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Paul Francis
09-08-2010, 01:43 PM
I've always considered TLADILA to be a pretty superior 80's crime/thriller and I decided to watch it again the other night. It's been about ten or twelve years since I last saw it...

Things I learned in TLADILA about criminals: Skinny,pasty-faced white guys can strut around in gang infested ghettos without a problem. The same clammy fellow and an overweight pizza delivery type are an unstoppable force.

Suspected felons visit their criminal associates in prison,during the visit, intricasies of their criminal operations are discussed. Supposedly intelligent criminals leave dead law enforcement officer's bodies at their hangout. Interpretive dance is a vital component and certainly a plausable past-time of your average criminal.

I get the impression that Masters, the tortured artist counterfeiter is just making the funny money till he gets that one big gallery show. Sorry,artsy fartsy villains just don't work.

Things I learned in TLADILA about cops: Most cops spend their days drinking alcohol in seedy estabishments. This is an invaluable component of law enforcement as it promotes comraderie and delusional thinking.

Indeed, between base jumping and part time pimping/extorting of informants, our cop is a busy fellow.

A law enforcement officer who can drive the wrong way down a freeway for ten minutes without getting into a significant accident is certainly special. Even more amazing is his ability to evade multiple FBI agents armed with machine guns.

SPOILER ALERT**

He has no qualms about robbing and causing the death of an FBI agent. Our cop is so unlikable, I submit that the best part of the movie is when pizza boy shoots him in the head.

This movie is dumb. It is stylishly shot but it has one ridiculous scene after another. TLADILA hasn't aged well. In the coked up eighties, the style could over ride the lack of substance but looking at it now, it is a film trying desparately to be shocking and edgy-but it is just silly.

John G.
09-08-2010, 01:46 PM
That's a pretty big spoiler in the second-to-last paragraph there Paul... might want to put a warning in your post.

Paul Francis
09-08-2010, 01:49 PM
Done.

Steve R
09-08-2010, 02:25 PM
I liked the film when it came out
and
when I saw it again recently it held up well. I still dug it.

Counterfeiters and flames go together - Better Tomorrow has that, too. ;)

mark t
09-08-2010, 02:50 PM
i watched it and liked it, but it is kinda draped in 80's coke cheez.

My stepdad borrowed it, and couldn't get past the Wang Chung soundtrack. :D

Troy Howarth
09-08-2010, 03:16 PM
Excellent film - the last film in Friedkin's golden age... this was followed by years of mediocrity, then a major rebound with Bug.

Daniel M
09-08-2010, 03:53 PM
I love the film as well. The original director's cut of RAMPAGE was a worthy follow-up, but the drastically re-edited version dumped to video in the 90s was a supreme letdown.

Beyond that, I concur it was a nearly 20 year dry spell until the return to form that was BUG.

RichardDoyle
09-08-2010, 04:19 PM
i watched it and liked it, but it is kinda draped in 80's coke cheez.

My stepdad borrowed it, and couldn't get past the Wang Chung soundtrack. :D

As Wang Chung goes, I think the soundtrack is pretty good. It's top tier Wang Chung.

RichardDoyle
09-08-2010, 04:23 PM
It felt like a comeback at the time since he'd had several poorly received films before it and "Deal of the Century" had been just unbelievably awful. It's too bad it wasn't really the start of anything.

Paul Francis
09-08-2010, 04:41 PM
It also seemed like Friedkin was kind of remaking the French Connection, with the unlikeable scummy cop who is obsessed with solving the case,extended car chase,bumbling play-it-safe sidekick,dirty urban locations etc.

Well, I liked The French Connection to a degree but in 'LA' the characters were just doing nonsensical things that bothered me. Like when Chance took his prisoner to the hospital-was this an attempt to make him seem like he had some sort of sympathetic qualities? It didn't, it was just inconsistent and unlikely.The guy is basically a pimp who screws/whores out his informant to get information.He also blackmails her. He later robs and indirectly causes an FBI agent to be killed,he shows no remorse for this and continues on his quest to bust Masters.


