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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.

Director:

Peter Yates

Writers:

Max Catto (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 January 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Wiegenlied der Verdammten See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1969, Frank Sinatra and director Burt Kennedy were planning this as Frank's next starring vehicle. They settled on " Dirty Dingus Magee " instead. See more »

Goofs

When Murphy is taxiing the Amphibian out for the first time, he is an absolute novice and does not know how to take off. In making long taxi runs with the aircraft his cockpit is inundated with spray from the river yet in a closeup of Murphy's face, he is bone dry. See more »

Quotes

Brezan: Man is only truly alive when he confronts death.
Murphy: He can also be truly dead.
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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

My Hat's on the Side of My Head
(uncredited)
Written by Harry M. Woods and Claude Hulbert
Performed by Roy Fox
Played on the gramophone
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peter O'Toole's top-notch acting as a brave seaman obsessed with getting vengeance on a German U-boat
15 February 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Two World War was just ending , a German submarine , U-Boat , commanded by a captain called Lauchs (Horst Janson) sinks an English ship and gun down most of its crew . Then , a sole survivor of the ship , the revenge-minded Murphy (Peter O'Toole) carries on his own war , no matter what the cost to himself . The Irishman survives and returns to health thanks to a nurse named Hayden (Sian Phillips , real-life O'Toole's wife) . Murphy's war is about to begin from a settlement on the banks of the Orinoco River .

Thrilling and exciting screenplay concerning about an obsessive seaman with an eagerly determination to seek vendetta on the Germans , even after he learns the war has ended . Interesting and moving script by prestigious Sterling Silliphant , saddling some nice action scenes at the ending , when it takes place a relentless pursuit between a boat and the sub , specially in the last reel . Sensational acting by Peter O'Toole as the lone survivor from a British naval ship who seeks revenge when his ship is sunk by the Germans and gunned down most of its crew . However , his extreme obsession with desire for vengeance upon the Germans isn't believable , but the moments that click make the movie more than worthwhile . This character about an avenger who seeks revenge on those who killed his crewmates bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Moby Dick's Captain Ahab¨ by Herman Melville . Other important players are : Philippe Noiret as his supporter and sympathetic helper gives a mesmerizing acting , Siân Phillips as a good-tempered nurse and Horst Janson as a captain who massacred the Allied shipmates in the water .

Magnificent color cinematography on tropical places by Douglas Slocombe . Adequate as well as stirring musical score by John Barry . The motion picture was compellingly made by Peter Yates and splendidly edited by film editor John Glen , subsequently director of James Bond movies . Never a prolific director, Peter Yates subsequently made only a few more films . His best films include the stylish and ingenious caper comedy Hot Rock (1972); the underwater adventure Deep (1977), based on the novel and screenplay by Peter Benchley ; and the quirky coming-of-age comedy Breaking away (1979). For the latter, Yates received simultaneous Oscar nominations as Best Director and Best Producer and the enjoyably old-fashioned comedy Curtain call (1998), starring Michael Caine and Maggie Smith as a couple of theatrical ghosts . He was nominated again for a more cerebral 'actor's piece', The dresser (1983), starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay , based on a play about an ageing stage actor and his long-standing assistant. It was followed by a flop titled Eleni (1985) with John Malkovich . Most memorable, perhaps, were the courtroom thriller Suspect (1987), and the political drama House de Carroll Street (1988) 2011 , following directing a few films until death in 2011 (age 81).


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