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Life (1999)

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In 1932, two strangers are wrongfully convicted and develop a strong friendship in prison that lasts them through the 20th century.

Director:

Ted Demme
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Popularity
4,005 ( 321)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy ... Rayford Gibson
Martin Lawrence ... Claude Banks
Obba Babatundé ... Willie Long
Nick Cassavetes ... Sergeant Dillard
Anthony Anderson ... Cookie
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Pokerface
Brent Jennings ... Hoppin' Bob
Bernie Mac ... Jangle Leg
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. ... Biscuit
Michael Taliferro ... Goldmouth (as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
Guy Torry ... Radio
Bokeem Woodbine ... Can't Get Right
Ned Beatty ... Dexter Wilkins
Lisa Nicole Carson ... Sylvia
O'Neal Compton ... Superintendant Abernathy
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Storyline

In the mid-1990s, two inmates bury the burned bodies of two lifers at Mississippi's infamous Parchman Farm; a third old-timer relates their story. They'd served 65 years for a murder they didn't commit, framed by a local sheriff while buying moonshine whiskey for a Manhattan club owner to whom they owed money. In flashbacks we see this odd couple thrown together (Ray is a fast-talking con man, and Claude is a serious man about to start work as a bank teller), the loss of Ray's watch (sterling silver, from his daddy), the murder and trial, the hardships of Parchman, and the love-hate relationship of Claude and Ray as they spend 65 years bickering and looking for a way to escape. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and a shooting | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Universal

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Até que a Fuga os Separe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,414,775, 18 April 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$63,844,974, 8 August 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,521,587
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was released on Martin Lawrence's birthday See more »

Goofs

About halfway through the film, the prisoners are watching a newsreel about World War II. After that, Can't Get Right arrives, and is scouted by the Pittsburgh Crawfords. The team existed from 1930-1938, three years before the US entered World War II. See more »

Quotes

Rayford Gibson: [the two are now old men and Ray suspects Claude of having an escape plan] I'ma go to sleep. Why for I can't sit here and look at yo' ass... and wonder what you got up your sleeve?
Claude Banks: Yeah, I got somethin' brewin: I got a ass whuppin' brewin' for you here, Ray, if you don't stop fuckin' with me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers are shown during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Spartacus (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

King Size Papa
Written by Benny Carter, Paul Vandervoort
Performed by Julia Lee
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It's not mindless buddy stuff and it's not the Shawshank Redemption, but it's in-between (but not as good)
27 June 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Ray Gibson and Claude Banks get involved with a local crime boss and end up doing some work for him to make up for their debts. However when running moonshine across the Bible belt they encounter racism and eventually get framed for a murder by a racist sheriff. Sentenced to life they experience a range of things but eventually find that friendship can overcome many things during a course of a life.

I approach this with a certain amount of caution. I expected a buddy comedy full of the heavy-handed comedy that usually comes with a Murphy or a Lawrence movie. Admittedly it does have a certain amount of that – but in small amounts it can be quite funny. The story doesn't create as good a relationship between Ray and Claude as it could have done, and ignores any brutality that may occur, but it still manages to have poignant things to say about friendship.

The `old' makeup isn't as good it could have been but it passes. The story isn't anywhere near Shawshank but it tries to cover similar ground. Although it never reaches that level it is a lot more involving than you'd expect it to be. It may always come down to Murphy and Lawrence bickering but it isn't just that. My only criticism of it is that it appears to have been more fun to make than it is to watch – the outtakes are the funniest bit in the whole thing.

Murphy and Lawrence are not the most subtle of performers but they do OK here. They do better at the comedy than the serious elements but both are warm enough to convince. The cast is made up of a range of reasonable black actors and comedians – Bernie Mac is funny, but again this feeds into the image that the real fun was had in the making of the film rather than the actual film itself. Interesting side roles are given to Ned Beatty, R. Lee Ermey, Bokeem Woodbine, Rick James, Lisa Nicole Carson and Heavy D.

Overall this isn't just a buddy comedy and it isn't quite as meaningful as Shawshank. It falls in-between and, while it's not a classic it's still quite enjoyable to watch – even if all the best bits are in the outtakes at the end.


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