Comfortable and Furious

48 Hours (1982)

Eddie Murphy was only 19 years old when he was tagged to play the convict conscripted by Jack, a renegade and reckless cop in San Francisco. Jack always stayed just a half a step ahead of losing his badge, and Reggie wanted to get out of jail. Even though Reggie Hammond was not a cop, his unforgettable performance was the original “buddy cop” formula that spawned many other successful movies like the Lethal Weapon franchise and Men In Black.

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The boys are back in town

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:

Reckless cop teams with convict to find two cop killers


Not so much that you would even notice. Jack does totally ignore his girlfriend, but this is because of cop duty, not any lust for his partner. Reggie is understandably horny after being in the joint for a while, but he is only after the girls. We do get to see a ripped and shirtless Sonny Landham, right before he takes two in the chest.

Corpse Count:

It was pretty low. Two cops at the beginning, one bad guy on the bus, and the two cop killers at the end.

Novelty Deaths:

Not that novel, but Jack nonchalantly shot Ganz while he was holding Reggie as a human shield with a gun to his head.

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How Bad Was It Really:

48 Hours was really good. It was predictable that it was a yawner for most professional reviewers, but Ebert liked it and gave it 3.5/4.0 stars. The plot was routine, but the acting was superb as Nolte and Murphy played off each other brilliantly. Both men grudgingly developed respect for each other as they teamed up for a common goal. The two villains, Ganz and Billy Bear were pretty terrifying and David Patrick Kelley was perfect as the gang toadie. It was a rough, gritty, but enjoyable ride, with not a bit of political correctness in sight.

Was There a Stupid Chief?:

He was stupid furious with both Jack and his convict partner. Frank McRae, a former NFL player from Memphis played the outraged Chief Haden to the hilt. There was one scene at the station where he gave Jack and Reggie such a blistering dressing-down that I thought the paint would peel off the walls.

Post and Pre-Mortem One Liners:

“You’re done, end of story” – Jack, blowing Ganz away in a hail of bullets

“Are you crazy, man! I was just bluffing!” -Reggie, after Jack shoots Ganz, who was using Reggie as a human shield

Other Quotes and one-liners:

  • “I’ve been in prison for 3 years. My dick gets hard if the wind blows” -Reggie
  • ” Let me explain one thing to you, nigger: I fight DIRTY! ” -Jack
  • ” You know what I am? I’m your worst fuckin’ nightmare, man. I’m a nigger with a badge which means I got permission to kick your fuckin’ ass whenever I feel like it!” -Reggie in Redneck Bar
  • “This ticket is 3 years old!” -Garage Attendant “I’ve been BUSY!” -Luther
  • “I’d like to have something to drink, preferably some vodka -Reggie
  • “How about a Black Russian?” -Redneck Bartender
  • ” What are you smiling at, watermelon? Your big move just turned out to be shit” -Jack
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Stupid Political Content:

In one of the most entertaining scenes in the movie, Reggie impersonates a cop at an over the top Redneck Bar and totally wrecks the place and intimidates everyone in a cowboy hat. Otherwise, there was no annoying PC or snowflake action to clutter up this great 80’s Action thriller.

Was There an Atomic Blast at the End?:

No, Reggie and Jack just drive away into the sunset

What I Learned From 48 Hours:

Nick Nolte was magnificent back in his day, and there could have hardly been a better debut for Eddie Murphy. For it’s time, this was an under-rated and groundbreaking movie that is quite re-watchable. I learned that even back in the 80’s, Rednecks were scared of black men wearing suits.



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