in the San Fernando Valley.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns
This incredible PBS documentary charts the history of jazz, from its birth in the early years of the 20th century through to modern times, and gave us a guide to the kind of musical atmosphere we wanted to create inside the game.

Out of the Past
Famous for its twists and turns, the epilogue-as-a-prologue at the start of the film is one of the great moments in cinema.

The Asphalt Jungle
A stunning heist movie in the noir style, this reminds me of an Ellroy novel where each character is fatally flawed and there is a sense of impending doom from the first scene.

The Third Man
The beautiful setting (postwar Vienna) and the powerful musical motifs were a huge inspiration, as well as the incredible lighting and staging.

The Television Shows

Badge 714
A radio series and TV show from actor and writer Jack Webb, the TV show (also known as Dragnet) chronicled real life on the force and re-created the image of the LAPD. I have an old copy of the novel on my desk.

Naked City
The show spawned by the movie, which created the model for Law & Order and other similar shows.

The Music

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Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
The best jazz record ever made, and it presages the Cool West Coast movement that is the period for our game.

Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain
Put it on, have a listen, and you'll soon be transported miles away.

Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up
A great exile recording made in Paris that I listened to a lot while writing the script.

Chet Baker: Witch Doctor (Live at the Lighthouse)
The Lighthouse was a jazz club along the seafront in Santa Monica. We used to use this track in our early presentations for the game.

Oscar Petersen: On the Town With the Oscar Peterson Trio
I listened to this a lot when writing the overall plot for the game.

The Authors

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Raymond Chandler: The High Window, The Long Goodbye, and famously The Big Sleep
Subtle nods to these books can be found throughout the game.

Dashiell Hammett: The Dain Curse, Red Harvest, and The Maltese Falcon
One of the greatest writers in crime fiction.

James Ellroy: L.A. Confidential, The Big Nowhere
It's hard not to recommend that you buy everything Ellroy has ever written. Ellroy creates complex, human, deeply flawed characters that you come to love--a genius.

James Lee Burke: A Stained White Radiance
For someone who can't write prose, reading his novels is very humbling.

James M. Cain: Double Indemnity (screenplay for the film by Chandler)
Funnily enough, this and The Postman Always Ring Twice are the two defining novels of an everyman being manipulated by a beautiful woman.

Nathanael West: The Day of the Locust
It's still the definitive novel of the hope and despair of the early Hollywood process.

The Locations

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The Mocambo Club
A famous LA night spot on the Sunset Strip, the Mocambo was a hangout for the rich and famous and was renowned for the nefarious events that would take place there.

Brown Derby
Another 1940s LA landmark with caricatures of Hollywood stars covering the walls.

Hall of Records
We wanted to do a Chinatown moment where a character is searching the files, so we had to re-create the original Hall of Records, which was demolished long ago.

Egyptian Theatre
I've always loved the Egyptian Theatre and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, but I had never seen a film there, so we made sure to use them as interior locations during cases in the game.

Central Police Station
Like much of the Bunker Hill side of downtown LA, it has now all but disappeared, but it was fun researching what the building was like, including the attached Central Receiving Hospital.

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zmuggler

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Edited By zmuggler

lucky americans!!!i have to wait till the 20th....:(((((((((((((((((

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squall_83

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Edited By squall_83

@23Jarek23 Just as many people pirate on consoles as they do on PC. Don't believe the BS lies that they want you to. There are pirates on ALL platforms and truthfully it doesn't even really hurt the business much. They just tell you it does.

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sexyweapons

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Edited By sexyweapons

I would to see a similar game in the gta universe!I would of thought that CSI and NCIS would have influnced this even though set in different time periods

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usermikey

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Edited By usermikey

Nice info and background beyond the game. I will check out some of those.

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23Jarek23

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Edited By 23Jarek23

@ max_payne2011 you know why multi platform games are hardly ever released on PC straight away? because half of you PC gamers pirate the software...at least releasing on consoles first gives the devs a chance to make some money...

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franzito

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Edited By franzito

Woohoo, talk about sweet vintage! Maybe it will be a great one!

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tom_cat_01

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Edited By tom_cat_01

Woo: Raymond Chandler!!

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Max_Payne2011

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Edited By Max_Payne2011

it should be released for the PC, Damn

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kabOOOm92

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Edited By kabOOOm92

why does the game take three more days to be released in europe, damn!!!!

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AvatarMan96

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Edited By AvatarMan96

This game is gonna rock

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ethermay

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Edited By ethermay

This is going to get printed out and followed!

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bignick217

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Edited By bignick217

I really hope they release this for PC at some point down the line... Looks really good.

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ASSASSIN0009

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Edited By ASSASSIN0009

nice list of movies

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zmuggler

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Edited By zmuggler

just preordered it.can't wait!!

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001011000101101

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Edited By 001011000101101

oh man. that list is filled with awesomeness.