How did the judge not find out that the prisoner escaped? Chance's superior knew about it so I find it hard to believe that the judge who allowed Chance to take the prisoner (another laughable and improbable scenario) wouldn't know that the prisoner escaped.

The fact that there were multiple FBI agents chasing and shooting at Chance and his partner and no one could even provide a decent description of them-the car had no plates?! So a bullet riddled undercover car that HUNDREDS of motorists could identify just goes back into the police parking garage.Okay.

Rick Masters, the suave criminal mastermind agrees to print up a bunch of dough for the two cops and what? Has his girlfriend search their car? Then it seems like he knows they are cops but goes ahead and does the deal anyways, but is then suprised when they try to bust him.

This is one of those fanboy 'sacred cow' films. The one that the critics hated had a somewhat mediocre box office but once the real cinephiles started seeing it it's real worth was revealed. Yeah right.To me it just doesn't stand up to repeat viewings and it's multiple flaws drown it.


There is no way this movie can stand up to Scarface or even Year of the Dragon which is kind of a similar film but in Year, Rourke is flawed but at least has some sense of justice and decency. Chance is worse than the criminals he is chasing. Even in Scarface Tony had code of honour. the lead character in a cop or crime film has to have some redeeming quality. If not then there is no dichotomy and really what is the point?

Jonathan H.
09-08-2010, 04:48 PM
Saw this for the first time on VHS as a teen in the '90s and revisited again with the DVD and then Blu-ray. To me, it's one that looks better as the years go by and its influence on subsequent films and television cop shows, despite its '80s look, becomes more clear. Yes, it's draped in '80s style, but I'd argue that when these elements are executed at a high level, which I think they are here, they are a major asset. Laugh at Wang Chung if you want, but I think their score and songs are perfectly utilized here and d.p. Robby Muller, who cut his teeth shooting for Wenders, is aces here. There are plenty of clumsy examples from the era, most of which come from the latter half of the decade, but I think TLaDiLA belongs in a higher class.

Jonathan H.
09-08-2010, 05:22 PM
There is no way this movie can stand up to Scarface or even Year of the Dragon which is kind of a similar film but in Year, Rourke is flawed but at least has some sense of justice and decency. Chance is worse than the criminals he is chasing. Even in Scarface Tony had code of honour. the lead character in a cop or crime film has to have some redeeming quality. If not then there is no dichotomy and really what is the point?

So you didn't like it and it upsets you that "fanboys" have elevated it to some kind of classic status. I am a fan of SCARFACE although I don't know where it and TLaDiLA rank in my personal list. YEAR OF THE DRAGON, on the other hand, was incredibly disappointing to me when I finally caught up with it earlier this year. Rourke (born 1952) was WAY too young for his role (the reason why he resisted the role for some time before being talked into by Michael Cimino) as a grizzled Vietnam veteran and police captain. The casting of Ray Barry (born 1939) as Rourke's childhood chum just serves to constantly remind detail-oriented viewers like myself that Rourke is playing a role that a guy about ten years older than him should be playing.

Where the Friedkin film really moves (thanks in part to top notch editor Bud Smith) and the screenplay, Cimino's film (scripted by Oliver Stone) is so disjointed and is completely lacking in any of kind of subtlety--it's not helped by Stone's script or the poor performances by Rourke and, particularly, female lead Ariane. I don't generally laugh at movies (I do laugh with them), but YotD really challenged me in this regard...it's just one of those films where the big, emotional scenes had exactly the opposite effect they were supposed to have despite the presence of a top talent like Rourke. But, he was out of his element here and it's hard to blame him for falling short. It's too bad because there are so many great elements within this film and I LOVED the way the set designers painstakingly recreated NY's Chinatown in Wilmington, NC. Very impressive.

Mike S.
09-08-2010, 05:37 PM
Things I learned in TLADILA about criminals:

This thread would probably feel more at home at imdb -- between the "Suitable for 7 year olds?" and "This is the worse movie ever!!1!" threads.

