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

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  1 November 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,729 users  
Reviews: 215 user | 83 critic

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



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Chance (as William L. Petersen)
Ruth Lanier (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Thomas Bateman (as Robert Downey)
Michael Greene ...
Jack Hoar ...
Valentin de Vargas ...
Judge Filo Cedillo (as Val DeVargas)
Michael Chong ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

1 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vivir y morir en Los Ángeles  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$967,312 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


1980s band Wang Chung provided much of the soundtrack for this movie. When Chance enters the topless bar for the first time, Wang Chung's first hit song, "Dance Hall Days", is playing in the background. See more »


When the truck jackknifes during the chase, you can see a tow truck in the left of the frame pulling the back of the trailer. See more »


[Jim has been shot]
Jim Hart: Shitbag.
Eric 'Rick' Masters: Buddy, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Hairshirt (1998) See more »


Performed by Wang Chung
Produced by Wang Chung
Courtesy of Geffen Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Non-Stop Action And Politically Incorrect Police Story
4 June 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Los Angeles, the secret agent Richard Chance (William L. Petersen) loses his partner and friend Jim Hart (Michael Greene) in an investigation of counterfeit, two days before the retirement of Jim. The agent John Vukovich (John Pankow) is assigned to work with Chance, who is obsessed to capture Eric 'Rick' Masters (Willem Dafoe), the criminal responsible for the death of Jim. Chance risks his partner and his own career, trying to arrest Rick.

"To Live and Die in L.A" is an excellent non-stop action movie, having an excellent pacing and being a politically incorrect police story. All the characters are amoral, dirty and sordid, and it is impossible to feel sympathy for any of them. There are excellent scenes, such as the car chase in the streets of Los Angeles, or the surprising lethal shooting in the end of the story. The DVD shows a commercial alternative ending of the story, fortunately not accepted by the director William Friedkin. The unpredictable and credible end as it is makes the great difference of this outstanding movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Viver e Morrer em Los Angeles" ("To Live and Die in Los Angeles")

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