6.8/10
41,844
139 user 62 critic

Life (1999)

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1:39 | Trailer
In 1932, two strangers are wrongfully convicted and develop a strong friendship in prison that lasts them through the 20th century.

Director:

Ted Demme
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1,586 ( 2,727)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy ... Rayford Gibson
Martin Lawrence ... Claude Banks
Obba Babatundé ... Willie Long
Nick Cassavetes ... Sergeant Dillard
Anthony Anderson ... Cookie
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Pokerface
Brent Jennings ... Hoppin' Bob
Bernie Mac ... Jangle Leg
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. ... Biscuit
Michael Taliferro ... Goldmouth (as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
Guy Torry ... Radio
Bokeem Woodbine ... Can't Get Right
Ned Beatty ... Dexter Wilkins
Lisa Nicole Carson ... Sylvia
O'Neal Compton ... Superintendant Abernathy
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Storyline

In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and a shooting | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Até que a Fuga os Separe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,414,775, 18 April 1999

Gross USA:

$64,016,268

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,475,268
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Life is a cult classic among African-American audiences due to the number of actors in the film who became much more famous in other mediums after it was released. It is also noteworthy for its quotes that are used in African American culture. It is also enjoyed in White Culture and is truly a transcendent comedy. See more »

Goofs

When Claude and Rayford are driving to pick up some bootleg liquor, the camera switches over from one side of the car to the other, each time Rayford's shirt is constantly changing from, buttons tied to the top to having the top two buttons undone. See more »

Quotes

[outtake - Eddie's cellphone rings]
Rayford Gibson: [answers] Hello? Yeah, it's 1932, I'm the first to have one...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers are shown during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sinners and Saints (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Parchman Farm Blues
Written and Performed by Bukka White
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Two of the funniest men of our time, in a serious movie?
17 June 2002 | by chrisbrown6453See all my reviews

Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence play Ray and Claude, two guys from New York in 1932. Ray is nothing but a hustler and Claude is a guy with a girlfriend and a new job. But when both of the run afoul of a local gangster, they're sent to Mississippi to get some Mississippi Hooch. While down there, they're set up by a white cop for the murder of a black man and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison they try numerous escapes, make some friends, and grow old together.

When you hear that Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence are making a film together, you think that this could be the funniest movie ever made. Two talented comedians working side by side, how could it not be? Well, when the story line deals with two black men being put in prison for a crime they didn't commit by a white racist cop, it's hard for a movie to be truly funny. I think the writers were trying to make some sort of social commentary at the same time and while I commend them for that, it wastes the talents of the two stars. They were always shackled by the knowledge that they weren't supposed to be in prison, so there was always that feeling of hatred going on.

Now, that's not to say the movie wasn't funny. At times it was laugh out loud funny. Murphy especially was in fine form with a lot of ad-libs and Lawrence kept right up with him. I was afraid that with two stars such as these two that there might be a problem of egos and who should get more laughs, but they worked well together. And when they were allowed to just go off they made it very funny.

But again the story got in the way. There was a sub-plot of the prison director's daughter getting pregnant by one of the inmates. I didn't really see the point of that. They used the baby for a one minute gag and that was it. The story also seemed choppy. The movie starts in 1932 and ends 60 years later, so it wasn't like they could go start to finish, but it moved along very quickly at times. The makeup effects (by Rick Baker) were incredible. Murphy and Lawrence aged 60 years right before our very eyes.

Life was more of a heartwarming comedy than a straight out comedy. It made you laugh but it also got very serious (especially near the end when the cop who put them in prison came back). Ray and Claude went through a lot of hell that they didn't deserve but they persevered and made it through. When it was funny, it was very funny. But with the story line it was also very serious which I thought restrained the humor. So overall I'd go out and see Life to see how two top comedians work, but don't expect to be rolling in the aisles the entire time.


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