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Murphy's War (1971)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 22 January 1971 (UK)
A lone survivor from a British naval ship is obsessed with getting revenge on a German U-boat crew that massacred his shipmates in the water.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Hayden (as Sian Phillips)
John Hallam ...
Ingo Mogendorf ...


Murphy is the sole survivor of his crew, that has been massacred by a German U-Boat in the closing days of World War II. He lands on the shore somewhere on the river Orinoco delta and begins to plot his vengeance. He wishes to sink the U-Boat that has floated up by means of any method imaginable to him, and sets about to make the courageous attempt, assisted by Louie, the islands Government Administrator. Written by <arezis@ntplx.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


World War Two was just ending. World War Murphy is about to begin.


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence and brief language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 January 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra de Murphy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter O'Toole performed most of his own stunts for this movie. See more »


The roundels on the aircraft are ones from earlier in the war. The plane appears to be displaying Roundel Type A.1 (or perhaps A.2), which was removed from service by 1942 and replaced with Type C roundels. See more »


Murphy: Louis, the doctor lady... she's a Quaker. That's like being a bloody nun, isn't it?
Brezan: No, I don't think so.
Murphy: Why couldn't she be a young nurse? Something practical!
See more »


Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Million-Acre Prison (1986) See more »


My Hat's on the Side of My Head
Written by Harry M. Woods and Claude Hulbert
Performed by Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra
Played on the gramophone
See more »

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User Reviews

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16 March 2009 | by (London UK) – See all my reviews

MURPHY'S WAR… Peter O'Toole…Director Peter Yates… Central Casting sent Jerry Floyd, Nick (the bubble) and myself down to Portsmouth or Southampton (cant remember which) to play German U Boat crew. We'd be there for a couple of days and stay in a local B/B over night. When we get called onto the set we go below decks on a British submarine that is decked out like a second world war German U Boat. Now it seems in the film the U Boat has run aground on a sand bank on an inlet river in South America and is waiting for the tide to turn so it can re-float. Meanwhile Peter O'Toole is trying to chop a very large tree down and put it across our Sub. (Thus, causing us some discomfort.) (Got the plot so far, he's dropping trees, and I'm in the basement..) A cute make up girl asks me to strip to the waist (and I think, from the shoes up, what no flowers? We've only just met) but she has to put make up on my face and body to make me look tanned as if I was in South America. Bert Batt the 1st A.D. took us all to see the Director Peter Yates (of Bullitt fame) and I was chosen to be the blue eyed German working the controls of the Sub.. After a few different angles the make up girl applies sweat to my hair and face. The camera is stuck an inch from my nose. (Now we are talking about close ups here. My face plastered sixty foot by eighty foot at the Odeon Marble Arch. She could have saved on the sweat, I was sweating for England.) Peter was guiding me through the shots. ''Imagine you can hear a noise above you. Now imagine there's a noise to your left, now to your right. Don't move your head Back too far, we're close on your eyes.'' Then it was ''CUT, see you in the morning Eight O clock.. Thanks Harry that was good''. Well that was good for me too. It took me hours to come down. Me, Jerry and Nick went out on the town and got very drunk. (Well it makes a change)? The next day I'm back at the controls of the Sub and I'm thinking is it to be another starring role. Peter tells us today's the day the Sub gets hit and there could be a drop of water splashing around. First scene control room…I'm standing at the controls and Peter talks me through it. ''Now concentrate on the controls Harry and keep looking about. It seems the tide is coming in and you're going to be all right. Now give a huge sigh of relief. It's very quiet now but suddenly, !!!!! CRASH !!!!. That's the cue for the Prop men to sling big buckets of freezing cold water over me. ''You're panicking now Harry (He's got good eyesight) More water on him and CUT. I spent most of the rest of the day sitting on the Sub deck enjoying the warm sun while the Stuntmen got their share of the water. We shot some other stuff in one of the cabins drinking beers then it was time to head off back to London. Thanks Mr. Yates. (You must remember in the film game that all the shots don't make it to the big screen, a lot end up on the cutting room floor

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