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Murphy's Law (Widescreen)

 R (Restricted)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

This thoroughly unpleasant 1986 thriller stars Charles Bronson as a cop systematically framed for one murder after another. The killings, though, turn out to be the work of a female nutcase (Carrie Snodgress) he had once sent away to prison. Everyone involved in this leans on the atrocity-and-revenge formula, particularly Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone), two Hollywood guys who once upon a time made plenty of classic films. Snodgress's performance is unhinged, interesting but hard to watch, as we never really got to know her onscreen after Diary of a Mad Housewife. Just think of this movie as having come from the same creepy planet as the Death Wish series. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

A killer on a rampage learns the hard way: "Don't mess with Jack Murphy!" Charles Bronson stars in this thrilling game of hide-and-seek between a clever psychopath and a lone lawman hellbent on reaping justice. Veteran detective Jack Murphy (Bronson) is suddenly a wanted man after he's framed for the murder of his ex-wife. Taken into custody by the very cops he works with, Murphy has no choice but to escape and hunt down the killer who set him up. But even as he pursues a false lead, Murphy is pursued by the real murderer a psychotic woman (Carrie Snodgress) out for revenge against those who institutionalized her ten years earlier including Murphy!

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Bronson's best 80s flick Aug. 1 2003
Format:DVD
A solid and very entertaining mid 80s Charles Bronson actioner.
Rivalled only by "The Evil That Men Do" and "10 to Midnight" for the accolade of Bronson's best movie after his 70s heyday.
I've watched this film several times and always enjoy it. Kathleen Wilhoite makes a sparkling and memorable debut and was seen recently in the first season of "24".
Bronson fans are very unlikey to be disappointed in what is - like many later Bronson pics - pretty standard good action fare elevated by the great man's personal charisma. Therefore, this film is perhaps unlikley to ensnare any new converts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad. Jan. 23 2005
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
im really bored so i decided on writing this review. I caught this movie flipping through the channels one day. It is a good movie although freakishly disturbing, like that blonde chick, who drowns people in bathtubs with lamps, gags them and puts them in elevator shafts set to go doooooown and all with solid look on her face. Not to mention when the red haired chick nearly gets raped..yikes. But charles bronson is cool and this movie is alright for its type.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Blankety-Blank With Jack Murphy! Nov. 4 2003
Format:DVD
He throws his groceries at carjackers! He gargles mouthwash! He hates mayonaise! He's an alcoholic! He has a girl 104 years younger than him, hitting on him! His ex wife is a stipper! And he's framed for murder! He's Jack Murphy, a no nonsense cop framed for murder, trying to clear his name...tra-la, tra-la. The plot is as cliche as it can be, but this is Bronson, baby! Us devoted Bronson fans watch his films because he's in them and we all love the charm and presence he brings to the run of the mill 80s action formula. Actually, we could all care less what it's about as long as Bronson's kicking some butt and shooting people from time to time. This film is no exception and will please the diehard Bronson lover in us all. Plus, this movie's got one of the coolest villians that Bronson's been up against. This woman is crazy and dangerous as hell. In one scene she drowns some poor schmuck in a bathtub, then decides to throw a lamp in the tub for some added zing! I hate to sound repetitive, but ah, the 80s! Get Murphy's Law, brothers and sisters. It's a wonderful piece of bric-a-brac for your Bronson collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars murphys law July 17 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
charles bronson plays jack murphy he is trying to stop a killer jack murphy bronson is framed for murder of his wife he has no choise to escape and find the real killer the movie is full of action and thrilling game of hide and seek the movie is directed by j lee thompson and is one of bronson better older movies a must for all bronson fans
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Blankety-Blank With Jack Murphy! Nov. 3 2003
By Stanley Runk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
He throws his groceries at carjackers! He gargles mouthwash! He hates mayonaise! He's an alcoholic! He has a girl 104 years younger than him, hitting on him! His ex wife is a stipper! And he's framed for murder! He's Jack Murphy, a no nonsense cop framed for murder, trying to clear his name...tra-la, tra-la. The plot is as cliche as it can be, but this is Bronson, baby! Us devoted Bronson fans watch his films because he's in them and we all love the charm and presence he brings to the run of the mill 80s action formula. Actually, we could all care less what it's about as long as Bronson's kicking some butt and shooting people from time to time. This film is no exception and will please the diehard Bronson lover in us all. Plus, this movie's got one of the coolest villians that Bronson's been up against. This woman is crazy and dangerous as hell. In one scene she drowns some poor schmuck in a bathtub, then decides to throw a lamp in the tub for some added zing! I hate to sound repetitive, but ah, the 80s! Get Murphy's Law, brothers and sisters. It's a wonderful piece of bric-a-brac for your Bronson collection.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Bronson's best 80s flick Aug. 1 2003
By G. Donaldson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A solid and very entertaining mid 80s Charles Bronson actioner.
Rivalled only by "The Evil That Men Do" and "10 to Midnight" for the accolade of Bronson's best movie after his 70s heyday.
I've watched this film several times and always enjoy it. Kathleen Wilhoite makes a sparkling and memorable debut and was seen recently in the first season of "24".
Bronson fans are very unlikey to be disappointed in what is - like many later Bronson pics - pretty standard good action fare elevated by the great man's personal charisma. Therefore, this film is perhaps unlikley to ensnare any new converts.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars murphys law July 17 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
charles bronson plays jack murphy he is trying to stop a killer jack murphy bronson is framed for murder of his wife he has no choise to escape and find the real killer the movie is full of action and thrilling game of hide and seek the movie is directed by j lee thompson and is one of bronson better older movies a must for all bronson fans
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Ladies first" is the last thing this lady will hear, thanks to Jack Murphy Sept. 26 2009
By C. O. DeRiemer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Murphy's Law: If anything could possibly go wrong, it will.

