7.3/10
25,085
230 user 99 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:

William Friedkin

Writers:

Gerald Petievich (novel), William Friedkin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sorcerer (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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  

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson
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 | Drama | Mystery
    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
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
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 | Thriller
    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
The Driver (1978)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Petersen ... Richard Chance (as William L. Petersen)
Willem Dafoe ... Eric Masters
John Pankow ... John Vukovich
Debra Feuer ... Bianca Torres
John Turturro ... Carl Cody
Darlanne Fluegel ... Ruth Lanier (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Dean Stockwell ... Bob Grimes
Steve James ... Jeff Rice
Robert Downey Sr. ... Thomas Bateman (as Robert Downey)
Michael Greene ... Jim Hart
Christopher Allport ... Max Waxman
Jack Hoar Jack Hoar ... Jack
Valentin de Vargas ... Judge Filo Cedillo (as Val DeVargas)
Dwier Brown ... Doctor
Michael Chong ... Thomas Ling
Edit

Storyline

Working largely in cases of counterfeiting, LA based Secret Service agent Richie Chance exhibits reckless behavior which according to his longtime and now former partner Jimmy Hart will probably land him in the morgue before he's ready to retire. That need for the thrill manifests itself in his personal life by his love of base jumping. Professionally, it is demonstrated by the fact that he is sextorting a parolee named Ruth Lanier, who feeds him information in return for him not sending her back to prison for some trumped up parole violation. With his new partner John Vukovich, Chance is more determined than ever, based on recent circumstances, to nab known longtime counterfeiter Ric Masters, who is more than willing to use violence against and kill anyone who crosses him. Masters is well aware that the Secret Service is after him. Masters' operation is somewhat outwardly in disarray, with Chance being able to nab his mule, Carl Cody, in the course of moving some of the fake money, ... Written by Huggo

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

1 November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vivir y morir en Los Ángeles See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,551,761, 1 November 1985

Gross USA:

$17,307,019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The chain of events that led to William Petersen and John Pankow's casting in the film began when director William Friedkin decided to not bother trying to cast established film stars due to the project's relatively low budget ($6 million). Friedkin was born and began his career in Chicago and was familiar with fellow Chicagoan Petersen's work, and with him in mind for the lead role of Chance, he called Petersen in for a reading of the script and immediately offered him the part. When Petersen came in to accept the role, he brought Pankow because the two men were longtime friends and had acted in many Chicago-area projects, and told Friedkin he thought Pankow would be perfect for the role of Vukovich. The director ran a scene with Pankow and then cast him on the spot. See more »

Goofs

According to the title cards, the film begins in mid December and ends in late January. However, there is no mention whatsoever of Christmas or New Year's Day, and none of the sets has decorations of any kind for either holiday. 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 »

Alternate Versions

German theatrical and VHS versions were cut by 25 seconds to secure a "Not under 16" rating. DVD release is uncut with the same rating. See more »

Connections

Featured in I'm Mosley!: An Interview with Actor Yaphet Kotto (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

L.A. L.A.
Written by Jerry Leiber
Music by Jed Lieber
Performed by AM-FM
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Raw, brilliant crime thriller
21 January 2004 | by fertilecelluloidSee all my reviews

When Friedkin went "back on the streets" in 1985 to make TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., he made a classic that will endure and that perfectly captures its 80's milieu.

I don't understand these idiots who complain how a film is "dated" by its music. Of course a film is "dated" by its specific elements, but so what. This superb film, which has an amazingly kinetic Wang Cheung score, is about a time (the mid-eighties) and place (L.A.) that is now history, and it is a punishing document.

The film works on many levels. Yes, it is about counterfeiting and superficial (re: counterfeit) relationships. It is about greed, survival, justice and morality. It is also about human beings using and laying to waste other human beings.

These powerful ingredients weave their way through a police procedural/action thriller plot that never stops to catch its breath and is pure cinema.

Willem Dafoe is totally engrossing as the film's villain, while William Peterson delivers a highly focused, tough turn. Dean Stockwell is also a stand-out as a crook lawyer and real cop Jack Hoar is quietly spectacular as Dafoe's mule.

And the film boasts one unbelievable car chase that has not been equaled since.

But LIVE AND DIE is also a film that expertly marries the visual to the aural and depicts a part of Southern California that has not been so credibly depicted before.

Dynamite!


132 of 142 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 230 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed