Richard Murphy


Screenwriter

About

Birth Place
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Born
May 08, 1912
Died
May 19, 1993
Cause of Death
Stroke

Biography

Leaving his job as a feature writer for Literary Digest to go to Hollywood in 1937, Murphy started in the shorts department at MGM. His first screenplays, penned for Paramount and Republic in the early 1940s, were B-action flicks and Gene Autry oaters. After Army Air Force service during WWII, Murphy signed with 20th Century-Fox and received his first Oscar nomination for the screenplay ...

Biography

Leaving his job as a feature writer for Literary Digest to go to Hollywood in 1937, Murphy started in the shorts department at MGM. His first screenplays, penned for Paramount and Republic in the early 1940s, were B-action flicks and Gene Autry oaters. After Army Air Force service during WWII, Murphy signed with 20th Century-Fox and received his first Oscar nomination for the screenplay of "Boomerang" (1947), Elia Kazan's powerful, documentary-styled noir about the murder of a priest. Murphy's typewriter next yielded "Cry of the City" (1948), a superb film noir directed by Robert Siodmak.

In the 1950s, Murphy moved behind the camera on "Three Stripes in the Sun" (1955), an affecting romance about a Japanese-hating American soldier who has a change of heart when he falls in love. He later helmed the entertaining comedy-drama "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (1960). Murphy also enjoyed success as the creator of TV series including "The Felony Squad" (ABC, 1961-69).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Wackiest Ship in the Army? (1960)
Director
Three Stripes in the Sun (1955)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

A Murderous Affair (1992)
Eyewitness (1981)
The Big Show (1957)

Writer (Feature Film)

The Kidnapping Of The President (1980)
Screenwriter
The Wackiest Ship in the Army? (1960)
Screenwriter
Compulsion (1959)
Screenwriter
The Last Angry Man (1959)
Adaptation
Three Stripes in the Sun (1955)
Screenwriter
Broken Lance (1954)
Screenwriter
The Desert Rats (1953)
Writer
Les Miserables (1952)
Screenwriter
You're in the Navy Now (1951)
Screenwriter
The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)
Contract Writer
Panic in the Streets (1950)
Screenwriter
Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
Screenwriter
Cry of the City (1948)
Screenwriter
Deep Waters (1948)
Screenwriter
Boomerang! (1947)
Screenwriter
The Cyclone Kid (1942)
Original Screenplay
Wrecking Crew (1942)
Screenwriter
Wildcat (1942)
Screenwriter
Jesse James, Jr. (1942)
Screenwriter
Jesse James, Jr. (1942)
Original Story
X Marks the Spot (1942)
Screenwriter
I Live on Danger (1942)
Screenwriter
Back in the Saddle (1941)
Original Screenplay
The Singing Hill (1941)
Original Story
The Apache Kid (1941)
Screenwriter
Flying Blind (1941)
Original Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)
Associate Producer

Dance (Feature Film)

Where the Heart Is (1990)
Choreographer

Art Director (Feature Film)

The Prisoner of Zenda (1913)
Art Director

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1908)
Special effects

Sound (Feature Film)

Munich (2005)
Utility, New York unit

Art Department (Feature Film)

The Antics of Ann (1917)
Set Decoration

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Shaking the Tree (1990)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Sudden Death (1995)
Other

Cast (Special)

Perfect Date (1990)

Writer (Special)

VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City (2001)
Writer

Producer (Special)

VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City (2001)
Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City (2001)
Writer

Misc. Crew (Special)

The 1996 World Music Awards (1996)
Other

Writer (Short)

Life in Sometown, U.S.A. (1938)
Writer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Roses Are For the Rich (1987)

Life Events

1937

Left the magazine and moved to Hollywood; began working in the shorts department of MGM

1941

First screenplay, "Back in the Saddle", starring Autry

1941

Received feature screen credit for providing the story for the Gene Autry Western, "The Singing Hill"

1942

Joined the Army Air Force; reached the rank of captain serving in the Philippines and New Guinea

1945

Signed with 20th Century-Fox upon his return from war service (date approximate)

1947

Film screenplay after WWII service, "Boomerang"

1955

Directorial debut, "Three Stripes in the Sun" (also wrote)

1960

Directed a second feature film, "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (also wrote)

1963

Moved into TV by creating the TV sitcom, "Our Man Higgins", starring Stanley Holloway

1966

Created the TV series, "The Felony Squad", starring Howard Duff and Dennis Cole, which ran until 1969

