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Eric Masters

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Eric "Rick" Masters is the main antagonist in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A..

He is portrayed by Willem Dafoe, who also portrays The Green Goblin and John Geiger.


Masters is an elusive criminal who works as a counterfeiter, and after his activities are discovered by two counterfeiting investigators named Richard Chance and Jimmy Hart, they track him to his warehouse where Masters and his bodyguard kill Hart. Chance gains a new partner named John Vukovich and they become determined to take Masters down.

The two agents attempt to gain information on Masters by keeping one of his associates, named Max Waxman, under surveillance, but Masters discovers this and ends up killing Waxman. The agents later pose as bankers in order to get closer to Masters, and though he is reluctant to work with them at first, he eventually agrees to print them $1 million worth of fake bills. Chance becomes increasingly unethical and reckless in his attempts to catch Masters, whereas Vukovich is much calmer and wishes to go by the book.

During the climax, Chance and Vukovich meet with Masters for the exchange that they have arranged, but when they attempt to arrest him, Chance and Masters' bodyguard end up fatally shooting each other and Masters escapes. A horrified Vukovich chases Masters to a warehouse where he had previously worked, only to find that Masters has set fire to the building in order to erase all evidence. Masters knocks Vukovich unconscious and is about to set fire to him, when suddenly Vukovich wakes up and shoots Masters in the stomach. Bewildered, Masters drops the lighter he was holding and accidentally sets himself on fire, while Vukovich empties his gun into the burning man, killing him.


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