African-Americans in Film Term Paper by Champ

African-Americans in Film
An analysis of Eddy Murphy's representation of African-Americans in the film, "48 Hours."
# 99113 | 1,259 words | 1 source | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Oct 30, 2007 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , African-American Studies (General)

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This paper examines the representation of African-Americans in film, focusing specifically on the 1982 comedy, "48 Hours," starring Eddie Murphy. The paper explains the storyline of the film and how Murphy is presented as a character in the film. The paper also looks at the light in which African-Americans are presented in general through films and in this film in particular.

From the Paper:

"Although the film gives Murphy equal billing, and the film undoubtedly would be impossible without a talent like Murphy to hold his own against Nick Nolte, ultimately it is not a step forward in representing African Americans in their complexity. If it is funny, it requires audiences to know, understand, and to a certain extent accept stereotypes of African-Americans as lawless, funny, and ultimately under the control of Whites in everything but their language, not with their political or physical strength. Murphy is always foul-mouthed and overly sexualized and a "brother" in contrast to Nolte's "country boy" cop. Nolte's own strident masculinity within the context of the law and even infidelity is validated without condemning his character, while it marks Murphy as a criminal. Murphy's apparent freedom and force of personality, like the transitory freedom of the character during the "48 Hours" is no real freedom of expression at all. It is a sad continuation of a long tradition of representing African-Americans in crime films as criminals, sidekicks, and powerless. According to the stereotype sadly embodied by Murphy, Blacks in this genre are only apparently powerful with weapons, information or menace, and this power is transitory."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "48 Hours." Starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. 1982.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

African-Americans in Film (2007, October 30) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

MLA Format

"African-Americans in Film" 30 October 2007. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>