USA Up All Night (also known as Up All Night and Up All Night with Rhonda Shear) is an American…
One Cop. One Con. No Mercy.
A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.
Director Walter Hill is primarily know for three things: 1) action 2) an active camera and 3) testosterone. No film of his plays up all three and balances them quite like 48hrs. Add to that the comic powerhouse that is Eddie Murphy's film debut with an equal foil that is Nick Nolte's lone wolf cop and you get a high-octane and energetic neo-buddy-cop film that delivers from the amazing Hill-centric cast to James Horner's fantastic score.
The Roger Spottiswoode/Walter Hill story of a cop that has 48 hours to use a convict to solve a prison escape hits the ground running.
Hill's film starts it's action thrust from minute one. Scenes are kinetic, the narrative moves and we get just…
Walter Hill's filmography reads like a cult-canon of underrated classics. From The Driver to Southern Comfort, The Warriors to Streets Of Fire, he gave us compelling, profanity littered films with style and attitude. For some though 48 HRS slips below the radar among those minor cult films from the now 72 year old director, but it still has all his trademark visuals and frenetic action-heavy aesthetics.
It's hard to believe that this was Eddie Murphy's first film role. He came across as so confident in his ability, his star potential was obvious. Here he plays a convict who is released from prison for 48 hours in order to help gruff cop Nick Nolte capture an escaped con who killed two…
What the hell happened to Eddie Murphy?
Back in the '80s, his career exploded, and he rode a steady upward trajectory, such that it seemed there was no end in sight for this rising star. Although there were a couple of missteps along the way (I'm looking at you, Golden Child and Best Defense), his filmography consisted of an almost-unbroken string of hits. Beginning with this film, 48 Hrs., he gave the world wonderful performances in Trading Places, Coming to America, Beverly Hills Cop, and some not-terrible sequels. Let's just pretend Harlem Nights never happened. His hits all had something in common. They were intelligent comedies with a heart, and were genuinely entertaining. Then, except for a couple of decent…
There are three great scenes in this film: when Eddie Murphy struts and abuses his temporary power to fuck with a bar full of racists, when Murphy and Nolte duel a bus in a cadillac, and the tense final chase/shootout that, despite all the bullshit you have to wade through to get there, is beautiful in neon and fog. And there are some okay moments in between, but all of that is drowned out in racism (at least it's accurate! all the cops are pieces of shit!), sexism (women are literally cast aside repeatedly), and homophobia (in a few small jokes mostly at Eddie Murphy's expense). An incredible disappointment from Walter Hill, who usually cuts the chaff out and leaves only indescribable action. Nice to see not one but two Twin Peaks actors getting screen time here, though.
Watching 48 Hrs. Conversation went something like this..
It's him from Predator!
It's him from Commando!
It's him from Batteries Not Included!
It's him from Blade Runner!
It's him from Gremlins!
Film #1 of "Scavenger Hunt - September 2015" Challenge!
Task #14: A buddy cop film!
Wow...this film would absolutely not be able to be made today. The eighties were a different time in so many respects. While it's easy to get nostalgic for the "good old days" or "simpler times", I must say that we really have come a long way. The racism and misogyny on display here is astounding in that it didn't seem like a big deal within the context of the film and probably wasn't a big deal to the filmmakers at the time. We have definitely become a more sensitive society as a whole and what passed as acceptable treatment of women back…
It's hard to imagine a world in which Eddie Murphy wasn't a superstar, but this is about as close as it gets in a film. Murphy is dynamic and alive in a way that this film truly needs. But where the film really succeeds is in having Nick Nolte be a full character who is strong enough to stand up to Murphy. With a portrayal as strong as Murphy's, it would be easy for the other characters to just get steamrolled by the charisma and force. But Nolte holds his own. That's what makes this film better than Beverly Hills Cop. That film features a strong Murphy performance, but this one features a strong cast.
super-unrealistic 80s cop action fluff. if it weren't for Eddie Murphy this would be as boring as a Burt Reynolds movie.
Walter Hill's follow up to The Warriors is an incredibly funny, action packed and horribly racist romp through San Francisco. The buddy cop trope has been around forever. Two people with different ways of doing things have to come together to stop a common enemy. It's a tale as old as time. Walter Hill puts a heavy race slant on the entire affair by casting Eddie Murphy as the "jive talking" street hustling convict and Nick Nolte as a cop who isn't afraid to throw around the n-bomb like it's a true descriptive. In fact the way Nolte's character Jack Cates says "nigger" with zero pause or consideration for Eddie Murphy's Reggie Hammond will is mind boggling.
Ok so maybe…
A time when buddy films threw around racial slurs, cigarette smoke and steel drums like it was Christmas morning at the homeless shelter. When guns were pointed in innocent faces. When city decay was the established norm. When you felt the impact of a bad guy getting bitch-slapped. When hookers and strippers were the limit for female roles. When action movies got in and out in under 100 minutes. When Walter Hill was the authority on machismo run-a-muck. That's 48 Hrs. and 1982 in a nutshell. Glorious, silly and gritty all at once.
Who the hell decided that Nick Nolte could carry the first half of a buddy cop drama all by himself? Usually you can count on Eddie Murphy to save a mediocre script (like "The Golden Child"), and I get that this was his first movie, but even when he was finally introduced as a character, his only really great scene was when he got to smack rednecks around in a bar, which he did incredibly well.
I didn't think Murphy and Nolte had really good chemistry, but to be fair to Eddie, Nick Nolte looks and sounds more like a grumpy potato than a man. The only time Nolte really stood out as a character was when he was calling…
A grouchy, grumpy, shouty, sweary, sweary, dirty brute of a film. Cop stuff - blah. Locations - cool. Music - great. Nolte - Nolte, and the perfect foil for his co-star. Of whom...well I can't think of another film which better epitomizes the moment when a relative unknown becomes a star than the scene in the redneck bar...or in fact ANY moment Mr. Murphy's onscreen in this movie. Did he EVER give a better performance than that of Reggie Hammond? Arguably - Axel Foley (the first time), and Donkey (the first and second times). But that's arguably. The man's had a great career, but watching his mesmerising debut, it's pretty much been all downhill from there.
Well, I can say I've seen it.
After being immensely disappointed with Last Man Standing, I had to get my hands on another Walter Hill film to wash that away. For its reputation as being the the forerunner of the buddy cop action/comedy of the 80s, it pleasantly surprised me that it's much more steeped in the kind of cop films from the late 60s and early 70s, offering up a well balanced equation of grit and thrills. Hill's trademark no bullshit approach to filmmaking is in full effect, complete with atmospheric visuals being crafted out of typically mundane locations (it's easy to believe that the surge of neon-lit visuals in the 80s could be traced back to this film just as much as anything Michal Mann…
Film 17/30 of the "Scavenger Hunt #6" Challenge!
My Scavenger Hunt #6 List.
Item 14. A buddy cop film!
quite effervescent to consider itself a faulty buddy cop film but it speaks of such reminiscent to the highly successful Lethal Weapon franchise. Nolte and Murphy's heads bump with pure energy and a consistence of insensitive contradiction and yet admirable and acceptable to see the emergence of the minority in Hollywood cinema (thanks to Saturday Night Live). a point of crudeness in some areas that invites you to look away and yet the unwanted charisma speaks volume from a fairly balanced set of ideals from the characters of the duo. of course, the screenplay could've handled it better but…
Complete list of movies that The Dissolve decided to honor with their "Movie Of The Week" features.
Three latest entries…
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
I Like to Watch / Caballero (1982)
Mona the Virgin…