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Mystery Movies - To Live and Die in L.A.

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To Live and Die in L.A.
William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, Jon Pankow
Directed by William Friedkin
Music by Wang Chung
MGM 1985
116 minutes

To Live and Die in L.A. is a very good action thriller with a superb soundtrack. Director William Friedkin of The French Connection and The Exorcist fame puts together a great looking, fast paced, smart movie. To Live and Die in L.A. is as interesting stylistically as it is story wise.

William Petersen (CSI) plays FBI agent Rick Chance. Chance is an adrenalin junkie. His partner is on the trail of some funny money and gets killed looking for it. Chance swears revenge on the killer and fake money maker Rick Masters played by Willem Dafoe. Chance does not really care how he gets masters.

Things get really out of hand when he and his new partner John Vukovich (John Pankow (Cousin Ira on Mad About You) decide to do a heist to get the up front cash needed to get Masters to print more money and catch him green handed. Things go very badly. This sets up the movie's superb car chase.

To Live and Die in L.A. is much more than the car chase. The story itself is excellent and the relationship between Rick and Ruth, his informant.

Friedkin put together a great movie. It is also visually interesting and Friedkin even gets away with a few useless but pretty shots.

The soundtrack by Wang Chung is really cool.

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