Film & Water #180 – 48 Hrs.


Episode 180 - 48 Hrs.

Rob is joined by podcaster Ericka Nicole Anderson to discuss Eddie Murphy's 1982 film debut, 48 HRS.

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8 responses to “Film & Water #180 – 48 Hrs.

  1. Oh, wow. I love 48 Hours so much, and this was such a great conversation.
    Like Rob, I only first watched the movie about 2 years after it came out (on VCR), as I was only 13 when it was released, and unlike Ericka, I was not casually walking into theaters to see ‘R’ rated movies (again like Rob, I don’t even have 10% of Murphy’s self-confidence). I loved the movie right from the start, i.e., I never found the less ‘comedic’ bits tiresome. It’s just a solid action/thriller with Murphy giving it that extra something that makes it an all-time classic to my mind.
    And yes, the scene with Reggie inthe cowboy bar is priceless. It resonated with me in particular because I grew up in a pretty rural area where cowboy culture was quite popular – and I always kind of hated it.
    I was also really interested to hear both of your thoughts on Murphy’s other movies. To this day, I still think 48 Hours and Trading Places are really the best movies he’s been in. Beverly Hills Cop is one that I loved when it came out, but which I now find just o.k., kind of like a typical ’80s cop film with some funny Eddie Murphy bits tacked onto it (and I hated both II and III – which I did watch all the way through). There’s a few others I like, e.g., Coming to America and maybe The Distinguished Gentlemen and Showtime, but they don’t hold a candle to those first two. (However, I haven’t yet seen Dolomite is My Name, but I really want to).
    Again, great show, and I hope we’ll see, or rather hear, more from Ericka in future shows.

  2. Great discussion, Rob and Ericka. Loved hearing you two gush over Murphy and this movie, which I’ve always enjoyed… though not as much as Beverly Hills Cop, which is in my Top 5 of all time. I’m sure I mentioned that several times when pitching it as a Film and Water episode years ago. Alas…

    Anyway, loved your talk about Murphy’s appearance with Jerry Seinfeld (I need to watch that) and the heights of his power on SNL and Hollywood in the ’80s. If you haven’t seen his “Murray Murray” sketch that preceded his return to SNL, you’ve gotta check it out.

  3. Great conversation and great review of this movie. I havent seen it in forever but it was a favorite of my medical school roommate. I saw it a bunch because whenever it was on, he watched it and therefore so did I. As you say, the Murphy/Nolte chemistry is key to this and that bar scene is fantastic.

    I wholeheartedly agree that in those early films, I love Eddie Murphy. He and his movies are utterly quotable.

    Beverly Hills Cop – I actually quote Pinchot’s lines the most. But I do Murphy’s deep ‘aint gonna be fooled by no banana in the tailpipe’ line all the time.

    Golden Child – I say ‘only a man whose ass is narrow’ and ‘To Monty’ all the time. I like the Golden Child

    Trading Places – ‘That;s a Persian Rug! It’s from Persia!’

    Been a while since I have seen BHC. I should rewatch that and 48 hours. Thanks for the show!

  4. Yeah, I still like The Golden Child even if the tone is even more all over the place than 48 Hrs’. It probably takes place in the same universe as Big Trouble in Little China.

    As for this one, of COURSE Eddie Murphy is the insta-star, but it does take him forever to show up. And while Nolte is fine, the character itself is hard to take. Imagine The Odd Couple, but Oscar keeps using racial slurs on Felix. It’s a really racist script, and not great for women either. But see, that’s me. I tend to disengage from macho bullshit so typical of American action films of the era.

    At times, 48 Hrs approaches Noir film-making, but the testosterone gets in the way.

  5. I haven’t seen 48 Hrs. in a long time, like decades, and I really need to watch it again. But listening to this show right before my lunch break inspired me to look up some Eddie Murphy bits on YouTube, and I found a “Best of Eddie Murphy” compilation from Raw, Delirious and a few other random appearances. I literally had tears in my eyes, and haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time, so thanks to both Rob and Ericka for inspiring that.

    Oh, and I walked right in to see the very gory and violent rated-R Predator when I was 12. Me and my whole group of friends, all under 14 just walked right in!


  6. Great episode, Rob. Eddie Murphy is a singular performer in how on one hand he is quintessential movie star with a persona that can transform a mediocre film into something special. As you pointed out, 48 Hours is a basic cop movie with a plot hitting all the familiar beats. It gets elevated by Murphy’s charisma and comedic skills. There are films in his credits that are Eddie Murphy movies much in the same way that the Marx Brothers did Marx Brothers movies or Bob Hope did Bob Hope movies.

    On the other hand, Murphy is a fine character actor, able to deliver performances that are detailed and nuanced. As funny as The Nutty Professor is, everything about his performance as Sherman Klump is rooted in deep pathos and respect for the character. His Oscar-nominated performance as James Early in Dream Girls reveals an intensity I’d never seen in his acting before, plus it showcases his wonderful singing voice.

  7. This was a blast, and Ericka’s a gem. Now I have a couple recent, unseen Eddie Murphy performances to check out. Thank you both!

  8. I was a fan of Eddie Murphy in the SNL days, especially liking the sketches pairing him with Joe Piscopo, and Murphy was good enough to trick me into thinking Piscopo was actually funny instead of a prop. Didn’t see him in a movie until Trading Places, but more or less kept up with his theatrical releases through Coming to America, then started doing video only through Vampire in Brooklyn before abandoning him. Still dig the Beverly Hills Cop movies, but I watched the first recently and it didn’t hold up on the laughs anymore. Fun though, and Murphy has huge star power. I have a weird affinity for Boomerang (very into Robin Givens, hence owning A Rage in Harlem but not Harlem Nights. My absolute favorite though was The Golden Child, which hit the same action/comedy/supernatural/martial arts sweet spot as Big Trouble in Little China. Plus Charlotte Lewis, who brought that Gemser vibe.

    I think I’ve seen both 48 Hours movies once each, and being a fan of Brion James, wasn’t terribly shocked by them having him turn villain for the sequel. I like all the individual performers, but preferred them all elsewhere, so never made a point of returning to these movies.

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