Murphy's Second Law: Don't mess with Jack Murphy. (Substitute the usual word for `mess.')

Murphy's Law is a lot better than some people would have you believe. Yeah, yeah, it's a Charles Bronson film from the Eighties, a period when a lot of film enthusiasts sniffed that Bronson was little more than a stuffed dummy who phoned in his performances. Bronson is one of those actors who make condescension drip from the lips of some cineastes.

Charles Bronson was no typical Hollywood actor. He didn't have to be. With that worn-out, weary, tough face he could set a scene just by being there. Bronson was Bronson, and we knew the kind of taciturn, honest, relentless character he'd be. Bronson was a private man, kept to himself, was realistic about his talents and proud enough to deliver the goods. With all that said, you either kind of like his star movies, or at least some of them, or you kind of don't. Murphy's Law is one I like.

Jack Murphy is a police detective on the downslide. His wife, a stacked stripper at a gentlemen's club who fancies herself a dancer, has just divorced him. Murphy doesn't want to let her go, drinks himself into a stupor most nights and shows up for work with stains on his rumpled suit and bad breath. Then his wife is killed and he's arrested for her murder. Jack Murphy knows he must find out who the real murderer is, so he breaks out of jail. While he tries to identify the killer, the killer bumps off one person after another who helps Murphy or who was associated with him. Early in the movie we know who the killer is (this is no spoiler), a psycho named Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgrass). Murphy put her behind bars ten years ago and now she's out. She's ready for some wet revenge. She leaves corpses in her wake. She pumps iron with a vengeance. She smokes. She's also handy with a garrote, a cross bow and a pistol. Never, never take a bath with her.

With just this as a plot Murphy's Law might have been an efficient, violent and reasonably entertaining Bronson movie. What I like about it is the gimmick -- the relationship between Murphy and a foul-mouthed young thief named Arabella McGee (played by Kathleen Wilhoit). Murphy had been handcuffed to Arabella at the stationhouse after he was arrested. When he broke out he had to take her along with him. A movie cliché? Sure. I think it works because of Murphy's tough stoicism and Arabella's creative and energetic profanity. There's nice chemistry between Bronson and Wilhoit. Wilhoit looks more like a tomboy than a cutesy starlet, more a gamin rough around the edges. She's a good actress and holds her own with Bronson's screen charisma. When the handcuffs finally come off thanks to Arabella's lock-picking skills, she decides to stick around with Murphy. If he can clear his name, he'll clear hers as being an accomplice in the escape. And off they go, with Murphy now fighting a three-front war. Freeman is after him. A cop who hates his guts is after him. And a mob smoothie he beat up is after him. The climax is a rough battle between Murphy and Freeman in a dark, gloomy building already loaded with some of her corpses. Arabella proves useful. Murphy proves capable.

The movie looks good on DVD. There are no extras of any consequence.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining late Bronson movie Oct. 21 2010
By Trevor Willsmer - Published on Amazon.com
There's nothing terribly original or inspired about the joyously politically incorrect Murphy's Law, which sees Charles Bronson's alcoholic cop handcuffed to Kathleen Wilhoite's foul-mouthed petty criminal (who refers to him as `scrotum cheeks' among other more colourful epithets) and on the run after the murder of his stripper wife. He's innocent, of course, framed by Carrie Snodgress' weight-pumping psycho who's working her way through all the people who had her committed and a few who had her released as well ("You never should have let me out, you know. I really am crazy," she tells her probation officer before strangling her on an ill-advised home visit). You pretty much know exactly how this one's going to play out every step of the way, and yet it's still a surprisingly entertaining and even more surprisingly well-made audience picture. Bronson actually has something to act for once and responds with one of his best late performances, Wilhoite's punky foil playing off him engagingly enough for you to forgive her the truly terrible end title song while J. Lee Thompson's direction is pretty good here, elevating the picture from the uninspired production-line fodder of his last collaborations with the star. It all ends up with a silly three-way shootout in the ever-popular Bradbury Building (Blade Runner, Outer Limits, Wolf, Quantum Leap) between Bronson, a corrupt cop, some pissed-off mobsters and a crossbow-wielding harpy before a last-minute reprieve for one character you suspect originally didn't make it to the end credits until they previewed the film, but while it won't overtax your little grey cells or compliment your intelligence, it delivers the goods as an undemanding action film with surprising aplomb.

An acceptable widescreen transfer but the only extra is the trailer.
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