6.8/10
46,185
163 user 57 critic

Life (1999)

Trailer
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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Popularity
2,527 ( 537)
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:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spanky's (Rick James) limp was not acting. The scene was shot after Rick James underwent hip replacement surgery. See more »

Goofs

Sylvia wants a engagement ring in the opening scene in 1932. Engagement rings wasn't traditional for wedding engagements until De Beers started an ad campaign in 1938. See more »

Quotes

Claude Banks: Oh yard boy Mrs. Myrtle could use some attention perhaps some fertilizer would restore its exuberance. Get yo ass to work!
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Crazy Credits

Bloopers are shown during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sinners and Saints (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Upper Room
Written by Mahalia Jackson (as M. Jackson), Bobby Smith (as B. Smith)
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User Reviews

 
Finally, an Eddie Murphy worth watching!
12 July 1999 | by maverick-86See all my reviews

I found this film funny and inventive. Two adjectives that I have not been able to use for an Eddie Murphy film for a long time.

With a story line as good as this one, it was up to Eddie to see how he could develop it. If this film had a flaw, I think this was it. I believe had Mr Murphy decided to look really deeply into the role of Rayford Gibson, it could have been a possible "Oscar" role for him.

There are no doubts regarding Eddie Murphy's acting ability, yet sometimes I think he sacrifices the script and his role for a cheap laugh when it's not really necessary. It is possible that he is caught up in his own 'identity creation' of "Eddie Murphy: Comedy first, drama...maybe not!"

That said, Eddie Murphy and his worthy partner, Martin Lawrence successfully produce a comedy worth watching. I just hope that Eddie Murphy continues in this same vein. Please no more films like Beverly Hills Flop 3 and Holy Man!

Finally, a general point, which needs to be addressed, is that it is so strange how comedy films with far more substance, fail to do well financially. Moreover, there are films which fall short in quality, that can generate $100M+ for substandard, regurgitated, "comedy". "Life" which is struggling to reach the $65M mark falls into the former category. "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me" and "Big Daddy" definitely fall in the latter. The mind boggles!

Anyway, for those who have not seen "Life", go and see, you won't regret watching it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life 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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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