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Murphy's War (1971)

GP | | Drama, War | 14 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.


Peter Yates


Max Catto (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Peter O'Toole ... Murphy
Siân Phillips ... Hayden (as Sian Phillips)
Philippe Noiret ... Brezan
Horst Janson ... Lauchs
John Hallam ... Ellis
Ingo Mogendorf Ingo Mogendorf ... Voght


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. See more »


Drama | War


GP | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The type of aircraft used, a Grumman J2F Duck amphibian, never served with any British or Commonwealth navies. Equally, the camouflage does not match the markings used: it carries early war British roundels on a (very) late war colour scheme. Understandably, however, there were quite a few surplus J2Fs around in the late 60s, as it had been used by quite a few South American navies for several years after WW2. It would have been impossible to have a more authentic aircraft, such as the Fairey Seafox, which was probably the most common shipboard naval reconnaissance floatplane in the early years of WW2. See more »


When charging the dredger towards the submarine and trying to manoeuvre, Murphy hollers "hard to port" then immediately spins the wheel to the right, which is starboard. See more »


Murphy: Relax? How can I relax with that bunch gawkin' at me?
Hayden: That bunch as you call them have never seen a naked white man.
Murphy: Ah! Well, they've had their thrill for the day. Would ya tell 'em to f... leave immediately.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove 2 uses of the word 'fuck' and to edit shots of bloody shootings and dead bodies for an 'A' (PG) certificate. The 12-rated UK DVD release restores the gunshot scenes but also has the swear words blanked out, and an inferior 4:3 transfer. 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 Roy Fox
Played on the gramophone
See more »

User Reviews

An old favorite of mine
24 April 2006 | by stewardiaSee all my reviews

In scanning through these reviews, I'm very pleased to see that this movie is well liked by many people.

I saw it first around the time it came out and even though I was only eleven or twelve, many things about this movie left an impression on me: the sunny, tropical locations, the excellent cast and the impeccable performances.

The very last scene where Murphy is literally consumed by his own revenge is at least as memorable and disturbing as the last scene in The Planet of the Apes (60's version) and drives home the whole point of the movie as perfectly as I've ever seen it done.

See it! You won't be disappointed.

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English | German

Release Date:

14 January 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Murphy's War See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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