Troy Howarth
09-08-2010, 05:40 PM
Seriously, Paul - it's fine that you don't like the film... but why do you deem it necessary to insult those of us who like it? That's a really lame tactic, no offense.

Oh, and for what it's worth - I like this film better than either Scarface or Year of the Dragon. I guess that makes me a 'fanboy.' I also don't feel that it's necessary for the protagonist to have a code of honor. Who says that this "has" to be the case? It's a matter of personal preference, which is fine.

Christoffer S
09-08-2010, 06:49 PM
I love it. It feels like Miami Vice but in dirty LA.

Emanuele Sheriff
09-08-2010, 07:16 PM
I think it still holds up well and has some excellent performances. And it's influence on so many other films and TV shows is undeniable.

Eric R.
09-08-2010, 07:17 PM
I love the movie. The characters are as complex as the plot and the plot doesn't follow typical movie layouts. I love the sunny, gritty L.A. feel to it. I Even have a movie poster of it in our movie room.

paul h.
09-08-2010, 08:07 PM
One of my favorite movies. The flaws in the characters and plot are completely believable to me, because the real world is imperfect and people are assholes. :)

Haters be hatin'.

Daniel M
09-08-2010, 08:35 PM
^ As a Friedkin-phile who just revisited CRUISING a couple nights ago, I couldn't agree more.

TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. is consistent with the themes and concerns of all of WF's best work, and (thanks to Wim Wenders' cinemetographer Robby Muller) it is arguably his best photographed film, ever.

But the OP played the "Fanboy Sacred Cow" card earlier, so I don't think there's much desire for a scholarly debate here. As someone else suggested, this does have the potential to become an imdb-style "ZOMG FRIEDKIN SUX!" thread.

I'll continue to visit, not to argue, but just to champion the film.

Ryan T.
09-08-2010, 10:49 PM
I find this movie endlessly rewatchable. A lot of people hate on the Wang Chung soundtrack but I can't get enough of it. Really adds a lot of charm to the thing. I'm sure the movie would've had a darker atmosphere had the soundtrack been less upbeat 80s pop and more along the lines of Sorcerer's Tangerine Dream score but it is what it is.

Jonathan H.
09-08-2010, 11:29 PM
I find this movie endlessly rewatchable. A lot of people hate on the Wang Chung soundtrack but I can't get enough of it. Really adds a lot of charm to the thing. I'm sure the movie would've had a darker atmosphere had the soundtrack been less upbeat 80s pop and more along the lines of Sorcerer's Tangerine Dream score but it is what it is.

Eh, it's pretty f'in dark as it is. The music is deceptively upbeat, I think. Within the context of the movie, it mostly lends a pretty sinister quality to the whole thing, to my ears at least, particularly where Dafoe is concerned, obviously. Those moments when we see Dafoe alone in his studio making art or counterfeit money, while we hear snatches of the score, represent a pretty good marriage of music and image.

Jim R.
09-08-2010, 11:32 PM
I'll begin by stating my favorite element of this film is the Wang Chung score! Wang Chung, in my biased opinion, is the greatest pop group of the 1980s!

Now, as for the film itself, I used to love it. But now I don't. I guess as a teen, watching this on commercial TV, then later on VHS, I must've thought the gritty cops-and-counterfeiters drama was cool. But I bought the DVD months ago and I was disappointed. I just couldn't get into it any more. Now I'm stuck with a DVD I don't want. But I'm proud that I own the soundtrack on both cassette and CD!

Paul Francis
09-09-2010, 12:27 AM
"Things I learned in TLADILA about criminals:

This thread would probably feel more at home at imdb -- between the "Suitable for 7 year olds?" and "This is the worse movie ever!!1!" threads."

Well, that is quite a scholarly little contribution you've made. I've backed up my opinions regarding the film.

Anyway, I did say that the film is styishly shot. I certainly like the way it looks and the score is great. It is not the 80's quality either, I love the 80's.


I didn't mean to personally insult anybody who really likes the film, it was just my gut reaction. I think I was in shock because I remember it as one of the best 80's movies and I was disappointed as I perceived all these holes in logic and implausable things happening.

