7.3/10
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225 user 94 critic

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

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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Cast

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

Working largely in cases of counterfeiting, LA based Secret Service agent Richie Chance exhibits reckless behavior which according to his longtime and now former partner Jimmy Hart will probably land him in the morgue before he's ready to retire. That need for the thrill manifests itself in his personal life by his love of base jumping. Professionally, it is demonstrated by the fact that he is sextorting a parolee named Ruth Lanier, who feeds him information in return for him not sending her back to prison for some trumped up parole violation. With his new partner John Vukovich, Chance is more determined than ever, based on recent circumstances, to nab known longtime counterfeiter Ric Masters, who is more than willing to use violence against and kill anyone who crosses him. Masters is well aware that the Secret Service is after him. Masters' operation is somewhat outwardly in disarray, with Chance being able to nab his mule, Carl Cody, in the course of moving some of the fake money, ... Written by Huggo

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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)

Opening Weekend:

$3,551,761 (USA) (1 November 1985)

Gross:

$17,307,019 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A year after the film came out, John Pankow met an undercover NYPD cop in a coffee shop who told John that his panicking during the highway chase scene was a completely accurate and realistic response to such a situation. See more »

Goofs

The opening scene says December 20 at 1410 hours (2:10 p.m), which is about two hours before the shortest day of the year, yet the shadows and the sun's position makes it more like noon in the summertime. See more »

Quotes

[Masters enters his fancy car]
Jeff Rice: You still driving that piece of shit?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in An Experiment in Fear: The Making of Monkey Shines (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rank & File
Performed by Rank & File
Courtesy of Slash Records / Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
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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!


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