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To Live and Die in L.A. 1985

  • William Friedkin
  • November 1, 1985
  • 116 mins
  • English
  • Action, Crime, Thriller
A federal agent is dead. A killer is loose. And the City of Angels is about to explode.
In director William Friedkin's supercharged thriller, William L. Petersen plays a "hot dog" special agent of the Secret Service who's out to arrest and convict an arrogant counterfeiter (William Dafoe) who has eluded the law for years and who flaunts his success. Dafoe has been asking for a down payment on a sale of bogus bills, but the amount is larger than the secret can authorize Petersen, undercover, to pay to entrap Dafoe in a "sting" operation. Petersen is forced to set up a dangerous plan to steal the advance money from another crook (John Turturro) and use it to buy bogus bills and bust the counterfeiter.As the film winds to its dark and exciting resolution, the distinction between the pursuing law enforcers and the pursued criminals will continue to blur.


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This is a lesser known Freidkin gem that I've been meaning to revisit for some time. Got a little shafted on the Blu-ray purchase because it doesn't come with the DVD with the special features, but I have the old DVD and I was planning on figuring out a way to make a digital copy (of a Blu-ray I own, it's cool it's cool) so I can add the commentary track to the HD. God forbid the studios include that super small, super easy to add audio track on the Blu-ray but don't get me started on that.

It's interesting to look at this cast and know that back then, most were unknowns but now are not. Willem Dafoe and John Turturro are big time in movies and both Peterson and Pankow were a part of huge long running TV shows (CSI and Mad About You).

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