The Film: Summer camps in the ‘70s provided much fun at the movies – not least in this franchise-opener, in which counsellors and campers get up to all sorts of naughtiness.
Murray Magic: Murray embraces the silliness, and offers us an early look at great things to come. The film’s a bit of a disappointment, but Murray’s full of youthful energy - just check out that shaggy mane.
Garfield 2 (2006)
The Film: Big screen, CGI-infused sequel, as Garfield (voiced by Murray) goes to London, where he’s confused for an upmarket doppelganger.
Murray Magic: Never was a voice so perfectly cast as when Murray took on the role of droll, dastardly pussycat Garfield. The film’s a celluloid furball, but Murray is deliciously dry.
Loose Shoes (1980)
The Film: A movie comprised of fake movie trailers from director Ira Miller. Take that, Grindhouse .
Murray Magic: Before he became a superstar, Murray quickly proved he was often the best thing in bad movies. This is a bad movie, but the SNL actor rises above it with some chucklesome moments – not least when playing a prisoner in a lavish cell.
The Film: Better than the tragic sequel, but still a cynical pillage of our favourite cartoon cat. Garfield (voiced by Murray) goes on a mission to find abducted pooch Odie.
Murray Magic: Murray’s excuse that he only signed on to the flick because he got scriptwriter Joel Cohen confused with Joel Coen doesn’t hold much water considering he returned for the sequel.
Still, he's perfectly (voice) cast here. You can almost hear him rolling his eyes in the sound booth.
Jungle Burger (1975)
The Film: A French production, Jungle Burger follows Shame, a man of the jungle whose woman is kidnapped by a gang of massive penises. Literally.
Murray Magic: Murray provided his voice for the English-language version of the film, and it’s a typically boisterous performance. Worth checking out if only as a historical curio. And the animated penises.
Larger Than Life (1996)
The Film: Motivational speaker Jack Corcoran (Murray) gets lumbered with a circus elephant when he discovers that his recently deceased, absentee father was a clown.
Murray Magic: If ever there was a perfect guy for the ‘reluctant hero’ role, it’s Murray. Here, he brings his characteristic wit to a twee comedy, mostly ensuring that the over-sentimental script never gets too mushy.
Mr Mikes Mondo Video (1979)
The Film: An avant-garde parody of Mondo Cane featuring odd musicians, strange short films and celebrity mutations.
Murray Magic: In this precursor to the likes of Brass Eye , Murrays appears briefly in a scene as a man on the street with a strange facial tic. Yes, he keeps a straight face.
Charlies Angels (2000)
The Film: McG-steered TV update, in which Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz play the titular ass-kicking angels. Murray plays Bosley, the middle man between the angels and Charlie.
Murray Magic: Murray has fun playing with the action genre, but rumours of on-set spats kept him from returning for the sequel. We still fancy a Bosley spin-off, mind.
Speaking Of Sex (2001)
The Film: When a married couple attempt to save their marriage, they enlist the help of a female marriage counsellor and a male depression expert.
Murray Magic: As sardonic as ever, Murray elevates every scene he's in merely by being there. He also shares a surprising amount of sexy chemistry with Catherine O’Hara. We’d like to see these two working together again.
Space Jam (1996)
The Film: Michael Jordan teams up with various Loony Tunes characters in order to beat evil basketball team the Monstars. Yes, it’s terrible.
Murray Magic: In a lazy, unfunny film, Murray offers a tiny moment of relief when he appears with Bugs Bunny. He plays himself as a wannabe basketball player, giving weary adults something to stay awake for.
The Film: A movie update of Shakespeare’s tragedy, with Ethan Hawke playing Hamlet, the heir to the Denmark Corporation.
Murray Magic: Though the film struggles to make the play relevant in a modern day setting, it’s worth it to hear Murray spouting the Bard’s great lines.
Osmosis Jones (2001)
The Film: The Farrelly Brothers concoct a live-action and animation combo, in which a white blood cell and a cold pill team up in order to destroy a virus inside zookeeper Frank (Murray).
Murray Magic: Murray takes a back seat as the animation takes precedence, but he gives a memorably dishevelled performance. What a belly.
Wild Things (1998)
The Film: When a guidance councillor (Matt Dillon) is accused of raping a student, he calls on lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Murray) to defend him.
Murray Magic: Murray’s role is little more than a glorified cameo, but he wisely ups the sleaze in a film drowning in it. He’s easily the best thing about the film.
