A fictional retelling of the infamous Brink's Company robbery in Boston, which took place on January 17th, 1950, with a score of $2.700.000, and cost the American taxpayers $29.000.000 to apprehend the culprits with only $58.000 recovered.
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
William Friedkin, in his memoir "The Friedkin Connection," says that the fake money they made was so good that, after some of it left the set, he eventually heard from the Secret Service and a US Attorney. After he avoided a confrontation with them, Friedkin states "When the film came out, there were news stories about people trying to make counterfeit money after seeing the step-by-step process in our film. I took some of the twenties, those printed on both sides of course, put them in my wallet, and spent them in restaurants, shoe-shine parlors, and elsewhere. The money was that good." See more »
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 »
Excellent Non-Stop Action And Politically Incorrect Police Story
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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