Murphy's Romance (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  31 January 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,988 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 13 critic

Emma is a divorced woman with a teen aged boy who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the town druggist who steers business her way. Things are going ... See full summary »



(based on the novella by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Jack Moriarty
Freeman Coverly
Dortha Duckworth ...
Michael Prokopuk ...
Billy Ray Sharkey ...
Larry Le Beau
Michael Crabtree ...
Jim Forrest
Amos Abbott
Rex Boyd
John C. Becher ...
Jesse Parker
Henry Slate ...
Fred Hite


Emma is a divorced woman with a teen aged boy who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the town druggist who steers business her way. Things are going along predictably until her ex husband shows up, needing a place to stay. The three of them form an intricate circle, Emma's son liking Murphy, but desperately wanting his father back. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Just when you think you've found the right guy, someone even worse comes along.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El romance de Murphy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)


$30,762,621 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the few films to successfully appeal its MPAA rating. In a pivotal scene with Murphy, Bobby Jack asks him if he and Emma have been "fucking". The MPAA "automatic language rule" normally does not allow even a single instance of a "sexually derived" vulgarity, in a sexual context, in a PG-13 release. See more »


Early in the film, when "Murphy Jones" is shown playing the fiddle at the dance hall, his bow strokes and fingerings are totally unrepresentative of the music heard on the soundtrack. Obviously, James Garner hasn't the slightest idea how to play the violin, and the sequence was over-dubbed. See more »


[first lines]
Murphy: [to Emma, who's about to put a flyer on his windshield] Lady, you're covering up my causes.
See more »


Referenced in Video Violence (1987) See more »


Music and Lyrics by Carole King
Performed by Carole King with David Sanborn
Produced by Lou Adler
See more »

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User Reviews

"How Do You Like Your Eggs?"
29 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Murphy's Romance is a pleasant easy to take movie about a May - October romance between widower James Garner and younger divorcée Sally Field. It's set in modern day Texas and it moves with grace of a gazelle and the speed of a Galapagos tortoise. And that's not meant in a negative way.

Sally Field with the ink barely dry on her divorce from Brian Kerwin has moved to a small Texas town where she's now acquired a ranch which could use a lot of improvement. She's got her son Corey Haim in tow and they aim to start anew.

The first and best friend they make in town is 60 year old James Garner, the local druggist. He's part of a disappearing breed in that he owns his own pharmacy. Given the way things are 23 years after Murphy's Romance, Garner's store if it still is operating is probably part of chain now, even in small town America.

A steady reliable guy like Garner is all any girl could wish for, but ambling back into the picture is Kerwin who swears on a stack of Bibles he's a changed man. Why he's even a born again Christian.

The man knows how to ring her bell, but that's about all he's good for. In fact he furnishes his own proof before the film ends.

James Garner got his only Oscar nomination and I remember how much I wanted him to win that night watching the Oscars. It would have been great, but William Hurt won for Kiss of the Spider Woman. Murphy's Romance got one other nomination for cinematography, but it lost to the year's Best Picture, Out of Africa.

Murphy's Romance is a tender and touching story about a couple of mature people, one a bit more mature than the other finding true love. As Garner says this is his last love and Field responds this is her first. It's a film for romantics of any age.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Only if I'm still here for breakfast Pinkdaisy678
Shouldn't he be in jail? Jinx-to-Ennien
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great flick until.... Foxsrus1
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