December 7, 2023 | Rome, Italy

To Live and Die in L.A.

By |2018-03-21T18:31:16+01:00May 5th, 2005|Reviews|


Date: 1985

Director: William Friedkin

Starring: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow


illiam Friedkin (“The French Connection”) and William L. Petersen (later in “C.S.I.”) team up in a high-octane thriller. Los Angeles-based Secret Service agent Richard Chance (Petersen) watches partner and friend Jim Hart murdered two days before retirement. New partner John Vukovich (John Pankow) soon senses that Chance’s only mission is to nail counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe), the man behind the murder. The plebian premise works well largely because of Petersen’s simmering, repressed performance as Chance and Dafoe’s insultingly confident bad-guy act. A well-paced intro — Ronald Reagan arriving at an L.A. hotel to Wang Chung’s title song — opens onto an absorbingly intense flick, the kind Friedkin once made with his eyes shut.

About the Author:

Hong Kong based David Trask is a longtime freelance movie reviewer.