1967

Wrote and produced a pilot for a "Hardy Boys" TV series

1980

Last screenplay (after twenty years), "The Kidnapping of the President"

Videos

Movie Clip

Les Miserables (1952) - We're Going On The Rocks Following a prologue truncating Victor Hugo, we meet Robert Newton as Javert enforcing regulations during panic amidships, and slaves Jean Valjean (Michael Rennie) and Genflou (Joseph Wiseman) performing a rescue, in Lewis Milestone's production of Les Miserables, 1952.
Broken Lance (1954) - The Governor Wants To See You Emerging from a deep dark prison to 20th Century-Fox Cinemascope Technicolor, Robert Wagner as Joe Devereaux gets escorted (by John Epper) to the see the governor at the state capitol, stopping to gaze at a portrait of his dad (Spencer Tracy), opening Edward Dmytryk’s burly Western Broken Lance, 1954.
Broken Lance (1954) - I'm Afraid Of No One But You Well into the flashback of the last days of the late Spencer Tracy (as rancher Matt Devereaux) we meet Katy Jurado, in one of her best roles, as his wife “Señora” Devereaux, in fact of Native American origin, dressing a wound discussing troubles with his older sons and their one shared, in director Edward Dmytryk’s Broken Lance, 1954.
Broken Lance (1954) - Stay Close To Me Director Edward Dmytryk staging a tense prelude to a big action piece, Spencer Tracy as rancher Devereaux with his sons (Richard Widmark, Hugh O’Brian, Earl Holliman and Robert Wagner as Joe) confronts McAndrews (Robert Burton), boss of the copper mine that’s poisoning his cattle, in Broken Lance, 1954.
Panic In The Streets (1950) - You Can't Quit Now The title but not this opening scene would suggest the topic, of a contagious disease outbreak in a port city, as clearly ill and probably-immigrant Kochak (Lewis Charles) tries to leave a poker game run by Blackie (Jack Palance), Fitch and Poldi (Zero Mostel, Guy Thomajan) his henchmen, in Elia Kazan’s Panic In The Streets, 1950.
Panic In The Streets (1950) - It's Practically Pure Culture Commanding work by Richard Widmark as New Orleans public health officer Reed, called in to inspect the body of a murder victim that suggests infectious disease, Elia Kazan directing, Paul Hostetler, Waldo Pitkin and George Ehmig his alert colleagues, early in Panic In The Streets, 1950.
Panic In The Streets (1950) - You Can Take Me At My Word Joining a scene in which uniformed Public Health Service doctor Reed (Richard Widmark) is trying to tell the New Orleans mayor (H. Waller Fowler Jr.), police commissioner (Val Winter) and detective Warren (Paul Douglas) how to deal with a murder victim who had pneumonic plauge, early in Elia Kazan’s Panic In The Streets, 1950.
Panic In The Streets (1950) - In Case It Is Something Remarkable intimate family scene though still expository, Elia Kazan directing from Daniel Fuchs’ screenplay, we’ve just met Richard Widmark who’s a dad and public health officer in probably-New Orleans, and Barbara Bel Geddes his wife, when he’s called in on a rare day off, after an unwell immigrant was shot and dumped in the opening scenes, early in Panic In The Streets, 1950.
Desert Rats, The (1953) - The Pick Of Hitler's Troops Michael Rennie reads for the bang-up opening of Robert Wise's The Desert Rats, 1953, 20th Century Fox's follow up to The Desert Fox, 1951, which some found overly sympathetic to the German cause.
Desert Rats, The (1953) - That Fantastic Idiot! Big action sequence, as MacRoberts (Richard Burton) and Smith (Chips Rafferty) curse Carstairs (Charles Tingwell) for rescuing Currie (Michael Pate), leading to heroism and trouble in North Africa, 1941, in Robert Wise's The Desert Rats, 1953.
Desert Rats, The (1953) - Tight As A Tick Veteran British infantry captain MacRoberts (Richard Burton, his first scene) is awakened and placed in command of a disheveled Australian unit, meeting an old friend (Robert Newton), North Africa, 1941, in The Desert Rats, 1953.
Desert Rats, The (1953) - Grave Mistake, Sir One of two scenes for James Mason as Field Marshal Rommel (Reprising his role from The Desert Fox, 1951), happening upon captured British infantry officer MacRoberts (Richard Burton) in the medical tent, in Robert Wise's The Desert Rats, 1953.

Trailer

Bibliography