5.9/10
4,032
53 user 37 critic

Murphy's Law (1986)

An action-packed thriller starring Charles Bronson as Jack Murphy, a cop who is running to stay alive long enough to even the score with his wife's killer.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Jack Murphy
Kathleen Wilhoite ... Arabella McGee
Carrie Snodgress ... Joan Freeman
Robert F. Lyons ... Art Penney
Richard Romanus ... Frank Vincenzo
Angel Tompkins ... Jan
Bill Henderson ... Ben Wilcove
James Luisi ... Ed Reineke
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Lieutenant Nachman
Janet MacLachlan ... Dr. Lovell
Lawrence Tierney ... Cameron
Jerome Thor Jerome Thor ... Judge Kellerman
Mischa Hausserman Mischa Hausserman ... Dave Manzarek
Cal Haynes Cal Haynes ... Reese
Hans Howes ... Santana
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Storyline

Charles Bronson plays Jack Murphy a veteran police detective who is framed for the murder of his ex-wife. Although taken into custody, Murphy escapes from the police station handcuffed to a foul-mouthed car thief. Pursued by the police, Murphy must find the real killer before it is too late. Written by Michael A Kortt <mkortt@metz.une.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a cop, She's a thief, together they're running for their lives See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ley de Murphy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,388,907, 20 April 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,947,631
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Bronson was sixty-five-years-old when he appeared in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Jack faints while handcuffed to Arabella in the log cabin, he lays flat on a rug. When Arabella starts to pull him towards the dresser in the room, to get the 'pick' he's not on a rug. See more »

Quotes

Jack Murphy: The only law I know is "Jack Murphy's law." It's very simple. Don't *fuck* with Jack Murphy. You remember that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Death Wish 3 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Murphy's Law
Written and Performed by Paul McCallum, Kathleen Wilhoite and John Bisharat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"What took you so long, butt-crust?"
12 January 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Mostly routine, but agreeably trashy goodness from the Charles Bronson-J. Lee Thompson- Cannon Group-1980s assembly line. The almighty Bronson plays Jack Murphy, a detective whose motto is simple: "Don't *beep* with Jack Murphy." But of course, somebody does: a vindictive, psychotic woman named Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress), who goes about murdering people who Jack knows and framing him for the crimes. However, Jack seizes upon an opportunity, breaking out of prison while handcuffed (shades of "The Defiant Ones") to a foul mouthed car thief, Arabella McGee (scene stealing Kathleen Wilhoite).

With this team, you expect some pretty straightforward, and effectively sleazy, entertainment. It's fairly violent as well as exploitative (ever delectable Angel Tompkins, as Jacks' ex-wife Jan, plays a stripper and shows off some of the goods). Gail Morgan Hickmans' story is diverting, throwing in a subplot involving a mobster named Frank Vincenzo (Richard Romanus) and creating a reasonable body count.

What gives this otherwise formulaic scenario a shot in the arm is the give and take between Bronson and the sexy, husky voiced Wilhoite. She's constantly firing off insults at him. While they were much more profane in the original script, Wilhoites' one-liners are still ridiculously funny. And you can see that Bronson is having some fun with this premise. It's not often that he had a full blown sidekick in one of his vehicles.

Other familiar faces that turn up include Robert F. Lyons, Bill Henderson, James Luisi, Janet MacLachlan, and Lawrence Tierney. It is somewhat novel that our vengeance crazed villain is female, and Snodgress is just fine as the kind of psycho who's *well aware* that they're a psycho.

Capped off by a finale that offers up some fairly good suspense, and a typically amusing Bronson quip.

Wilhoite gets an "introducing" credit, although she'd actually made her film debut in "Private School" three years previous. She also belts out the theme song over the end credits.

Seven out of 10.


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