To Live and Die in L.A. Movie Behind The Scenes

Making To Live and Die in L.A.



Go behind the scenes on the 1985 Thriller movie starring Willem Dafoe, William L. Petersen, John Pankow More Cast

We believe the following info is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Will Clark
When Chance jumps on top of the moving walkway in the airport while chasing John Turturro, that caused a lot of problems with the airport. They had warned Friedkin and Peterson that they were not allowed to do that stunt because it was too much of a liability, Peterson asked Friedkin if he could do it anyway and Friedkin said all right but that he would have to do it in one take. He pulled it off, and they were nearly thrown out of the airport.
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At the beginning of the movie, Willem Dafoe is making counterfeit bills. A convicted counterfeiter was brought on the set to show him how it is done. Dafoe claimed that he did have a chance of getting arrested by police during the process.
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Dafoe actually painted the painting he burns at the beginning, Friedkin sent him to paint with some German artist during preproduction.
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The production manager's son was detained at a supermarket for passing off one of the phoney 20 dollar bills, and the secret service began investigating the entire production and hassling Friedkin--luckily Gerald Petievich was a long time veteran of the service and helped them wade the waters.
Thanks to Ahmed Burson
The cars in the film were rented from various L.A. county law enforcement agencies: The beige Chevrolet and two Dodges came from the LAPD, the midnight blue Plymouth came from the U.S. Treasury, the silver Malibu came from the California Highway Patrol, the black Malibu came from the L.A. county sheriff and the blue Pontiac came from the Orange County Police. The car William Petersen drives in the chase is a 1985 Chevy Impala F41 from the Los Angeles Police Department. The chase takes place on the 710 freeway which extends from downtown L.A. south to Long Beach. Peterson was actually driving the getaway car for 90f the chase.
Thanks to Kim Kauffman
I worked for Metro Traffic in Dallas in 1988 and the head of the Houston office came to make his monthly check-in at our office.

Metro Traffic is used near the end of the film when the traffic reporter said the freeway is clear and there are no problems, and there is about a hundred car pile-up on the freeway. Her name was Stevie something and our Head guy said the producers had lied to Metro owner David Saperstein and left out the part where the reporter would be wrong. She was a real traffic reporter in the San Francisco office/studio.

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

The following missing scenes from To Live and Die in L.A. are believed legit. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Dan
I saw this film in 1985 when it was first in the theaters. I remember clearly a scene that appears to have been removed, since it's not on the DVD or anywhere else.

It's just a scene toward the beginning where Masters is walking down the streets of LA wearing a silk suit and sandals. His walk was very "thorough" and created a sense that the character was very confident.

I liked this clip even though it lasted maybe 30 seconds tops. Does any one else remember seeing this?

Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

The following versions of To Live and Die in L.A. are apparently real. If you disagree or have additional info, please update us.

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There is an alternate ending where Chance survives (?) the shotgun blast to the face, and Vukovic are stationed in a remote alaskan outpost. The studio forced Friedkin to do it, not wanting Chance to be killed, but in the end Friedkin has his way.

Jump To: Filming Locations
1985 United Artists
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