Review: William Friedkin's "To Live And Die In L.A." (1985); Blu-ray Special Edition From Shout! Factory

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which opened on Friday, November 1, 1985 to lukewarm notices and underwhelming box office despite being championed by Roger Ebert’s four-star review, is a highly stylized, dark, and uncompromising crime thriller that boasts a then-unknown cast with a story and a pace that feels more suited to the 1970’s. It also contains what I consider to be the greatest car chase ever filmed and edited for a major motion picture, which took no less than five weeks to plan and shoot. Having seen Mr. Friedkin’s brilliant East Coast police thriller The French Connection (1971) on VHS in 1986, I made it a point the following year to catch up with his West Coast-based story of a Secret Service agent, Richard Chance (William Petersen), whose best friend and partner Jim Hart (Michael Greene) has been murdered by artist/currency counterfeiter Rick Masters
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