Murphy's Romance (1985)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Newly divorced Emma Moriarty (Sally Field) moves herself and her young son to a small Arizona town, hoping to establish a horse farm. Town pharmacist Murphy Jones (James Garner), the town's most eligible bachelor, develops a platonic friendship with Emma, but he decides to keep his distance when her ex-husband Bobby Jack (Brian Kerwin), who claims he's changed his irresponsible ways, moves back in with her. At a party at Emma's ranch, Murphy and Bobby Jack get into a verbal row, but nothing is settled until Wanda (Anna Levine) shows up with two babies in tow, claiming that Bobby Jack is the father. Once rid of her ex, Emma commisserates with her friend Murphy at his drug store--and is quite surprised to discover that she's fallen in love with the older man, and he with her. Murphy's Romance is a very gentle romantic comedy; even Murphy's cast-away lady friend (Georgann Johnson) behaves like a civilized human being instead of a woman scorned.
PG-13 (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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James Garner
as Murphy Jones
Sally Field
as Emma Moriarty
Corey Haim
as Jake Moriarty
Brian Kerwin
as Bobby Jack Moriarty
Dennis Burkley
as Freeman Coverly
Georgann Johnson
as Margaret
Billy Ray Sharkey
as Larry Le Beau
Michael Crabtree
as Jim Forrest
Anna Levine
as Wanda
Ray Sharkey
as Larry Le Beau
Charles Lane
as Amos Abbott
Bruce French
as Rex Boyd
John C. Becher
as Jesse Pinker
Henry Slate
as Fred Hite
Peggy McCay
as Mrs. Willis
Carole King
as Tillie
Ted Gehring
as Auctioneer
Joshua Ravetch
as Henry Bass
Gene Blakely
as Lucius Holt
Mike Casper
as Hay Trucker
Hugh Burritt
as Kid in Car Crash
C. Ray Cook
as Voice at Bingo Game
Art Royer
as Clerk
Marian Gibson
as Mrs. Abbott
Irving Ravetch
as Customer
Michael Hungerford
as Auction Bidder
Ron Nix
as Auction Bidder
Johnny Ray Anthony
as Auction Bidder
Paul E. Pinnt
as Auction Bidder
John Higgenbotham
as Boy at Barbecue
Drasha Meyer
as Ice Cream Lady
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Critic Reviews for Murphy's Romance

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6)

Martin Ritt directs the screenplay by Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch, who cross the country wisdom of Tennessee Ernie Ford with the stale wit of the Johnny Carson joke team.

Full Review… | February 29, 2016
Washington Post
Top Critic

The picture just lumbers along, lightly propelled by a series of contrived conflicts ... and anecdotal observations that don't add up to much.

Full Review… | February 29, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Unfortunately, this sweet and homey picture which casts two very decent actors (Sally Field and James Garner) in two very decent roles, falls far short of compelling filmmaking.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

A depressing barometer of contemporary Hollywood.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Garner and Miss Field are able comic actors, but they can't be much better than the corny material, the occasional one-liners and an overall sunniness that refuses to set.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

"Murphy's Romance" takes a whole movie to arrive at the conclusion that takes us two minutes, but that doesn't mean this is a predictable movie.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Murphy's Romance


This fall-spring relationship may be a little bit difficult to understand but James Garner ends up being charming enough to win over Sally Field. One suspects this is due to a lack of options. Very sweet rather than creepy.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Very good movie :) A nice movie to watch on a rainy day when there's nothing else to do. Gardner & Field were great in this movie :)

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Year in and year out, James Garner delivers. He and Field have great chemistry in this May-December romantic comedy.

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

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