The Razors Edge (1984)
The Film: When Larry Darrell (Murray) returns from fighting in the First World War, he’s a changed man. Restlessly, he navigates the globe, searching for enlightenment.
Murray Magic: A different sort of role for Murray, who here mixes up the ‘funny guy’ routine with a ponderous, surprisingly dramatic turn.
Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)
The Film: Helmed by Saturday Night Live director Tom Schiller, NLF stars Zach Galligan as an artist who jets off an a lunar voyage to find his true love.
Murray Magic: Murray took a small role in this comedy as the conductor of the moon bus, keeping it straight-faced. The film would undoubtedly have been better with more Bill in it.
Mad Dog And Glory (1993)
The Film: Comedy drama in which a police detective (Robert De Niro) saves the life of a Mob boss (Murray), and gets rewarded with access to prostitute Glory (Uma Thurman).
Murray Magic: Murray plays against type as the Mob boss, and comes up trumps. Trading one-two comedy blows with De Niro, it’s a little-seen performance with much to love about it.
The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)
The Film: Not a Hitchcock sequel, but a comedy thriller in which Wallace Ritchie (Murray) is mistaken for a spy and attempts to foil an assassination attempt at a banquet.
Murray Magic: Murray does the best he can with an underwritten role, attempting to polish turd-like gags. Really, his commitment is commendable.
City Of Ember (2008)
The Film: Based on the novel by Jeanne DuPrau and directed by Monster House filmmaker Gil Kenan, City Of Ember follows the people of the titular city, whose generator is failing…
Murray Magic: The film’s pretty lousy, but Murray makes the most of his role as a sleazy lawyer. He’s a bright spark in an otherwise languorous film.
Where The Buffalo Roam (1980)
The Film: Bill plays real-life Gonzo journo Hunter S. Thompson, way before Johnny Depp pinched the role from him with Fear And Loathing . It’s based on Thompson’s tome Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72.
Murray Magic: Murray delivers a tour-de-force performance as he brilliantly emulates Thompson, getting his mannerisms down pat. The time the actor spent with Thompson, getting insight into his Gonzo lifestyle, paid off massively.
The Lost City (2005)
The Film: Andy Garcia makes his directorial debut as a Cuban family struggle to adapt to the Marxist government of Fidel Castro.
Murray Magic: Murray’s great as The Writer, a role likened to that of a Greek chorus, as he observes the absurdities of everyday life. He also got a chance to improvise during a scene with Dustin Hoffman. They discuss egg creams.
Get Smart (2008)
The Film: ‘Spy-fi’ comedy based on the 1960s TV series, with Steve Carell playing Maxwell Smart, who’s desperate to become a field agent at secretive intelligence agency CONTROL.
Murray Magic: Another movie based on an old TV show, but this time Murray had the – yes – smarts to keep his role minimal. Here, he plays an undercover agent who’s hiding out in a tree. Easily the funniest thing in the movie.
Quick Change (1990)
The Film: An over-worked bureaucrat (Murray) disguises himself as a clown and sets out to rob a bank. But the mission goes awry when New York City throws up numerous obstacles.
Murray Magic: Murray got behind the camera on this one, co-directing with Howard Franklin. It remains his sole directing credit, and though the film is often uneven, Murray’s still on fine form.
Cradle Will Rock (1999)
The Film: Orson Welles (Angus Macfadyen) attempts to stage a musical in the 1930s while a leftist musical group try to stop it ever having an opening night.
Murray Magic: Murray ignites sparks as his vaudeville has-been strikes up a relationship with Joan Cusack’s bureaucrat. Their eccentric rapport is one of the film’s highlights.
What About Bob? (1991)
The Film: Murray plays Bob, a well-intentioned slacker whose life is hampered by many, many phobias. Richard Dreyfuss is the long-suffering psychiatrist lumbered with Bob’s numerous issues.
Murray Magic: Murray easily makes this one of the funniest films of 1991, brilliantly playing up Bob's numerous neuroses. Apparently he and Dreyfuss didn’t get on during filming, which only adds to the funny.
Coffee And Cigarettes (2003)
The Film: Murray heads up a movie that’s a series of vignettes, all of which revolve around coffee and cigarettes.
Murray Magic: As dry as ever, Murray takes the mickey out of the hip hop movement, not least when he butts heads with the Wu-Tang Clan. Genius.
Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
The Film: Big screen musical based on the 1960 Roger Corman film, in which a florist (Rick Moranis) nurtures a man-eating plant from another world.
