Murphy's War [DVD] 
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
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!
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. It's more than efficiently directed by Peter Yates, the aerial scenes are particularly well-staged with the camera getting in surprisingly close, and there's typically effortlessly delightful support from Philippe Noiret too.
While the original panned-and-scanned UK DVD is a crudely redubbed and slightly edited TV-friendly version, the 2.35:1 widescreen US NTSC DVD restores the violence cut by local censors to keep it from getting an unlikely and undeserved X certificate.
If your answers to the above questions are "yes" then you might like this film, though you will still need a high boredom threshold to get through the lengthy stretches of this screenplay where nothing much happens. Otherwise, give it a miss.
Some people have commented that the transfer on this DVD isn't up to scratch and they may be right, but in all honesty this is such a grotty film it wouldn't really matter what the quality was like. It's a total waste of O'Toole's (many) talents.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews