48 Hrs. is a 1982 action comedy film directed by Walter Hill and produced by Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver, his first film as a producer. The screenplay was written by Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross and Steven E. de Souza. 48 Hrs stars Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy in his film debut and Annette O’Toole.
The storlyine follows an oddball but tough San Francisco PD officer, Inspector Jack Cates who is the only survivor of a bloody shoot-out in a cheap hotel. With the back to the wall and in order to hunt down the murderer, the armed-and-dangerous escaped convict, Albert Ganz he releases Reggie Hammond, the fugitive’s former partner from jail for 48 hours. Hammond is oddly motivated to help and the killer is searching for his stash of cash. Cates and Hammond who have nothing in common, and as if that weren’t enough, time is against them to work things out but surprisingly make good partners as they navigate through the city looking for their suspect.
Principle photogrpahy started on 17th May 1982, with Eddie Murphy joining a few weeks after due to finishing up a season of Saturday Night Live. The studio executives clashed with Walter Hill and Larry Gross as they were worried that the film was not funny enough with Larry Gross writing more material specifically tailored towards Nick Nolte’s and Eddie Murphy’s personalities. Walter Hill later added that they continued to rewrite Eddie Murphy’s character up to the very last day of filming. The studio executives found footage of the gunfight in the hotel too violent and were worried that it would kill the film’s humour as a result Walter Hill was told he would never work with Paramount again.
When 48 Hrs. was released it received critical acclaim from the critics and audiences alike and is widely considered to be one of the best films of 1982. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 93% with the general consensus being, “Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads”.
Commercially 48 Hrs., was hugely succsssful despite the initial concern from the studio executives. It opened the same as The Toy and Airplane II: The Sequel and finished the weekend in third place with gross box office receipts of $4,369,868. 48 Hrs went on to gross $78,868,508 in US box office receipts and became the seventh highest-grossing film of 1982. Due to its commercial success a sequel called Another 48 Hrs., was released in June 1990 which was interestingly directed by Walter Hill with Paramount Pictures.
48 Hrs. was nominated and won several awards with Walter Hill winning the Grand Prix award at the Cognac Festival du Film Policier and Eddie Murphy was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut – Male. The film’s screenplay was nominated by the Edgar Allan Poe Awards for Best Motion Picture and James Horner won an award for his score at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.
Year of Film
Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, Frank McRae, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Budget: $12,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $4,369,868 (USA)
Gross: $78,868,508 (USA)
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