5 Classic Eddie Murphy Movies

Wednesday, November 23 by C.T. Wright

Eddie Murphy

To bust a gut in the '80s all you had to do was watch one of these classic Eddie Murphy movies. Murphy broke box office records and pushed the barriers of raunchy comedy. In one of his early stand-up movies, he jokingly referred to himself as the "F-You" man. The road has been checkered ever since his meteoric rise, but Mr. Murphy is still capable of turning out good movies and not just tabloid fodder.

48 hours

“48 hours” This action-filled buddy comedy is laced with enough racial epithets to start a riot. The scene where Eddie Murphy poses as a cop inside a "redneck" party almost leads to just that. Flashing his signature smile and recognizable laugh, Murphy fast talks his way out of several scenarios, including a jail cell, an apartment with a pair of lesbians and a confrontation with a magnum-toting ex-con.

trading places

“Trading Places” Partnered with Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy teams up to double cross the men who tried to destroy their lives. Murphy gets rich, Aykroyd becomes poor, but it's not all bad—Jamie Lee Curtis plays the hooker with a heart of gold who beds and befriends Aykroyd. Her brief topless scene almost steals the show and wore out many a rewind button on '80s VCR remotes. Eddie Murphy as an African exchange student and Aykroyd in blackface and fake dreads on the train make this a classic Eddie Murphy movie.

beverly hills cop

“Beverly Hills Cop” A classic Eddie Murphy movie of all time, this fish out of water action-comedy was the first time he carried a movie on his own. As wise-cracking cop Axel Foley, Murphy takes Beverly Hills by storm and had everyone talking about a “banana in the tailpipe." The soundtrack to the movie was chart topping and Foley’s wardrobe started a mini fashion fad in the '80s with everyone wearing a Mumford T-shirt or a Detroit Lions letterman’s jacket.

coming to america

“Coming to America” Eddie Murphy donned prosthetic makeup in this film to play three different characters in the barbershop scenes. This classic Eddie Murphy movie established his everyman charm and introduced him as a vulnerable underdog, something the public hadn’t see from him yet. Arsenio Hall made a great sidekick and the sequences in the fictitious African kingdom make this a fun flick.

harlem nights

Harlem Nights” This was Murph flexing his moviestar muscle in post-Spike Lee, black filmmaker Hollywood. Eddie Murphy wrote, directed, produced and starred in this action-packed period movie about African-American nightclub owners in the 1920s. Rounded out with a cast that includes Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Della Reese and Robin Harris, this one definitely counts as a classic Eddie Murphy movie. 

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