7.2/10
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218 user 86 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)
Michael Greene ...
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Jack Hoar ...
Valentin de Vargas ...
Judge Filo Cedillo (as Val DeVargas)
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Michael Chong ...
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Storyline

Two cops in Los Angeles try to track down the vicious criminal Eric Masters (Willem Dafoe). 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:

Detroit, Chicago, New York, Miami were like this! This is THE CITY OF ANGELS! This is L.A. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Friedkin filmed but did not include a scene in which Vukovich, nearing the breaking point prior to the final showdown with Masters, desperately tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. This deleted scene is found on the Special Edition DVD along with an interview with Friedkin, who says he doesn't remember why he cut it, and now regrets doing so. 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

John Vukovich: We got an FBI agent killed. You hear that?
Richard Chance: What do you want me to do about it, John?
John Vukovich: It's just a matter of time before they fuckin' identify us. They got a good look at us.
Richard Chance: A face is bullshit without a name.
John Vukovich: They got a make on the car!
Richard Chance: Look, they would have sent it out over the teletype if they had anything. They're grabbing at shit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: To Live & Die in Malibu (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

L.A. L.A.
Written by Jerry Leiber
Music by Jed Lieber
Performed by AM-FM
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User Reviews

 
Shamefully misunderstood by the critics
29 April 1999 | by (Canterbury, England) – See all my reviews

One of the very best films of the 1980s this was shamefully neglected and misunderstood by the critics. The problem is: on the surface it's just like an ordinary action crime thriller (and thus won't appeal to the arthouse crowd), except that it makes it difficult to identify yourself with any of the characters. In other words: it violates its genre rules. But this very fact makes it so unpredictable and thrilling, and a proper movie as opposed to a mere genre clone.

The good guys are flawed. This isn't really new, since the mid 1960s there were plenty of flawed heroes in Westerns or police thrillers. The difference is that not only their characters are flawed, they are vulnerable, destructible, they make mistakes. And they pay for their mistakes. Similarly the villains: yes, they are formidable and glamorous, but they are not in the league of the Blofelds or Sentenzas of moviedom. They make mistakes too. And they pay too.

A surprising asset is the film music by Wang Chung, a one-hit-wonder pop obscurity of the era. Their sound perfectly melts with the cinematography, especially in the stylish opening sequence.


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