In the 2016 movie The Nice Guys, which is set in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, a character yells "call 9-1-1!" during an unexpected gunfight.

Did the 9-1-1 emergency number exist in Los Angeles in the 1970s? I associate it only with later time periods.

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    This smells like a Cracked.com fact check... – Kevin Brown Sep 17 '16 at 14:34

You're correct.

From IMDb Goofs, factual errors section

Ryan Gosling character yells for someone to call 911. It was 1977-78 and while 911 was an emergency system that was used as early as 1968 in Alabama, it was not formally introduced to Los Angeles until October 1, 1984.

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    So... they had no emergency number? – Nelson Sep 17 '16 at 16:40
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    @Nelson my recollection is that you would call the operator ('0') and ask to be connected to the police or fire department or wherever. The precinct would not have had an incoming emergency number, so your call might have been picked up immediately, or not, and would not have been logged in any central way for assistance in later allocation of resources. '911' was a big improvement in many ways. – Michael Stern Sep 17 '16 at 17:44
  • @Nelson Yes when 911 services were established and PSAs were made to inform the public about them, there was a feeling of "why didn't we have this before". If you watch enough old movies or tv shows, you'll see a ton of "Operator, get me the police!" Before police radios and cell phones, even the police would pick up phones and call back to precincts. Of course there was a time when one only needed to dial five digits, so while three digits for 911 seems like a huge benefit today, if you go far enough back its not so surprising there was no emergency number. – Todd Wilcox Sep 17 '16 at 18:38
  • Whereas, the 'civilised world' (sorry to all you transpondians;) had a unified emergency number in 1936 - ref: news.bbc.co.uk/local/london/hi/people_and_places/history/… To be historically accurate, for future googlers, 112 is becoming the new standard international emergency number, as we no longer have dial phones, so finding the right hole in the dark is no longer a great concern. – Tetsujin Sep 17 '16 at 18:45
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    @ToddWilcox The benefit of 911 isn't that it's three digits versus five: it's that it's the same number throughout the country. – David Richerby Sep 18 '16 at 0:48

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