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

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  1 November 1985 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 17,799 users  
Reviews: 212 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:
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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. 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:

A federal agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode. 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

Legendary cinematographer Robby Müller declined to shoot the car chase because he didn't know how to set up such a scene. He was replaced by second unit cameraman Robert D. Yeoman. See more »

Goofs

During the scene when Rick Masters demands his money back from Jeff for the botched hit on Cody in jail, Jeff says "I owe you one Cody". Although some viewers think that the line should read "I owe you one, Rick," Jeff's reference to Cody is not a script error; Jeff is merely saying that he owes Rick "one Cody" - that is, one dead Cody. See more »

Quotes

Richard Chance: I wanna get Rick Masters.
Carl Cody: I've taken four falls, I've never ratted anybody in my life, and I've had plenty of chances, believe me.
Richard Chance: Masters is your friend. I don't blame you, I would never hang up a friend. Anybody who would is a piece of shit. Thing is, your friend tried to have you iced.
Carl Cody: That doesn't mean I'm gonna roll over and play informer. If you're looking for a pigeon, go to the park.
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 Angel: To Shanshu in L.A. (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up, Stop Dreaming
Performed by Wang Chung
Produced by Wang Chung
Assisted by David Motion
Courtesy of Geffen Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
To Live and Die in L.A. 20 years later, still fresh and authentic.
28 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw To Live and Die in L.A. during its original theatrical release in the summer of 1985. I thought then it had the potential to eventually become regarded as one of the best cop films ever. Recently I watched it again on DVD. It absolutely holds up in every respect to its original verity and impact, and it undeniably should be regarded as one of the top ten movies of its genre, and in my opinion, one of the top two or three. What is so remarkable about William Friedkin's film is the uniformly excellent level of the performances of his cast. There is not a single portrayal on screen that is not, from first scene to last, dead on target. William Petersen as Richard Chance, an ambitious adrenaline-charged treasury agent who becomes totally obsessed with avenging his partner's murder and Willem Dafoe as Rick Masters, a fabulously wealthy yet sleazy and violent counterfeiter form the nucleus around which the film unfolds. Both actors are superb in their roles, but no less impressive is John Pankow as the new partner who approaches emotional meltdown as he gets drawn deeper and deeper into a web of illegality and violence stemming from Chance's single-minded pursuit of Masters. Also Dean Stockwell as a cynical mob lawyer in his glass tower office and John Turturro as a lowlife ex-con, each in their own way a lackey to Masters, deliver taut finely-etched portrayals that linger in the mind with their subtle impact, all the more remarkable for the relatively brief time they appear on screen. And the same can be said about Debra Feuer and Steve James in even briefer roles, Feuer as Masters' longtime girlfriend and James as a ghetto crime lord totally dependent on a constant supply of counterfeit twenty dollar bills from Masters. The richly detailed location shots within which the film's action flows, from Masters' BelAir mansion to the barrios of East Los Angeles, from Hollywood Boulevard performance art theaters to federal prison exercise yards is unflinchingly authentic, but never intrusive. And as a bonus to all this is a car chase that at least equals if not surpasses the one Friedkin directed in 1971's Best Picture Oscar winner, The French Connection.


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