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lightwarrior179

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Edited By lightwarrior179

Miles Davis,Raymond Chandler and James Elroy.You just named the three big influences of anything noir. Can't wait for this to release next week. :D

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w1ggyj

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Edited By w1ggyj

Gahh, Tuesday? I have to wait till Friday :-(

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bamarolltide16

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Edited By bamarolltide16

Tuesday can't get here any faster...

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medicpriest

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Edited By medicpriest

@rohanthedreamer They site the author of L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy, as an influence

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socom3warrior

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Edited By socom3warrior

rohan - I thought the same thing until i remembered but the movie is based on a novel and sure enough james ellroy.

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rohanthedreamer

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Edited By rohanthedreamer

Cant believe they havnt mentioned LA Confidential in the list of movies that influenced them.....

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Edited By zackcurl

wow, i'm a big film nerd, and especially fond of detective and crime fiction; both in movies and books, as well as a big jazz fan, and i think they seemed to nail it with the influences. even if you're remotely into this, i suggest watching all of those movies (especially Chinatown and Out Of The Past).

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winshot

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Edited By winshot

Without the game being released on PC , the game will never be a cult phenomenon....

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HGAT

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Edited By HGAT

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown!

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Muratca

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Edited By Muratca

definitely worth the wait

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winshot

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Edited By winshot

Without the game being released on PC , the game will never be a cult phenomenon....

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winshot

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Edited By winshot

Without the game being released on PC , the game will never be a cult phenomenon....

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derek_brown

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Edited By derek_brown

Rockstar make GTA V already and kill the suspense................................dont get me wrong i love other rockstar games but when i hear rockstar i think of GTA

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KAM10000

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Edited By KAM10000

I just Can't wait for this Brilliant Game.

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xshadowzz

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Edited By xshadowzz

Team Bondi are the devs.

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xshadowzz

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Edited By xshadowzz

Team Bondi are the devs.

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H0rr0rG4m3r

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Edited By H0rr0rG4m3r

Rockstar is number 1

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MichaeltheCM

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Edited By MichaeltheCM

very impressive :)

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alpha_unit97

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Edited By alpha_unit97

Loved red dead redemption but im not 100% on this 1

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Jane_22

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Edited By Jane_22

boring

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olegnapiano

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Edited By olegnapiano

AWESOME MUSIC!!!!

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Pete5506

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Edited By Pete5506

This game is going to be fantastic, so cant wait

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Oni

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Edited By Oni

@phatmatt030 No, Rockstar is mainly just the publisher. 1up has an interview with Brendan McNamara from Bondi. Go read it. His team left Sony because they needed a publisher that would focus on 1 game not 50. Plus he's good friends with Rockstars CEO. But, this game is pretty much all Bondi.

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sibitheking

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Edited By sibitheking

cant fucing wait !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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brok

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Edited By brok

I was going to cry bloody murder at L.A. Confidential not being there, but then I see they had it as a literary inspiration. Fair enough. They still can't pretend the movie didn't influence the Chief's voice though... and did anyone else think the music in The Third Man did not suit the movie's tone AT ALL?

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Harrymanhunter1

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Edited By Harrymanhunter1

WOW WOW WOW WOW JUST WOW!!!!

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daabulls23

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Edited By daabulls23

There is going to be some sweet music in this game.

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s_h_a_d_o

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Edited By s_h_a_d_o

@phatmatt030 Rockstar are -developers and publishers of the game - Team Bondi are solely developers.

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cboyuno

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Edited By cboyuno

I'm going to bet this game is awesome. Rockstar started something special with GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption. This should be no different.

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phatmatt030

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Edited By phatmatt030

@s_h_a_d_o actually you got it the wrong way. It is a Team Bondi production. Rockstar is still the developers of the game. Team Bondi is an Australian third party team developer, but in LA Noire, they are the producers.

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s_h_a_d_o

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Edited By s_h_a_d_o

@Bruno_pc This is a Rockstar game - Rockstar-produced perhaps, but Team Bondi are independent developers.

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ronaldmcreagan

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Edited By ronaldmcreagan

Graphics looks great, but in the all the clips, it looks more like a movie than an actual videogame. I would like to see some videos of actual gameplay. I'm definitely going to wait for the reviews before I purchase a copy of L.A. Noire.

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deactivated-5b9f9d4c15075

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Man, I love noir (the genre). I can't wait to get through some of these recommendations. Awesome post, Gamespot, thanks! I was going to pass on this game, but it looks like they are drawing inspiration from really good places, so I'll have to give it a try.

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Bruno_pc

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Edited By Bruno_pc

This is gonna be great. Since every game i played in 2011 was disapointing (apart from dead space 2, was not expecting, quite good actually). This is a Rockstar game, and those normally rock. (GTA ANYONE?)

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DrasRexen

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Edited By DrasRexen

Tuesday cannot come any faster!

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