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).
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Left the magazine and moved to Hollywood; began working in the shorts department of MGM
First screenplay, "Back in the Saddle", starring Autry
Received feature screen credit for providing the story for the Gene Autry Western, "The Singing Hill"
Joined the Army Air Force; reached the rank of captain serving in the Philippines and New Guinea
Signed with 20th Century-Fox upon his return from war service (date approximate)
Film screenplay after WWII service, "Boomerang"
Directorial debut, "Three Stripes in the Sun" (also wrote)
Directed a second feature film, "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" (also wrote)
Moved into TV by creating the TV sitcom, "Our Man Higgins", starring Stanley Holloway
Created the TV series, "The Felony Squad", starring Howard Duff and Dennis Cole, which ran until 1969
Wrote and produced a pilot for a "Hardy Boys" TV series
Last screenplay (after twenty years), "The Kidnapping of the President"