48 Hrs – Hancock’s Half Hour – tape 126

First on this tape, a film I haven’t seen for quite a long time. It’s Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs, notable for being the film debut of Eddie Murphy.

I remember reading an article about Murphy, probably in one of those free magazines you used to get in the cinema, written only a few years after he made his film debut, where the writer thought it would be interesting to open the article with one of those classic journalistic clichés. “Where were you when you first saw Eddie Murphy?” which might be interesting if the answer wasn’t, for almost everyone, “When I was watching 48 Hrs”. As it was for the writer of the article.

The film opens with a prisoner on a chain gang escaping, accompanied by a score which immediately sounded familiar, by James Horner in his slightly more jazzy Commando mode.

Then we meet Nick Nolte as he wakes up. Annette O’Toole is his girlfriend, and their relationship isn’t peachy. He’s topping up his morning coffee with booze. He’s clearly a maverick.

Annette O'Toole

Meanwhile the bad guys seem to be killing people. One guy is dead before we even see him, and they next go after David Patrick Kelly – talking of Commando, he’s played Sully in that. “You’re a funny guy Sully. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.”

David Patrick Kelly

Nolte joins two other cops investigating a call, which happens to lead to our bad guys, who then kill one of the cops, then, in a standoff, get Nolte to hand over his gun, which they then use to kill the other cop. Not a good start to the day.

Hilariously, the bumper image ITV use before the adverts is the poster image, but they’ve airbrushed out Eddie Murphy’s middle finger.

48 Hrs Poster

Hey, there’s Brion James as another cop. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be bad, like he always seems to.

Brion James

And hey again, there’s Frank McRae, playing basically the same part he parodied in Last Action Hero.

Frank McRae

I really think the score for this was recorded at the same session as Commando. Horner is nothing if not self-similar.

And there’s the SWAT guy from Die Hard. “Send in the car”.

Swat Guy from Die Hard

Nolte’s only lead to the bad guy, Ganz, is another member of his old gang, Eddie Murphy, who’s in jail, so Nolte gets him out so he can lead him to Ganz.

While they’re looking for Ganz’s partner, Billy Bear, they get a tip off about his girlfriend. Look who’s there it’s Denise Crosby, Tasha Yar herself.

Denise Crosby

It’s interesting that this version has all the shits and fucks removed, but they’re happy to leave in Murphy’s line about being “a n***** with a badge”, or Nolte’s multiple uses of n*****.

By the end of the movie, the bad guys are dead, Nolte and Murphy have struck up a sort of friendship, but two surprising things didn’t happen. Brion James didn’t turn out to be a bad guy, and at no time as Annette O’Toole put in danger by the bad guys. Shocking stuff.

After this, recording switches to a repeat of an old Hancock’s Half Hour. Tony Hancock is a character in a radio play bearing a distinct similarity to the Archers, and is horrified when his character is written out.

Featuring Patrick Cargill

Patrick Cargill

And Peter Glaze as the man who does all the farmyard animals.

Peter Glaze

BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th April 1986 – 19:15

After this, there’s a trailer for Three Up, Two Down, after which the recording stops.


  • Dairylea
  • Smith’s Salt ‘n’ Shake Crisps
  • Fore Escort
  • Masterblend
  • British Telecom
  • Bounty
  • National Westminster Bank
  • Canderel
  • Del Monte
  • Fosters
  • L’Oreal
  • Branston
  • Country Homes
  • Scampi Flavour Fries
  • Shell
  • nationwide
  • Budweiser


  1. “I really think the score for this was recorded at the same session as Commando. Horner is nothing if not self-similar.” Well that true that he notably self-similar, “48 Hrs.” was a few years before “Commando (as “Red Heat” also with similarities).

  2. Thank you so much for preserving that ITV break bumper card, the fact they’d airbrushed out Eddie Murphy’s middle finger was a source of fascination and humour to us at school the next day. Two things about 48hrs that would never happen today: that poster, and a hero who was a total mad racist, complete with verbal slurs. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but stuff like that makes you think yes, yes it was.

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