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To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  1 November 1985 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 18,617 users  
Reviews: 214 user | 81 critic

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Chance (as William L. Petersen)
...
...
...
...
...
Ruth Lanier (as Darlanne Fleugel)
...
...
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Thomas Bateman (as Robert Downey)
Michael Greene ...
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Jack Hoar ...
Valentin de Vargas ...
Judge Filo Cedillo (as Val DeVargas)
...
Michael Chong ...
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Storyline

Two cops in Los Angeles try to track down the vicious criminal Eric Masters. Then, one of them is killed by Masters and the other one swears revenge no matter what the cost. After that, the hunt becomes an ob- session and the law he once swore to uphold becomes meaningless to him. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The director of "The French Connection" is on the streets again! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vivir y morir en Los Ángeles  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$967,312 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One Hollywood legend holds that Michael Mann sued William Friedkin for plagiarism over 'To Live and Die in L.A.' He accused Friedkin of stealing the entire concept of Miami Vice (1984) and lost the lawsuit. However, William Friedkin himself has said, "Michael Mann and I have been good friends for 30 years.... nothing like this ever happened." See more »

Goofs

During the first meeting at the gym, during locker-room and sauna scenes; Rick Masters does not have any noticeable bruises after a fierce fight with Jeff. At the same time, besides the bruised face, Chance does not have any bruises after being repetitively kicked by Cody. See more »

Quotes

Richard Chance: Who are they?
Bianca Torres: Who are you?
Eric 'Rick' Masters: This is Mr. Jessup, whose name isn't really Jessup, wo says he's from Palm Springs but doesn't have a tan. You're not wired, are you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right at the end, after the credits, there is a shot of William Petersen's face See more »


Soundtracks

Lawdy! Lawdy!
Performed by Junior Wells
Courtesy of Delmark Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Raw, brilliant crime thriller
21 January 2004 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

When Friedkin went "back on the streets" in 1985 to make TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., he made a classic that will endure and that perfectly captures its 80's milieu.

I don't understand these idiots who complain how a film is "dated" by its music. Of course a film is "dated" by its specific elements, but so what. This superb film, which has an amazingly kinetic Wang Cheung score, is about a time (the mid-eighties) and place (L.A.) that is now history, and it is a punishing document.

The film works on many levels. Yes, it is about counterfeiting and superficial (re: counterfeit) relationships. It is about greed, survival, justice and morality. It is also about human beings using and laying to waste other human beings.

These powerful ingredients weave their way through a police procedural/action thriller plot that never stops to catch its breath and is pure cinema.

Willem Dafoe is totally engrossing as the film's villain, while William Peterson delivers a highly focused, tough turn. Dean Stockwell is also a stand-out as a crook lawyer and real cop Jack Hoar is quietly spectacular as Dafoe's mule.

And the film boasts one unbelievable car chase that has not been equaled since.

But LIVE AND DIE is also a film that expertly marries the visual to the aural and depicts a part of Southern California that has not been so credibly depicted before.

Dynamite!


101 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Strange actor/actress switch. Scott699
Favorite line from movie shmucking
Chance's jeans. Good God! Jefbecco-1
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Was this a big movie in the 80s? Never heard of it much these days Lancer01
Vukovich's reaction during chase sequence shiftydave77
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