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48 Hrs. (1982)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  8 December 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 49,300 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 111 user | 76 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Sherman ...
Rosalie, Hostage Girl
Tara King ...
Frizzy, Hotel Desk Clerk
Greta Blackburn ...
Lisa, Blonde Hooker


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. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cop | partner | gun | hotel | revenge | See All (148) »


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] See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

48 Hours  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$75,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eddie Murphy didn't start work on the film until a few weeks into principal photography as he was currently finishing a season of Saturday Night Live (1975) on television. See more »


Reggie is handcuffed when Jack throws him into his car after getting him out of prison. In the next shot, Reggie's left arm is stretched out along the back of the seat and his right arm is hanging out the window. In the following shot, he is handcuffed again. See more »


Jack: I'm through fucking around. You tell me the truth or you'll get the living shit beat outta you.
Reggie: You're gonna kick my ass now? You're crazy. Let's get in the car, all right? I'm serious. I'm not in the mood. I'll just end up fucking you up and it'll be an embarrassment to you and the police force.
Jack: Let me explain one thing to you, Nigger. I FIGHT DIRTY!
See more »


References The Driver (1978) See more »


Written and recording produced by Kevin O'Neal
Performed by The Bus Boys (as The Busboys) featuring Michael D. Jones, Steven G. Felix,
Gus Loundermon (as Gustav O. Loundermon), Vic Johnson (as Victor L. Johnson),
, Kevin O'Neal (as Kevin A. O'Neal) and Brian O'Neal (as Brian E. O'Neal)
The Busboys Music supervised by Ira Newborn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The original - and probably the best - of the "buddy-buddy" flicks.
28 November 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Walter Hill is one of those directors who seems never to make an average film. His movies are, generally-speaking, either very good or very bad. 48 Hours is one of his "very good" offerings. It gives Eddie Murphy one of cinema's most unforgettable movie debuts, and invents the conventions of the buddy cop genre that were to become blueprints for years to come. Every buddy picture after 1982 - including Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Fled, Bad Boys, and a thousand more - owes something to 48 Hours.

The film opens with psychopathic Albert Ganz (James Remar) escaping from a chain gang. Determined to track down Ganz, tough cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) springs a fast-talking convict named Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from jail for forty-eight hours, during which time the mismatched duo must find their quarry. Cates doesn't like blacks, and Hammond doesn't like cops, so before they can even get to the business of tracking down their man they first have to come to terms with working alongside each other.

Fast-paced, energetic, foul-mouthed and funny, 48 Hours is simply a great ride. Nolte underplays brilliantly, wisely allowing Murphy to handle the loud and showy role while he etches a gruff, rugged characterisation as a cop on the warpath. The leading characters are rounded off wonderfully by James Remar, as a genuinely bad "baddie". If the plot to 48 Hours sounds like a collection of all the clichés and predictabilities that ruin most films, it's important to remember that before this film nothing like it had really been done. These plot devices and conventions are only considered "cliches" nowadays because 48 Hours was so influential, not to mention frequently-imitated, in the ensuing years. James Horner's music score is perfectly judged too. Finally, no review of 48 Hours would be complete without some acknowledgment of the film's most famous scene. I'm talking - of course

  • about the bit where Murphy causes a stir in a redneck bar. More often

than not famous movie scenes fail to live up to their lofty reputation, but in this case that simply isn't so. It really is an electrifying screen moment.... in a film that really is an electrifying screen experience!

21 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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