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
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
David Patrick Kelly
Rosalie, Hostage Girl
Frizzy, Hotel Desk Clerk
Lisa, Blonde Hooker
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
(12 December 1982)
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.
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.
I've been in prison for three years. My dick gets hard if the wind blows.
The real thing. Accept no imitations.
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)