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To Live and Die in L.A. (Special Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Willem Dafoe, William L. Petersen, John Turturro, Dean Stockwell. A fast-paced thriller about a Secret Service agent who stops at nothing to apprehend a counterfeiter. Directed by William Friedkin. 1985/color/114 min/R/widescreen.

Additional Features

The DVD debut delivers a pristine print and excellent sound for this harried 1985 film; director William Friedkin tells us there has never been a better print of his film after he and technicians worked on the DVD. Friedkin talks up a storm on his commentary track, but everything you need to know is in the excellent 30-minute making-of short that covers all the bases very nicely. The alternate ending, which was filmed under protest, is a hoot to watch, and was correctly jettisoned. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Deleted scene and alternate ending featurettes
  • "Counterfeit World: The Making of To Live and Die in L.A." documentary
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, John Turturro
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Writers: William Friedkin, Gerald Petievich
  • Producers: Bud S. Smith, Irving H. Levin, Samuel Schulman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLJW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,053 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "To Live and Die in L.A. (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. P. Stathoulopoulos on October 28, 2003
Format: DVD
It's nice to see that there are plenty of fans of this often-overlooked gem from 1985. This has to be one of the best crime movies in a long time, and easily one of the best counterfeiting movies as it shows this dirty business from all angles.
William Friedkin was on top of the world for a brief time in the 1970s. After Cruising (1980), he suffered personal and professional setbacks. This film is proof positive that he is an exceptionally talented director with some of the best technical skills in the biz. Indeed, Rules of Engagement and The Hunted provide recent proof that he can still deliver the goods.
To Live and Die in LA is not your ordinary cops and robber, dirty money, sex and violence tale. The casting and the scripting are excellent; there is a lot up on the screen. The characters are not superhero cops and crooks, but human beings driven by greed, revenge, hubris, and lust for money, power, and violence. William Chance (the excellent William Petersen of current CSI fame) is a Secret Service agent whose partner is murdered by counterfeiter extraordinaire Eric Masters (Willem Dafoe). Chance swears to take down Masters, one way or the other, a promise that sends he and his new partner Vukovitch into a tailspin of cat and mouse where they break the rules and get in over their heads. This is not the old buddy movie formula or the typical Dirty Harry and the new partner scenario by a long shot. Chance is an appropriate name for the hotdog agent who enjoys base jumping in his spare time (note the quick flash to his jump off the Vincent Thomas during the hectic chase). Vukovitch is caught between doing right by his partner and bringing his career and his life crashing down.
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Format: DVD
When I saw "To Live and Die in L.A." in the 1980s, I was struck by its worldliness, its style, its sexual energy, and its shocker of an ending. It was immediately one of my favorite films of the decade. I recently watched the film again to see if it withstood the test of time. And I was a little surprised to find that "To Live and Die in L.A." is still one of the most complex and cynical neo-noir films, 20 years after it was made. The film was based on the novel "To Live and Die in L.A." by former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich and adapted for the screen by Petievich and director William Friedkin, the creative force behind the previous decade's "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection". At the risk of being blasphemous, I have always found "To Live and Die in L.A." more memorable than "The French Connection", which is why I was tempted to see it again.

When his partner is killed while tracking down a notorious counterfeiter, hotshot Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen) vows to nail the killer at any cost. The counterfeiter is Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe), a promising abstract expressionist painter and cunning criminal. Together with his new straight-arrow but spineless partner John Vukovich (John Pankow), Chance tries surveillance, extortion, and subterfuge to incriminate Masters, but Masters is always one step ahead of him. Chance resorts to stealing funds for an undercover operation, and even the corrupt interplay of cops and criminals begins to unravel.

Director William Friedkin wanted a cast of virtual unknowns, and maybe that's why "To Live and Die in L.A."'s box office receipts didn't reflect its quality.
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Format: DVD
Richard Chance ( William Petersen), is a member of the Secret Service who loves to live on the edge, and play by his own rules. Eric Masters ( Willem Dafoe) is a master at creating counterfiet cash, and is at the top of the agency's most wanted list for killing Chance's long time partner. Now Chance is willing to do whatever it takes to take Masters down, and the line between cop and criminal is starting to run thin. Both Chance and Masters waver on both sides of the law, as they take us on a cat and mouse chase through the streets of L.A. that is extremely suspenseful and never lets up!
"To Live and Die in L.A.", has to be one of the most suspenseful and action packed crime films that I have ever seen. Director William Friedkin is best known for the films "French Connection" and "The Exorcist". However, this has to be his best film. This is the first crime film that I have ever seen, that deals solely with the Secret Service, and NOT the FBI, CIA, or the police. That alone, makes it original. Not to mention the fact, that this is the only crime film, where the hero of the story has traits of a villan and is vulnerable. Some of Petersen's actions are actually questionable. William Petersen is an outstanding actor , and I have enjoyed all of his films. Secret Serive Agent Richard Chance, is one of his best characters by far because he loves to live on the edge, and plays by his own rules. Willem Dafoe is amazing in everything he does, and Eric Masters is one of his best roles. Masters is the story's villan, who is cold, calculating, highly intelligent, charming, and extremely ruthless! You don't know whether to like the guy, or hate the guy. John Turturo and Dean Stockwell are also both outstanding in their roles.
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