Jump to content
Chet Roivas

To Live and Die in L.A.

Recommended Posts

William Friedkin's finest film in my opinion. To Live and Die in L.A. has been so relentlessly plagiarised and approximated over the past three decades that it deserves a shot at a place in the Canon just because most people haven't seen it. Also: it's heart-stoppingly brilliant.

 

There's a single plot twist (instantly discarded in Friedkin's film) that has been copied so many times that I'm genuinely annoyed whenever isn't given credit.

 

It also launched Willem Dafoe, as well as the unappreciated John Pankow and William Peterson.

 

One off the few 80s films that I regard as an unarguable masterwork.

Share this post


Link to post

This might be the best crime film off the 1980s. It out Manns Michael Mann in its presentation of the criminal underworld.

 

It also has one of the top 5 car chases of all time, early John Tuturro and a dated but still awesome soundtrack by Wang Chung.

 

Friendkin's appearance on WTF is a must listen.

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder if this counts as a cult film? I've heard it mentioned often by big fans of gritty 70s and 80s movies, but ONLY by big fans of gritty 70s and 80s film. I've never once heard the film brought up by anybody else, anywhere, and it never gets mentioned in more general "best films of the 80s", "best cop movies"-style lists. It's not a B-movie, but it seems to be so overlooked, except by a certain kind of film fan, that it might as well be. Production-values-wise, it's an A-picture, though probably not big-budget. More like on the level of Drive or Memento. I'll echo that any fan of Michael Mann ('s early work) HAS to see it, as well as any fan of Shane Black (it doesn't have the humor of his films, but it has everything else).

 

It's very Friedkin, but Friedkin dragging his 70s style into a gaudier, louder decade for action films. And Wang Chung does the score, so, damn, is it ever of its time. I'd go on (there's so much in it to talk about), but I probably need to see it again. Anyway, I agree that it would be the PERFECT kind of film for The Canon, as it was indeed incredibly influential on the whole cop/crime genre going forward, and more people need to see it.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available for easy online streaming.

Share this post


Link to post
It also has one of the top 5 car chases of all time

 

I think it's at the very top of that list. I still can't understand how they shot it.

 

I've never once heard the film brought up by anybody else, anywhere, and it never gets mentioned in more general "best films of the 80s", "best cop movies"-style lists.

 

I agree with this, and that's why I'd love to see it featured on the show. Every single person I've shown the film to (which must be more than twenty people over the years) is left buzzing at the end of it, regardless of age, gender or their general movie preferences.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available for easy online streaming.

 

That's the main issue. I hope that Devin and Amy aren't too militant about that going forward. I live in the UK and have had to seek out DVD or Blu-Ray copies of some of the films mentioned on older episodes, but they've always been very cheap. A current streaming option is obviously ideal and I get the concept, but I hope it doesn't restrict their selections too much.

Share this post


Link to post

Bumping this as TLADILA needs more recognition as one of the great thrillers of the 1980s. Along with Mann's Thief, it is an amazing crime film that deserves more widespread recognition.

 

Would also love to hear Amy and guests discuss William Friedkin.

Share this post


Link to post

Right, here's me looking for trouble: I watched this recently, and found it more than a little overrated. Maybe it's the fact that everyone and their dog have copied and plagiarised it, but it felt terribly predictable, not to mention dated. I don't think it has aged tremendously well, unlike some of Friedkin's older works.

 

I shall now duck for cover.

Share this post


Link to post

×