7.2/10
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218 user 88 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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...
...
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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)
...
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
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

In the original 1985 theater release, there was a large shadow of the crew and equipment visible on the ground as John Vukovich approaches the warehouse with Chinese character. See more »

Quotes

Jeff Rice: Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!
Eric 'Rick' Masters: Hello Jeff.
Jeff Rice: What are you doing in my crib.
Eric 'Rick' Masters: You sent two assholes to do Cody and they blew it. I paid you half, I want it back.
Jeff Rice: Yeah, well uh... I'm trying to get that money back myself. I had to front the whole purchase to get my people to do their thing. So I ain't got any more.
Eric 'Rick' Masters: Well, then uh... you better try and shit 40 grand, because I ain't leaving without it.
Jeff Rice: I owe you Cody. Next time there be no fuck-up.
Eric 'Rick' Masters: What next time? He's in protective custody.
Jeff Rice: Hell, protective custody...
[...]
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 Fletch (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance Hall Days
Performed by Wang Chung
Produced by Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum (as Ross Collum)
Courtesy of Geffen Records
See more »

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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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