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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 »
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3,469 ( 330)

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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
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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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

1 November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Live and Die in L.A. See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the Castilian Spanish language dub version, Willem Dafoe's voice was dubbed by Ernesto Aura. See more »

Goofs

The opening scene says December 20 at 1410 hours (2:10 p.m), which is about two hours before the shortest day of the year, yet the shadows and the sun's position makes it more like noon in the summertime. See more »

Quotes

Richard Chance: I'm gonna bag Masters, and I don't give a shit how I do it.
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

Referenced in Remote Control (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance Hall Days
Written by Darren Costin (uncredited), Nick Feldman (uncredited) and Jack Hues (uncredited)
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

A film that was ahead of its time
31 December 2005 | by 4-KaneSee all my reviews

Admittedly, To Live and Die in L.A. was not well-received by many critics when it was released in 1985. I believe it was because the movie was ahead of its time. Back then, one would have naturally expected an action movie that clearly defines the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. But it would be different in this film.

Without giving too much away, the main cops who are supposedly good guys are unethical. Richard Chance makes it clear that he doesn't care how he would catch the money counterfeiter Rick Masters. But as he tries to attain this goal, he runs into trouble, including a car chase that leads to a drive down the wrong side of the Los Angeles freeway! (Don't ever try that stunt!)

The way I see it, To Live and Die in L.A. is an underrated classic.


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