You’ve Got a Friend / Carole King
” I haven’t been to a movie since the Duke died.”
– Murphy (James Garner)
Brother Bruce (I have 4 Brothers – one Sister) was asking about Murphy’s Romance – and though I have it posted as one of MY FAVORITES, I haven’t done anything with it. So I’ll take that as a nudge to get something done.
Murphy’s Romance is questionable as a Western I guess. Well it is in the West – Arizona. And it has James Garner. And cowboy hats and horses. It’s Western feel to be sure. Just not Old West. Nobody gets shot or hung …. or nuthin’. it’s just a damn good movie. One of the great ‘Feel Good’ movies of all time and one of my ‘guilty pleasures’ that I’ve watched many times. That also makes it a Classic by my definition – Western or not.
I’m billing James over Sally because James garnered a Best Actor Nomination (Academy Awards) for his role as Murphy Jones. He’s just great here.
Trivia says that Marlon Brando and Paul Newman were both considered for Garner’s part. Glad they didn’t get it.
But Sally gets top billing on all the posters and such. She’s great also.
Poster Tag: “Just when you think you found the right guy, someone even worse comes along”
The Murphy’s Romance Trailer (below) is a bit Murky.
You’d never guess the movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography.
Was 1985 really that long ago?
Production / Wikipedia
Sally Field and director Martin Ritt had to fight Columbia Pictures in order to cast Garner, who was viewed at that point as primarily a television actor despite having enjoyed a flourishing film career in the 1960s (and more recently having co-starred in the box office hit Victor/Victoria opposite Julie Andrews two years earlier).
Columbia didn’t want to make the picture at all, because it had no “sex or violence” in it. But because of the success of Norma Rae (1979), with the same star (Field), director, and screenplay writing team (Harriet Frank, Jr. and Irving Ravetch), and with Field’s new production company (Fogwood Films) producing, Columbia agreed. But, Columbia then wanted Marlon Brando, or someone with “greater box-office allure,” to play the part of Murphy, so Field and Ritt had to insist on Garner.
Filming took place on location in Florence, Arizona and the town’s preserved Main Street appears throughout the movie.
Carole King / Musical Score for Murphy’s Romance