48 Hrs.

December 8th, 1982


48 Hrs.

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Still of Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs.Still of Eddie Murphy and James Remar in 48 Hrs.Still of Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs.Still of Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs.Still of Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs.

A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 6.9/10 (28,121 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: Walter Hill

Stars: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O'Toole

Oddball cop and tough guy, Jack Cates is the only survivor of a cop shooting and in hunting down the murderer collects Reggie Hammond from jail for 48 hours. Hammond is oddly motivated to help. The killer is searching for his stash of cash. Cates and Hammond who have the Black-white, cop-crook thing to work out make surprisingly good partners as they navigate through the city looking for their suspect.

Writers: Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill

Nick Nolte - Jack Cates
Eddie Murphy - Reggie Hammond
Annette O'Toole - Elaine
Frank McRae - Haden
James Remar - Albert Ganz
David Patrick Kelly - Luther
Sonny Landham - Billy Bear
Brion James - Ben Kehoe
Kerry Sherman - Rosalie, Hostage Girl
Jonathan Banks - Algren
James Keane - Vanzant
Tara King - Frizzy, Hotel Desk Clerk
Greta Blackburn - Lisa, Blonde Hooker
Margot Rose - Casey
Denise Crosby - Sally

Taglines: When a tough cop has a cool convict as a partner and 48 hrs to catch a killer, a lot of funny things can happen in . . . 48 HRS. [Australia Theatrical]

Release Date: 8 December 1982

Filming Locations: California, USA

Opening Weekend: $4,369,868 (USA) (12 December 1982) (850 Screens)

Gross: $75,936,265 (USA) (1983)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

James Remar often went without any sleep before shooting his scenes in order to give bad-guy Ganz a more washed-out, psychotic look.

Continuity: When Jack tears out of the gas station, Reggie falls into the back seat. In the next shot, as they round a corner, Reggie is sitting up in the front seat.

Reggie: I've been in prison for three years. My dick gets hard if the wind blows.

User Review

The real thing. Accept no imitations.

Rating: 9/10

This is the one of the movies that kicked off the buddy cop formula. Technically, Nick Nolte's the only cop, but other films have tried to imitate the style by having a tough, cranky, by-the-book cop (Nolte's character) paired off with a loose, easygoing, unorthodox cop (like Murphy's character). Some of these "imitators" have failed miserably and even those that succeeded don't match up to "48 Hours."

I haven't seen the unedited version of this movie in over ten years (it plays on TV like 4 times every month), and even when I did catch it on TV, I caught it in bits and pieces. Now that I've seen it straight-through, in its uncut form, I can regard this as an overlooked classic. Watching Nolte as the gruff, chain-smoking Jack, I thought to myself, "He owns that part." Many actors have tried to take on that same role, but nobody plays it better than Nolte. And the same goes for Eddie Murphy. His talent has been taken for granted over the recent years, since his career has hit a major slump. And rightfully so. He should choose his roles much more wisely. How do you from doing such fun, memorable films as "48 Hours," "Coming to America" and "Trading Places" to doing "Showtime" and "I-Spy." This movie proves that Murphy can go leaps and bounds with his comic talent, if the script is well-written. The scene in the all-white, country-western bar, where Murphy shows off his skills as an interrogator, is a classic.

The film is directed by Walter Hill, who's great at directing action sequences. So the movie packs a punch in both the action and comedy department. Nolte and Murphy's chemistry is priceless, and the banter between them is sharp and hilarious. One of my favorite examples is when Murphy asks Nolte, "Can you tell me a bedtime story?" Nolte responds, "F**k you." "That's my favorite one." Of course, Murphy gets most of the credit for being the comic relief, and he is terrific in one of his best comic performances, but Nolte belts out just as many funny lines as him, though he's the official straight man. He never seems to say anything intentionally funny, but that's what's funny. He says things that are hilarious, but sounds dead serious about them. And of course, it's also hilarious to watch him react furiously to Murphy's taunts.

Those who haven't seen "48 Hours" should really check it out, because it's an action classic! Sure, the "Rush Hour" films are good, but Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan don't have close to the same magic as Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy! THIS is how an action/comedy is made!!

My score: 9 (out of 10)


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