Sunday, November 27, 2011

Murphy's War (1971)

Director: Peter Yates

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Sian Phillips, Philippe Noiret, Horst Janson, John Hallam, Ingo Mogendorf, Harry Fielder, George Roubicek

More info: IMDb

Tagline: World War Two was just ending. World War Murphy is about to begin.

Plot: Murphy is the sole survivor of his crew, that has been massacred by a German U-Boat in the closing days of World War II. He lands on the shore somewhere on the river Orinoco delta and begins to plot his vengeance. He wishes to sink the U-Boat that has floated up by means of any method imaginable to him, and sets about to make the courageous attempt, assisted by Louie, the islands Government Administrator.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?

I'm a big fan of O'Toole as well as director Yates. They've both made some great films and some stinkers (like everyone else who has ever made movies). This one is strange because while it's quite good at times, overall it left a feeling of 'it could have been better'. But then again, maybe this was the best this story could be told on film.

O'Toole does a good job...oh, wait, it just hit me. The character of Murphy needed scenes to show his descent into his obsession with sinking that sub. Right off the bat you understand why he's doing it but that's the problem. There's really not much that happens between him finding the sub and going after it. It never felt compelling. Good performance or not, I needed more character development with O'Toole's Murphy. It's a good movie that tries for better and falls short.

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