Sometimes I see stuff that I couldn't stand at first viewing and then, if I give it another chance it grows on me. Sometimes the opposite can happen too.

Mike S.
09-09-2010, 08:19 AM
"Things I learned in TLADILA about criminals:

This thread would probably feel more at home at imdb -- between the "Suitable for 7 year olds?" and "This is the worse movie ever!!1!" threads."

Well, that is quite a scholarly little contribution you've made. I've backed up my opinions regarding the film.


Yep. Because your original post was in no way similar to this:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1148204/board/nest/143617885

Paul Francis
09-09-2010, 08:59 AM
"Yep. Because your original post was in no way similar to this:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1148204/...nest/143617885"

Okay, so I used a 'Things I learned from ..." format to get my ideas across, I don't see what point you're trying make. The link you posted is for some movie called 'Orphan'.

If you want to talk cliche', how about "cop has three days left on job,wants to make the one last bust,gets killed,hot headed partner seeks revenge.."

Troy Howarth
09-09-2010, 09:09 AM
Being cliche isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Objectively speaking, the points you make about the plot are perfectly valid... but then again, I think if one looks hard enough you can find holes in just about any plot. If I didn't enjoy the film, I'd probably let these things bother me. But I do enjoy it. Why? It succeeds on sheer style - it has a kinetic energy that I associate with Friedkin's best work, and that's enough to get me involved in the film as a whole.

George P
09-09-2010, 11:38 AM
Here's to chucking in my irrelevant five cents...

I love the movie! The soundtrack is the best thing Wang Chung ever did. I watched the movie so many times back in the age of vhs that bits of dialogue are imbedded in my skull. I thoroughly enjoy the car chase against traffic - it's classic. The shades of gray may be shopworn but the resonances throughout make me a happy camper. I have not watched it in a long time so who knows? I figure it to be one of those movies I love unconditionally. One of the joys of movies for me is how I relate to them and not how they relate to capital R reality.

g.

Jonathan H.
09-09-2010, 11:45 AM
I watched the movie so many times back in the age of vhs that bits of dialogue are imbedded in my skull.

Indeed! Billy Petersen's line when he's chasing the guy on the bridge, said with Chicago accent, "Right there, fella!", has somehow become part of my regular lexicon. :D

http://www.garycole.net/Films/To_Live_and_Die_in_LA/Gary_Cole_with_William_Petersen_in_To_Live_and_Die _in_LA.jpg

http://www.manhunter.net/cast/gfx/wp.jpg

George P
09-09-2010, 01:26 PM
Just went to the IMDB memorable quotes page and had a flashback. Damn! Now I just gotta re-watch it!

g.

George P
09-09-2010, 01:27 PM
"Guess what? Uncle Sam don't give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker."

Sorry couldn't resist....

g.

Jonathan H.
09-09-2010, 01:50 PM
double post

Jonathan H.
09-09-2010, 01:52 PM
"Guess what? Uncle Sam don't give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker."

Sorry couldn't resist....

g.

Love it! :D

Daniel M
09-09-2010, 03:35 PM
Eric 'Rick' Masters: You have my word you won't have to do the whole nickel.
Carl Cody: What does that mean?
Eric 'Rick' Masters: Grimes is the best lawyer in the state. It'll either be an appeal bond or a sentence reduction.
Carl Cody: And the check is in the mail, and I love you, and I promise not to come in your mouth...

This movie is addictive. Probably my favorite Friedkin outside the 70s trilogy (EXORCIST/FRENCH CONNECTION/SORCERER) and CRUISING.

And it was the perfect antidote to DEAL OF THE CENTURY.

Matthew BB
09-09-2010, 06:59 PM
Chance is worse than the criminals he is chasing. Even in Scarface Tony had code of honour. the lead character in a cop or crime film has to have some redeeming quality. If not then there is no dichotomy and really what is the point?

