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Author Topic: To Live and Die in L.A.
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To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Directed by William Friedkin and starring William Petersen, Willem Dafoe and John Turturro.
In my opinion, this is a quintessential '80s movie.

It's a very gritty, violent, no-nonsense cop movie. The violence is very realistic, but not gratuitous. It's a movie with depth, in which every character proves to be immoral in the end.
Also, it has one of the best car chase scenes in movie history.
The soundtrack is done by Wang Chung (known from hits like Dance Hall Days). It's great and very eighties.
If you like the work of Michael Mann (who sued Friedkin for plagiarizing Miami Vice), you should definitely check this one out.

[ 25. August 2011, 05:39: Message edited by: Burnett ]

Posts: 87 | From: Belgium | Registered: Aug 2011 | Site Updates: 5  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nostalgic for the '80's
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To Live & Die in L.A. is one of the best films from the '80's; I re-watched this on Blu-ray a while back.

Superb crime drama w/incredible synth music, great action scenes (including a car chase with a car driving the wrong way on the freeway), & amazing cinematography (especially the scenes at the beginning taking place @ dusk), solid acting, and fantastic plot.

I liked how this dealt with counterfeiting - this is one of the many elements that set this apart from other crime dramas of the '80's (or any other era, for that matter), since most other crime films/TV shows from this time period primarily dealt with drugs.

I also feel it was an extremely bold move to kill off one of the main characters - also very unusual for a film of this genre.

Ironically, as much as I like the film, I didn't actually see this until around 2003/2004 - i.e., whenever it first hit DVD; for whatever reason I completely missed this when it was originally released.

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It's one of my favorite movies from the 80's and in my personal Top 100 best of all time.
Sadly, it's still vastly underrated even if William Friedkin's gritty / neo-noir / realistic style was a major influence on Michael Mann's work and even Scorsese paied homage to it in a certain scene of "The Departed".
The acting is top notch, from William L. Petersen to Willem Dafoe and John Pankow, a criminally underused actor that deserved a better career.
I give it a perfect 5 / 5 stars.

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