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Eddie Murphy: The Comedy Kingpin's Top 8 Must-Watch Films

If laughter is the best medicine, then Eddie Murphy is the world’s most prolific doctor

Eddie Murphy: The Comedy Kingpin's Top 8 Must-Watch Films

List hai toh hit hai 

Last Updated: 08.53 AM, Jul 02, 2024


If laughter is the best medicine, then Eddie Murphy is the world’s most prolific doctor. Bursting onto the scene with a flair for comedy that could make even the grumpiest grouch giggle like a schoolgirl, Murphy has gifted us with a treasure trove of films that showcase his remarkable talent. As we groove to the iconic beats of "Axel F" from Beverly Hills Cop, let's dive into the top 8 Eddie Murphy films that have kept us rolling in the aisles.

1. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Before watching the 4th instalment of the iconic franchise, it’s important to begin with the OG that launched the comedy action phenomenon that is Axel Foley! In this quintessential action-comedy, Murphy plays Foley, a wisecracking Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills to solve his friend’s murder. Directed by Martin Brest, this film catapulted Murphy to superstardom. With Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, and Lisa Eilbacher adding to the mix, it was Murphy's street-smart humour, quick wit, and charismatic performance that turned this into a comedy blockbuster that has its own fan club. The film’s a perfect blend of comedy, action. OST nerds will be quick to point out the unforgettable theme song by Harold Faltermeyer which is an 80s classic of its own. The film spawned two sequels and made Axel Foley an iconic character in film history. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, the 4th film in the franchise, releases this week on July 3, 2024.

2. Coming to America (1988)

Eddie Murphy dons multiple personas in this hilarious and heartwarming tale of Prince Akeem, who travels to Queens, New York, in search of true love. Directed by John Landis and co-starring Arsenio Hall, this film is a masterclass in character acting. Murphy's versatility is on full display here and most don’t know that the actor actually portrays several memorable characters in the film, including the soulful singer Randy Watson and the wise old barber Clarence apart from the lead role. With a stellar supporting cast featuring James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, and Shari Headley, Coming to America is a comedic gem that has left an indelible mark on pop culture.

3. Trading Places (1983)

Murphy's a pro in playing street-smart characters. In Trading Places, he plays Billy Ray Valentine who finds himself thrust into the world of high finance in this uproarious social satire directed by John Landis. Paired with Dan Aykroyd, the film is a clever commentary on class and societal norms. The chemistry between Murphy and Aykroyd is electric, and with a supporting cast including Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, and Jamie Lee Curtis, the film's hilarious scenarios and sharp wit have kept it a fan favourite over the years.

4. The Nutty Professor (1996)

Now, this has to be one of Murphy’s most iconic turns. Showcasing his versatility, Murphy stars as the shy and obese Professor Klump who invents a potion to shed his pounds but gains a new, obnoxious alter-ego, Buddy Love who can be a handful. Directed by Tom Shadyac, the film is a riot, especially with Eddie playing multiple members of the Klump family, each with their own distinct personality. Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn, and Larry Miller add to the fun, but it's Murphy's literally transformative performances that steal the show.

5. Shrek (2001)

Though you don’t see him, Eddie’s unmistakable voice brings the lovable, talkative Donkey to life in this animated fairy tale directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson. Starring alongside Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow, Murphy's quick wit and charm make Donkey one of the most memorable characters in the Shrek series. His energetic voice performance adds a unique flavor to the character, making Donkey an instant hit and providing some of the most memorable lines in the film. It’s recently been reported that there are talks of a Shrek spin-off which will trace Donkey’s story and will be backed by Murphy himself.

6. 48 Hrs. (1982)

In his big-screen debut, Murphy teams up with Nick Nolte in this gritty, action-packed buddy cop movie directed by Walter Hill. As the fast-talking convict Reggie Hammond, Eddie’s charisma and comedic chops are on full display. His chemistry with Nolte and his ability to blend humour with action helped redefine the buddy cop genre. The supporting cast, including Annette O'Toole and James Remar, complement Murphy's performance.

7. Dreamgirls (2006)

In this musical drama, Eddie Murphy shows his dramatic side as James "Thunder" Early, a talented yet troubled singer. Directed by Bill Condon, the film features an all-star cast including Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose. Murphy’s powerful performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, proving his range extends beyond comedy.

8. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

A more recent title on this list would be Dolemite Is My Name. Murphy shines as Rudy Ray Moore, the comedian who becomes the iconic blaxploitation character Dolemite. Directed by Craig Brewer and featuring a talented cast including Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph, the film is a triumphant return to form for Eddie. Filled with humor, heart, and a lot of soul, Murphy's performance is both hilarious and heartfelt, capturing the spirit of Rudy Ray Moore's relentless drive and creativity.

Well that's all for this episode, until the next one it's your host Nikhil signing out.

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- Written by Apurva Dutta

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