When a notorious, highly sophisticated counterfeiter murders his partner, Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen) launches a furious vendetta to capture the man responsible. But master counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe) is always just one step ahead of Chance in William Friedkin's thrilling, suspenseful crime drama. With violent shoot-outs and a turbulent chase scene reminiscent of Friedkin's own THE FRENCH CONNECTION, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. broke with tradition by making the ostensible hero as morally reprehensible as the villain he pursues. Clashing with bureaucratic obstacles, Chance is forced to break the rules in order to procure cash for a sting operation, but the risks he takes snowball into an avalanche of violence and moral repercussions, leading to a morally ambiguous cul-de-sac from which there may be no return.
Robert Downey Sr. - Director/Actor/Screenwriter/ Producer
Dean Stockwell - American Actor
Willem Dafoe - American Actor
William Dafoe - American Actor
Darlanne Fluegel - American Supporting Actress
Darlanne Fleugel - American Supporting Actress
John Turturro - American Actor/Director, BARTON FINK (1991)
John Pankow - TV/Film Actor
William Friedkin - Oscar winning American director, THE FRENCH CONNECTION
William L. Petersen - American Actor
William Petersen - American Actor
Secret Service agent Richard Chance will do anything--whether legal or not--to nail the creep who murdered his partner. Then he gets a lead on the killer...but the wily criminal is smooth enough to keep eluding capture.
Theatrical Release: November 1, 1985 Filmed in Los Angeles and San Pedro.
"...TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. is Friedkin at his glossiest....It's the car chases and shoot-outs and eye-catching settings that are truly the heart of the matter." - 11/01/1985 New York Times, p.C18
"...Engrossing....Extremely well cast....Everyone here seems capable of deception and moral duplicity, and then live up to those expectations..." - 10/30/1985 Variety
"...One of the great underrated films of the Eighties....A movie with a vision..." Film Comment
"...Vibrant....It's a kick to watch a lanky, fresh-faced Petersen..." - 12/05/2003 Entertainment Weekly, p.76
"[With] kinetic action scenes....Three new faces made significant early impressions..." - 12/12/2003 USA Today, p.5E
"Ridiculously entertaining car chase and all....The movie benefits from LA shimmer..." - 11/01/2004 Uncut, p.158
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "An unapologetic 80s action noir that helped redefine the modern cop movie." - 02/02/2010 Premiere