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Directed by William Friedkin

United States 1985 116 mins. In English

Friedkin’s sun-drenched neo-noir, shot by legendary cinematographer Robby Müller, is one of the great crime dramas of the 1980s. Richard Chance (perennial 80s action-hero William Petersen), a US Secret Service agent at the Los Angeles field office, is charged with investigating counterfeiters, foremost of which is the brooding, dispassionate Rick Masters (an especially creepy Willem Dafoe). Enter Chance’s new partner John Vukovich (John Pankow), the two going down a dangerous and winding path in their pursuit to bring Masters to justice, which he has eluded for years, flaunting his lawlessness. Featuring a classic soundtrack by Wang Chung, dripping in neon and grime, To Live and Die in L.A. “seems to know a lot about counterfeiting and also about the interior policies of the Secret Service. The film isn’t just about cops and robbers, but about two systems of doing business, and how one of the systems finds a way to change itself in order to defeat the other.”—Roger Ebert.

Genres: Crime, Drama, Action

Appears in: Robby Müller Tribute

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.