View Full Version : To Live and Die in L.A.?

09-04-2012, 11:53 PM
Has anyone seen this film by William Friedkin? If so, you're beautiful, to quote Willem Dafoe. It is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite thriller films. The basic plot sounds generic: hotshot cop (or in this case, Secret Service agent) Richard Chance, wonderfully played by then-newcomer William Petersen, wants payback on Rick Masters, portrayed by fellow-newcomer Dafoe, for blowing his retiring partner's head off, and boy, he does not care what he has to do in order to do it. Upon viewing it, there's more to it than meets the eye. The characters may be unlikeable or scummy, but despite this, Friedkin gives them three-dimensional portraits that keep us glued to the screen. I'm a sucker for character development and the deep stuff, and I constantly put it in my DVD/Blu-Ray player, scanning the film for hidden meanings and even developing alternative interpretations of it.

In short, I'm obsessed over it.

Great car chase, too.

09-05-2012, 12:38 AM
I've seen it, although it's been a lot of years. Time to find it and watch it again--thanks for the reminder!

Did you happen to read the novel it's an adaptation of? I did, and while I barely remember it now, I do remember thinking it would make a great movie.

Maryn, movie buff

09-05-2012, 12:44 AM
No, I haven't read the Gerald Petievich book. I understand that its quite different.

Manuel Royal
09-05-2012, 06:22 AM
Excellent movie. The '80s electronic incidental music is a little jarring now, but it still holds up. One thing it does is take the cliche of the maverick cop who plays by his own rules -- and then show where that road realistically ends up.

09-07-2012, 10:35 AM
With the exception of that Wang Chung score, To Live and Die in L.A. is a great, underrated flick.

It's one thing when a cop (okay, treasury agent) says, "I'm gonna get the bad guy and I don't care what it takes." William Petersen's Richard Chance means it.

Ruth Lanier (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0283311/): How much do I get for the information I gave you on Waxman?
Richard Chance (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0676973/): No arrest, no money.
Ruth Lanier (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0283311/): It's my fault he's dead? It took me six months to get next to him. I got expenses, you know.
Richard Chance (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0676973/): Guess what? Uncle Sam don't give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker.

Richard Chance is one cold-as-ice mofo. There isn't an inch of daylight between him and Willem Dafoe's Eric Masters. They're two sides of the same scarred coin.

Lovin' every minute of it. Except for that Wang Chung score. Ick. :e2tomato: