On Our Screens:
To Live And Die In L.A.

Film: To Live And Die In L.A.

Year: 1985

Country: U.S.

Director: William Friedkin

Starring: Willem Dafoe, William Petersen, John Pankow


Released November 1, 1985 (nearly 30 years ago to the day), William Friedkin’s “To Live and Die in L.A.” is an overlooked treat, Halloween or otherwise.

Will you feel better about humanity after watching it? No, but you you will walk away seeing what is arguably one of the best car chases every put on film, not to mention watching early outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe as master counterfeiter Rick Masters (being creepy, sexy and menacing all in one glance) and William Petersen as obsessed Secret Service agent Richard Chance (the fact that Petersen is not the biggest star in creation is beyond me).

The moody soundtrack by Wang Chung (yes I know, “Everybody Wang Chung tonight!”) was written after the band saw the rough cut of the film. It works flawlessly with the flick and it is also worth a listen all its own.

The story is simple, Chance will stop at nothing to put Masters behind bars for the killing of his partner. But what Chance does to get Masters has you wondering throughout the movie who is actually worse!

With thrills, atmosphere and an ending like no other – forget Friday the 13th, let’s all Wang Chung this Halloween!



Rating (one to five whistles, five being the best): Four Whistles


How to Watch: Amazon