I find Chance to be despicable, yet very likable. It was stated somewhere in the special features for either TO LIVE AND DIE or MANHUNTER that it was exactly that kind of extreme polarity Friedkin was aiming for. I'm sure I'm messing up the quote, but it was something along the lines of "Someone who would take a piss on your mother's grave and you'd still like him." Chance is the nightmare cop, but he's outrageous, bad ass, and fun.


....SPOILER.....

I've shown this movie to many people, and ALL are stunned and even seem hurt by the death scene. Guess they liked him a lot, too.

Troy Howarth
09-09-2010, 07:00 PM
I had the same reaction. I don't care if a character has a strong moral code - I just care whether I find the character interesting. Chance IS oddly likable, IMO.

John G.
09-09-2010, 09:00 PM
I enjoyed the film immensely when I rented the VHS years back... looks like a good opportunity to revisit this film on blu-ray, since it's so inexpensive and the reviews say the transfer is good. Anyone here have it?

Daniel M
09-09-2010, 09:43 PM
Thoughts on the score - Although the use of drum machines anchors it to the 80s, the music is very effective. Hit songs are used sparingly - "Dance Hall Days" is heard briefly as ambient music at a strip club (it didn't even appear on the soundtrack) and "Wait" is reserved for the end credits.

And some of the instrumental music, especially the piece that sounds like a mix of atonal toy piano and a child's looped screams, wouldn't have sounded out of place in CRUISING.

Randy Thomas G
09-09-2010, 09:47 PM
There is no way this movie can stand up to Scarface or even Year of the Dragon which is kind of a similar film but in Year, Rourke is flawed but at least has some sense of justice and decency. Chance is worse than the criminals he is chasing. Even in Scarface Tony had code of honour. the lead character in a cop or crime film has to have some redeeming quality. If not then there is no dichotomy and really what is the point?

Scarface came to mind immediately from your first post, although I like it, I find it much more ridiculous than TO LIVE AND DIE... The attempt to give Tony a 'code' is absurd and sentimental. It's the worst part of the film.

I'd agree that TO LIVE AND DIE... is in no way realistic, but then I don't think it was trying for that, the film is sleaze overload.

Fred Anderson
09-10-2010, 02:44 AM
Excellent film - the last film in Friedkin's golden age... this was followed by years of mediocrity, then a major rebound with Bug.

The Hunted is a masterpiece.

Troy Howarth
09-10-2010, 07:23 AM
No, I don't agree. It's better than its reputation and it builds to a memorably vicious finale... but I wouldn't say it's anything close to a masterpiece.

Mark G
09-10-2010, 11:17 AM
The Hunted is the only Friedkin film I've seen theatrically. I went in not expecting much but was very pleasantly surprised.

I loved the lean, tight plotting and action which gave the film tremendous momentum. The editing in the fight scenes and chase sequences was clear and precise - you can actually tell what is going on. Both lead characters were believable and backed up by perfect perfomances by Jones and Del Toro.

Subsequent viewings really stand up, and I think it's his best post 80's film, closely followed by Jade. I found Bug wildly over rated, it didn't look or feel like a Friedkin film somehow.

Troy Howarth
09-10-2010, 11:27 AM
The Hunted doesn't necessarily look like a Friedkin film, either. It's not a bad film, but I think Bug is vastly superior in every respect.

Mark G
09-10-2010, 12:03 PM
The Hunted doesn't necessarily look like a Friedkin film, either. It's not a bad film, but I think Bug is vastly superior in every respect.

I suspect Bug is one of those films I just don't get. Sometimes a film just doesn't work for some people. I know Friedkin is very proud of the film and considers it one of his best.

On the technical side I'd argue that The Hunted is far superior. One of the things I couldn't stand with Bug was the constant hand held cinematography which makes it look like a modern tv show, give me the sumptuous classically framed look of The Hunted anyday.
The perfomances in Bug seemed forced and melodramatic, theatrical really. In The Hunted Jones and Del Toro perfectly portray the classic Friedkin male characteristics - ambiguity and deadly danger.

