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 <email@example.com>
In addition to actor Sonny Landham playing "Billy Bear" in this film and "Billy" in the movie Predator (1987), as previously noted, both characters also display very large Bowie style knives while shirtless during the film. See more »
While looking for Luther, Jack and Reggie visit an apartment in The Mission and learn they should look for their quarry "just around the corner in Chinatown." In reality the Mission is 3 miles from Chinatown. See more »
This ain't no god damn way to start a partnership.
Now, get this! We ain't partners. We ain't brothers. And we ain't friends. I'm puttin' you down and keepin' you down until Ganz is locked up or dead. And if Ganz gets away, you're gonna be sorry YOU ever MET me!
I'm already sorry.
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The original UK version of 48 HRS. was released with a '15' rating on CIC video in the mid-1980s, but had every swear word edited out of it (what was basically the TV version). The film was re-released on CIC video in the early 1990s in an 'uncut' version with all language left in, rated '18'. Strangely, both versions on CIC video altered Reggie's singing in the prison cell. Whereas in the original version of the film he was singing "Roxanne" by the Police, on the video he is singing a different song, probably because of copyright/licensing reasons - it has even been removed from the end credits. In order to remove the song it was dubbed in by an Eddie Murphy soundalike, but the other dialogue in the scene (when you can hear Reggie's singing in the background) had to be dubbed over as well. This has ended up with Jack's dialogue being spoken by someone other than Nick Nolte. The replacement actor's voice is very high-pitched, which is unintentionally rather amusing. See more »
The original - and probably the best - of the "buddy-buddy" flicks.
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!
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