Jul 032021

48 Hrs is a great buddy-action flick but not because of the story but, like others in the genre, the dynamic between the two leads. Both Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy do a great job bouncing off one another.



48 HRS.
— Paramount Presents #19

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Thriller
Paramount| R – 96 min. – $24.99 | July 6, 2021

Date Published: 07/03/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Walter Hill
Writer(s): Roger Spottiswoode and Walter Hill & Larry Gross and Steven E. de Souza (written by)
Cast: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, Frank McRae, James Remar

Features: Featurette, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital Surround), Japanese (Dolby Digital Surround)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, German, French, Japanese
Disc Size: 38.39 GB
Total Bitrate: 43.44 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: Portions of this was copied from my original 2011 Blu-ray review.
However, my opinion on the film itself does remain the same after re-watching it.

THE MOVIE — 3½/5

Plot Synopsis: Cates (NICK NOLTE) is a rough-edged cop after two vicious cop-killers (JAMES REMAR and SONNY LANDHAM). He can’t do it without the help of smooth and dapper Reggie (EDDIE MURPHY), who is serving time for a half-million dollar robbery. As the boys race the clock, they discover they have only one thing in common: they’d both kill to find the bad guys… if they don’t kill either other first!

The premise outlined above is actually simpler than that but I figure it’s worth giving the whole story just in case. The buddy cop genre might’ve been launched in 1987 with Lethal Weapon but I’d argue it all started with Nick Nolte before he was completely bonkers and Eddie Murphy before he became a shit actor in 48 Hrs. Yes, I submit that it technically isn’t a buddy-cop movie since only one of them is a cop, but it’s the same type of story with two polar opposites forced to work together – most often by a black police captain – to capture a ruthless and murderous bad guy.

But being the frontier in a classic genre isn’t enough because it all starts with the casting since the story tends to be rather pedestrian, and in the case of 48 Hrs, this is no exception. First, I will at least give some credit to James Remar for being a formidable psychotic antagonist especially since his motivations are rather simple: money.

However, the real reason this film has stood the test of time, and why Lethal Weapon has as well, is because of its two stars. It’s kind of funny to see Nick Nolte playing up a cop that, for its time, was crazy but compared to his now real life persona is quite normal. Eddie Murphy meanwhile is pleasantly subdued since this was his first feature film coming out of “Saturday Night Live” where later roles would have him bouncing off the walls torpedoed toward near annoyance. The two together works so well off one another, similar to Glover and Gibson in Lethal Weapon or Chan/Tucker in Rush Hour and neither of those movies had overly enthralling stories. Obviously the twist here is that one is a cop and the other is a con so there’s an extra dynamic we haven’t seen in the buddy genre but the fun and, from what I read, improvisation Nolte and Murphy provides makes the entire so enjoyable and timeless.

The film also was directed by Walter Hill who is most notable for helming The Warriors a few years before and you certainly see the same sort of style in 48 Hrs with a darker look, even during the day time, and even dark subject matters dealing with race (early on Murphy goes into a white-redneck bar to get answers and later Nolte enters into a black dominant club) so no matter what the genre is or how the simple the plot may be, Hill doesn’t steer away from controversy and watching this today, there were some things said that surprised me.

Overall, 48 Hrs may not be a great buddy-action flick like Lethal Weapon was but for its time and the chemistry between Nolte and Murphy, it’s certainly well worth checking out again today, especially before they decide to do a sanitized remake.



This release is number 19 in the “Paramount Presents” line and comes with a slip cover with a front opening showing the film’s original poster art. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features include a Filmmaker Focus (19:08) with Walter Hill looking back on making the film; Space Kid (5:31), the original 1966 animated short seen in the film; and last the Theatrical Trailer (3:03).


VIDEO – 4½/5

Paramount releases 48 HRS with an all-new 1080p high-definition transfer, culled from a 4K restoration and given the original 2011 Blu-ray release featured a lackluster picture, this one is a definite upgrade. Detail on this is sharp with the original film grain and noise still evident and colors appear nicely balanced, in keeping with the darker tones of this early 1980s setting.

AUDIO – 3½/5

The disc comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which is OK though I suspect it’s the same one from the 2011 Blu-ray release. The audio here doesn’t have a whole lot of range with a good portion – from dialogue to some sound effects – coming from the center channel but the front channels do get some action with the chase scenes and even the rear speakers provide some depth with the soundtrack. It’s still not an overly impressive track.


OVERALL – 3¾/5

48 Hrs is a great buddy-action flick but not because of the story but, like others in the genre, the dynamic between the two leads. Both Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy do a great job bouncing off one another which provides for some good laughs mixed in with well done chases.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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