John L. Murphy

nickname: Jack
born May 5, 1894, in Chicago, IL
died July 26, 1975, in Woodland Hills, CA

It isn't clear just how much involvement Jack Murphy may have had with the Our Gang series. His forte seems to have been in the technical area of filmmaking, particularly when it came to Harold Lloyd's 'thrill' comedies. In The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia by Annette D'Agostino Lloyd, a page from a 1920 publication is reprinted, showing the department heads at the Roach studio, including Murphy, who's identified as a 'purchasing superintendent.' Presumably, he held this position until his departure from the company in 1923, which would have given him at least a casual association with the Our Gang films made up to that point. Nevertheless, the nature of such work usually precludes onscreen credit, so Murphy's filmography is admittedly sparse.


Murphy was hired by Rolin Film Company (Roach) during this year as a 'technical expert,' according to The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia.


After filming wrapped on "Why Worry?" at the end of June, Harold Lloyd left the Roach studio to start his own company. Murphy went with him, becoming production manager of Harold Lloyd Corporation.

Safety Last! (co-production assistant)
Apr. 1, 1923 - Roach/Pathé - 7 reels - prod. L-17 - Harold Lloyd feature
Filmed July 15 to Oct. 18, 1922, with retakes Oct. 23, Nov. 29, and Dec. 1, 1922. ©Jan. 25, 1923. Added to the National Film Registry on Nov. 14, 1994. Murphy is identified in The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia as one of the four 'geniuses' behind this film.


Two Lloyd features, "Girl Shy" and "Hot Water," were released during this year, but Murphy didn't receive onscreen credit, even though we can presume his role as production manager.


The Freshman (production manager)
Sep. 20, 1925 - Lloyd/Pathé - 7 reels - Harold Lloyd feature
Filmed Oct. 13, 1924, to Mar. 27, 1925. ©July 27, 1925. Added to the National Film Registry on Oct. 19, 1990.


For Heaven's Sake (production manager)
Apr. 5, 1926 - Lloyd/Paramount - 6 reels - Harold Lloyd feature
©Apr. 6, 1926. The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia describes how Murphy discovered film composer Gaylord Carter, who went on to do the score for this film.


The Kid Brother (production manager)
Jan. 22, 1927 - Lloyd/Paramount - 8 reels - Harold Lloyd feature
©Jan. 18, 1927.


Speedy (production manager)
Apr. 7, 1928 - Lloyd/Paramount - 8 reels - Harold Lloyd feature
©Apr. 7, 1928.


The sole Lloyd feature for this year was "Welcome Danger," which did not carry a credit for Murphy, though we can assume that he was the production manager.


We can also assume that Murphy served as production manager on "Feet First," Lloyd's solitary release for this year, which carried no such credit.


Movie Crazy (production manager)
Sep. 23, 1932 - Lloyd/Paramount - 10 reels - Harold Lloyd feature
©Sep. 15, 1932.


The Cat's Paw (production manager)
Aug. 7, 1934 - Lloyd/Fox - 102 minutes - Harold Lloyd feature
©Aug. 17, 1934.


The Milky Way (bit part: newsboy)
Feb. 7, 1936 - Lloyd/Paramount - 88 minutes - Harold Lloyd feature
©Feb. 11, 1936. In addition to this bit part, we can assume that Murphy served as production manager on this film, even if the credit isn't there.


Professor Beware (unspecified production job)
July 28, 1938 - Paramount - 95 minutes - Harold Lloyd feature
©July 29, 1938. Even though Lloyd received producer credit on this film, it's a Paramount film, and not a product of the Harold Lloyd Corporation. Realistically, though, the folks at Lloyd's company were involved, including Murphy.


Alias Nick Beal (production manager)
Mar. 4, 1949 - Paramount - 93 minutes - Ray Milland feature
©Mar. 4, 1949. UK title: The Contact Man. Credited as John Murphy. This credit appears in the Internet Movie Database, and presumably reflects the fact that the Lloyd Corporation was basically dormant during this period.


Harold Lloyd's World Of Comedy (associate director)
June 4, 1962 - Lloyd - 94 minutes - Harold Lloyd compilation feature
©Mar. 5, 1962. Previewed Mar. 29, 1962. Credited as Jack Murphy.


Murphy left the Lloyd corporation during this year.

Harold Lloyd's Funny Side Of Life (associate director)
Nov. 9, 1966 - Lloyd - 99 minutes - Harold Lloyd compilation feature
©Aug. 1, 1963. Credited as Jack Murphy.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing production numbers and shooting dates)

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