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Murphy's War [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Siân Phillips, Philippe Noiret, Horst Janson, John Hallam
  • Directors: Peter Yates
  • Writers: Max Catto, Stirling Silliphant
  • Producers: Michael Deeley
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 29 July 2002
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000695IY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,135 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Murphy (Peter O'Toole) is a sailor working on a merchant vessel during the years of the Second World War. When his ship is fatally attacked by a U-Boat while travelling along the coast of Venezuela, Murphy manages to escape, and thanks to French engineer Brezan (Philippe Noiret), he is nursed back to health at a nearby Quaker mission. Murphy then determines to have his revenge on the U-Boat, and when he gets his hands on a plane, he realises that this is exactly what he needs to blow the enemy vessel out of the water.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
World War Two adventure Murphy's War is not a great film and it won't leave you with much to think about after. You'll either like it or you won't, but its spare, uncomplicated storytelling certainly makes it stand out from most modern adventure stories and keeps it surprisingly enthralling. Despite pairing then-husband-and-wife Peter O'Toole (using what may well be his natural Irish accent to curiously less than convincing effect) and Sian Phillips in a potential African Queen pairing as the uncouth Irish sole survivor of a U-boat attack and the Quaker doctor who nurses him back to health in one of the remote backwaters of the Orinoco, the script is canny enough to realise there's no prospect of romance here. Instead it's driven by the increasingly obsessed O'Toole's thirst for revenge, taking on the submarine first with a spotter plane and then with a barge loaded with a stray torpedo.

Despite quite a few surface similarities to Shout at the Devil that also saw an Irish rogue taking on a battleship, albeit in WW1 (and which was originally planned to go in production at the same time until this beat it to the punch), it's a much more focussed film. Stirling Silliphant's lean script keeps things moving ahead with no diversions: Murphy doesn't think about anything but revenge and neither does the movie. And while this is ultimately a simple adventure story with a `before seeking revenge, first dig two graves' moral, it's not entirely simplistic either - Horst Janson's U-boat commander isn't so much a monster as a man who does monstrous things in the name of `necessity' to keep his men alive while Murphy is aware of the stupidity of his own vendetta but unable to stop himself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David P TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of those little known films that used to pop up on TV late at night - at least, that is when I saw it. I remember getting home late one evening after an evening shift not long after I had started work. My father was about to go to bed, and this came on. We both sat down to watch, and enjoyed it immensely. Yes it is a very simple story, but it is very well told by all the actors involved, and the sequence where he is trying to get the plane airborne for the first time is a classic. If the "Is the engine going to start this time?" sequence in The Flight Of The Phoenix (the original, of course) gets the hairs on your neck standing up every time you watch it, then you will love this too. The thumping crashes of the plane through the choppy spray are incredible.

As for the DVD, there seems to be a lot of variation in the quality and format according to other reviews here, depending when it was bought and from where. I bought mine from Amazon (IE: not a seller) and I am very pleased with it. The initial film distributor logo looks a bit grainy and dusty, but the film itself is perfectly fine, in ultra-wide letterbox format (IE: wide screen with black bars top and bottom), no 4:3 or panning going on. No censoring of language either, which is a small but key part of the interaction between Murphy and the doctor.

It is, even now, quite blood thirsty and brutal at times. It is also an excellent study in to how all-consuming the act of revenge can be.

All in all, a very entertaining way to pass a couple of hours, and brought back happy memories of sitting enjoying it with my father all those years ago too. And I'd even forgotten how it ended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 10 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Hugely underrated. When "Murphy" witnesses the murder of his mates in the water, (after their cargo ship is torpedoed by a German submarine) his only thought is revenge. Peter O'Toole is great as the Irish knockabout guy. He gradually becomes more obsessed and mentally deranged as the movie progresses, and by the end.....he is totally consumed with only one intention----total vengeance. This is not a huge WW2 production. This is the story of a man who enters the war in its final days .....on his own terms.....with his own objective. We do have to keep in mind when we watch this......how would ANY man react after watching the slaughter of his ship mates.....his friends ?? He does get complete revenge.....but he pays the ultimate price. I think the sad ending is wrong. We needed a witness (another one !!!) to tell about the fact----there are no rules in wars.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matt Testifies on 28 Mar. 2009
Format: DVD
Yes, this is a criminally poor transfer, 4:3, grainy and a scratchy print and yet ... Murphy's War is a great film with a stand-out performance from O'Toole. It's funny, the South American location is terrific and the script is wonderful. They really don't make em like this anymore. Directed by Peter Yates who also made Witness and Bullit. Hey and guess what? No CGI! Hurrah!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Dg Howes on 5 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The image is 2.35:1 anamorphic, and it is a fine picture. Classic film given the release in the UK that it deserves. One question when will there be a release with the F word intact?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice on 7 May 2011
Format: DVD
"Murphy's war" is an underrated war film which stars Peter O Toole in the leading role as Murphy, who wants his revenge from the Germans who murdered his men. The film is directed by Peter Yates who is probably best remembered for directing "Bullit" with Steve McQueen. There are some impressive action sequences in this film, especially the flying sequence and Peter O Toole does a great performance, which I think he deserved an Oscar nomination. In Peter O Toole's acting career, he was nominated for a total of 8 Academy awards, but sadly didn't win any. This film also has an interesting supporting cast including Peter O Toole's wife at the time Sian Phillips and French actor Philippe Noiret. If you like war films, you will enjoy this and it also has a good ending.
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