Ultimately it's difficult to compare such different films. I just feel that The Hunted feels like a 'real' Friedkin film containing everything I enjoy in his best films. Bug didn't work at all for me on this ( or any other ) level.

Troy Howarth
09-10-2010, 03:35 PM
You're right - comparisons here really aren't that productive since their style and intentions are so different. The Hunted is very competently handled, but I don't think it's anything special stylistically, either. The raw look of Bug suits the subject matter, but I can see where it would be offputting for viewers who prefer a more classical approach.

Daniel M
09-10-2010, 11:00 PM
Friedkin's COMMENTARY for THE HUNTED is a masterpiece, that's for sure. There is NO other director whose audio commentaries I enjoy as much. He's a true raconteur.

M Sanderson
09-11-2010, 05:18 AM
i liked THE HUNTED - a really tough, stripped down thriller. doesn't look like a friedkin film? what about tommy lee jones, tracking someone through the woods, all that attention to detail and procedure as he searches for signs - that's pure friedkin? also the outdoors setting reminds me somewhat of SORCERER. and the fact that it's basically a lean chase thriller seems to come naturally to the director of FRENCH CONNECTION.

BUG is definitely a better film, which sees friedkin get back to the concentrated intensity/theatrical material, harking back more to THE BIRTHDAY PARTY.

Daniel M
09-11-2010, 06:04 PM
^ Hey, when are we going to see a proper DVD release of THE BIRTHDAY PARTY with, at the very least, a director's commentary?

Unlike work-for-hire duds like DEAL OF THE CENTURY and BLUE CHIPS, I see Friedkin all over THE HUNTED.

The Johnny Cash spoken-word intro and creepy Abrahamic imagery in Del Toro's hiding place imparted the fleeting sense of portent I associate with THE EXORCIST and SORCERER, and the leaness of the chase sequences (especially everything set on and around the bridge) certainly reminded me this was by the creator of THE FRENCH CONNECTION and TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA.

I put THE HUNTED past things like RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (which felt less like a WF film, despite the return of a SORCERER cast member and some trademark imagery), but see it falling short of his seminal films.

BUG, on the other hand, is a classic.

Troy Howarth
09-11-2010, 06:45 PM
The Hunted looks like a masterpiece compared to some of the other films of that period, I'll give it that. It's not a bad film, but I wouldn't say it's any kind of forgotten gem or anything of the kind.

The Birthday Party, on the other hand, is a terrific film. It was produced by Amicus, Hammer's chief competitor in the 60s and 70s, and it's brilliantly done all around. I'd settle for just a regular R1 release at this point; the R2 disc is OK, but there's room for improvement.

Garrett Sorensen
09-11-2010, 07:04 PM
Friedkin's COMMENTARY for THE HUNTED is a masterpiece, that's for sure. There is NO other director whose audio commentaries I enjoy as much. He's a true raconteur.

This must be limited to his own films because I found his commentary to The Leopard Man to be horribly unprepared and repetitive. He did come off as a big fan though, which makes sense considering his gritty 80's noirish crime thrillers have a debt of sorts. I did love the Silver Falls Orgeon scenery in The Hunted, some action films get twice the mileage just out of Northwest location shoots (ie First Blood.) Bug did feel like a resurgence for Friedkin although the ending fell completely flat for me. This would have been a good case for changing the ending of the original play or book (I assume it was one.)

Troy Howarth
09-11-2010, 07:08 PM
His Leopard Man commentary was OK. Friedkin is usually great to listen to, but his commentary on The Version You've Never Seen of The Exorcist is the pits... the second half of his commentary for Cruising is also a major disappointment.

Terry Carpenter
09-11-2010, 07:22 PM
I'm a little disappointed on how he never comments on any of the other missing things from the film.

It's one film that I still feel is shrouded in mystery.

Troy Howarth
09-11-2010, 07:38 PM
You mean Cruising? I wish there was room for hope that the material is still out there, but Friedkin seems certain that this is not the case.

Terry Carpenter
09-11-2010, 09:09 PM
I thought it was common knowledge that there was a fisting scene. Even though that does sound far-fetched as it was a studio picture.

