7.2/10
20,698
218 user 87 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal
Thief (1981)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson
Rampage (1987)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Michael Biehn, Alex McArthur, Nicholas Campbell
Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
Cruising (1980)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Killer Joe (2011)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple
Bug (2006)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
Jade (1995)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A bright assistant D.A. investigates a gruesome hatchet murder and hides a clue he found at the crime scene. Under professional threats and an attempt on his life, he goes on heartbroken because evidence point to the woman he still loves.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri
Blow Out (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Red Rock West (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a promised job for Texan Michael fails to materialise in Wyoming, Mike is mistaken by Wayne to be the hitman he hired to kill his unfaithful wife, Suzanne. Mike takes full advantage of... See full summary »

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Crime story based on the real armed robbery of the Brink's Building in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17th, 1950.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Edit

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:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

When Chance goes the wrong direction on the freeway in the big car chase scene, he's actually driving on the correct side and the rest of traffic is driving on the left side of the road. See more »

Quotes

Terrorist: I'm ready to die!
Richard Chance: Nobody's gonna die. Look, you and I are gonna go downstairs and talk.
Terrorist: Death to Israel and America, and all the enemies of Islam!
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 The Secrets of Dick Smith (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Morning School Girl
Performed by Junior Wells
Courtesy of Delmark Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Losers, all!
18 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite a confusing (or irrelevant?) opening segment, To Live and Die in L.A. is an authentic and somewhat disturbing crime film. In fact, some of the film is so harrowing and caustic it evokes almost horror-like inspiration. As you might have heard by now, it involves one of the finest car chase scenes ever put to film.

The film follows a couple of Secret Service agents for the National Treasury as they try to track down a counterfeiter. As the movie rolls on, it becomes clear that these agents are pretty shady in the way they gleam information and that the ties between crime and justice are actually quite close. I know, it sounds like an obvious plot, but the editing, pacing, characters and twists are all pretty unexpected or original. It is not nearly as cliché as it sounds.

The downsides to the movie could be some of the aesthetic choices: the neon colors are sweet (I think) but some of the soundtrack is just too grating. You REALLY feel like you're hopped up on speed after hearing the main theme for too long. It's done by Wang Chung, but I think Tangerine Dream would've created something much more provocative. Oh well. Also, I felt like one or two characters' stories were not really concluded properly. There was a minor hang-nail or two left at the end.

But all in all, this is a solid film. Very inspired, very dark, simultaneously exciting and depressing. Seriously, this movie is way more intensely real than anything Tarantino has tried to do. It may not actually be more violent per say, but the violence itself it much more effective and the social ties are far more believable. This junk is scary.


24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite line from movie shmucking
Does Not Put The Secret Service In A Good Light Yxklyx
Discuss To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page