I wish an in-depth documentary was/or in the future being made. I could probably never cease to learn more about this obscure production. Also, I'd like to hear from Pacino about working on the film, all I've heard was that he didn't understand the character and from his bio (on the Bio channel) that he didn't along too well with Friedkin.

Troy Howarth
09-11-2010, 09:28 PM
I think Pacino's main problem was the attention the film received - all the protesting and so forth would have been a major distraction for an actor known to be fairly insular and intense while at work. There's implied fisting in the film as it stands, but we have to bear in mind that a lot of exaggerated rumors get started and sometimes they have no basis in reality. I still remember all the stories about the racy content in Eyes Wide Shut, for example, and how Harvey Keitel was fired because he jerked off into Nicole Kidman's hair during a steamy scene in the film. :D

Matthew BB
09-12-2010, 01:45 AM
I thought it was common knowledge that there was a fisting scene. Even though that does sound far-fetched as it was a studio picture.

I wish an in-depth documentary was/or in the future being made. I could probably never cease to learn more about this obscure production. Also, I'd like to hear from Pacino about working on the film, all I've heard was that he didn't understand the character and from his bio (on the Bio channel) that he didn't along too well with Friedkin.

I don't think the featurettes on the CRUISING dvd are unsatisfactory. But I'm not trying to put words into your mouth; I too would love to know as much as possible about this film, an actual documentary would be great.

As for the implied fisting scene, I thought it lived up to the notoriety. Are there actually rumors of hardcore or more aggressive looking stuff?

To bring it back to TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA, I don't think I've listened to Friedkin's commentary for that. I'm looking forward to it...though I'm among those who can meet Daniel M only half way at his opinion that Friedkin is highly enjoyable to listen to on his commentaries. When he's on fire, he is engrossing enough to make up for the much discussed problem he has with explaining the action.

Guillaume P
09-12-2010, 07:19 AM
Very good film,stylish,weird,tense and nervous,dark...my favorite thriller from the 80's is still MANHUNTER,though.

Daniel M
09-12-2010, 04:29 PM
Matthew BB - I'd like to qualify my comment with some context. Friedkin is a frustrating yet fascinating character to listen to. My opinion is colored by having seen the man speak several times in person at American Cinematheque screenings and other events here in L.A. He's a gregarious yet sometimes volatile character - I famously recall him essentially dressing down a pompous, self-important fanboy in front of the entire audience at a screening of TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. and SORCERER several years ago.

He really is a "raconteur" in the both the literal and colloquial senses of the word. It's obvious he sometimes enjoys playing the role of bullshit artist - why else would he ever look back over his career and state, in print, that THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY was the best film he ever directed? Do you think he ever believed such a thing, even at the time of the picture's release?

So, it's hard to quantify my fondness for his commentaries, and I'll be the first to concur that if you're looking for straightforward breakdowns of the action, he often misses the mark (although I do think he hit the mark quite well on THE HUNTED DVD).

Troy Howarth
09-12-2010, 05:00 PM
Tell us more about him dressing that fan down! :)

Daniel M
09-12-2010, 06:26 PM
This was over 15 years ago so details are too hazy for a play-by-play, but the fracas was over the time/date stamps that appear in various fonts throughout TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. The fan felt they were meaningless, and Friedkin kept insisting they were vital - in a humorous, f-bomb drenched tirade.

The crowd loved it.

Troy Howarth
09-12-2010, 06:35 PM
Wish I could have seen that... he's a tricky guy, by all accounts, but very interesting.

RichardDoyle
09-13-2010, 04:55 PM
So, it's hard to quantify my fondness for his commentaries, and I'll be the first to concur that if you're looking for straightforward breakdowns of the action, he often misses the mark (although I do think he hit the mark quite well on THE HUNTED DVD).

On the contrary, my problem with the commentaries I have heard from him ("The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" especially) is that ALL he did was describe what was happening on the screen. "The French Connection" was not that bad, but "The Exorcist" was a complete and utter waste of time. It was nothing but a straightforward description of the action.