Murray Magic: Murray’s scenes rely on a single joke – he’s a masochistic patient who just can’t get enough of Steve Martin’s sadistic approach to dentistry – but with Murray and Martin pulling out all the stops, it’s pant-wettingly funny stuff.
The Film: An update of the Charles Dickens classic, cleverly recalibrated to present day for a very modern take on the material. Murray plays Frank Cross, a disparaging TV exec who gets taken on a life-changing tour by various ghosts.
Murray Magic: Bitter, cynical, mocking – you can’t help but assume Murray based his singularly awful TV exec on some of the movie moguls he’s met over the years. The result is a scathing and hysterical performance.
The Film: John (Murray) and Russell (Harold Ramis) are sick of their everyday jobs, and decide to join the army for a bit of fun.
Murray Magic: Murray plays up his public persona as a womanising slacker, smacking down the one-liners two at a time. The result is a great early performance that entertains from start to finish.
The Film: Bowling comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Murray is pro-bowler Ernie McCracken, who’s just been beaten by Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson) and plots his revenge.
Murray Magic: Murray does bad, and he makes it look easy. His devious, comb-over villain is just fantastic. The role was originally meant for Jim Carrey, but Murray made it his own – and then some.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Film: Wes Anderson lines up a phenomenal cast, among them Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller and Anjelica Huston, and gets them all to play kooky as the titular Tenenbaums.
Murray Magic: The film’s an oddball masterpiece that depends almost entirely on Murray’s performance as neurologist Raleigh St. Clair. Though he’s not a big player, he anchors the film with a nuanced performance – not least in the scene where he finds out about his wife’s infidelity.
Get Low (2009)
The Film: Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) hires funeral home director Frank (Bill Murray) to help him throw his own funeral – before he’s even died.
Murray Magic: We refer back to our original appraisal of the film: “It’s Murray who makes the greater impression, his droll deadpan and deft underplaying offering a neat, sly complement to Duvall and Spacek’s more actorly flourishes.”
Ghostbusters II (1989)
The Film: Cinematic sequel that reunites the Ghostbusters for another gruesome case. This time, the Ghostbusters attempt to get their business going again when they discover a massive ectoplasm river under New York City.
Murray Magic: Murray proves he’s no one-trick pony, here imbuing Peter Venkman with shades of grey that make the character even more fascinating a second time around. Most sequels dilute what made the original work – here, Murray only improves on his first go as Venkman.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
The Film: Three brothers bond on a train journey through India, one year after their father died.
Murray Magic: Murray appears twice in cameo throughout the movie as the mysterious Businessman. It’s a tiny but significant role (is he the father?) boosted by Murray’s on-screen charisma.
Broken Flowers (2005)
The Film: Middle-aged suit Don Johnson (Murray) has his life turned upside-down when he receives a letter telling him he has a 19-year-old son who’s looking for his pa.
Murray Magic: The role was written for Murray, quite literally, and he plays up the disinterested absent father role with his trademark droll detachment. The film’s emotional updraft relies entirely on him.
The Film: Co-written by Bill’s brother Brian Doyle Murray. Bill plays Carl Speckler. He’s a, shall we say, ‘unconventional’ groundsman at a golf course who’s obsessed with catching a renegade gopher.
Murray Magic: Though he’s got competition from the likes of Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, Murray steals the show with his finely tuned improv skills. Tellingly, the role was considerably expanded because Murray was just that good.
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
The Film: Bill plays the titular Steve Zissou, a sea-faring scoundrel who’s out for the blood of the mystical Jaguar shark that killed his friend.
Murray Magic: Another role written specifically for Murray, and it requires the actor to utilise all of his best skills – namely that trademark deadpan – as well as some surprising new ones, as he shows surprising fragility.
The Film: Gender roles get put under the microscope as Dustin Hoffman dons drag in order to nab a job – and fund his playwright roommate’s (Murray) new play.
Murray Magic: Shamelessly stealing scenes from a guy in drag is no mean feat, but Murray manages it, improvising all over the shop and unravelling a performance that’s genuinely charming.
The Film: Herman Blume (Murray) is a middle-aged steel tycoon who’s duking it out with Jason Schwartzman for Olivia Williams’ hand.
Murray Magic: Easily one of Murray’s best on-screen turns. His love for the material is evident (he offered to play the role for free) as he attacks his role with all the tenacity of a great artist.
Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
The Film: Adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tome, with George Clooney voicing Mr Fox, who steals from three wealthy farmers to provide for his family.
Murray Magic: Bill lends his dulcet tones to the role of Badger the lawyer in a film bursting with gorgeous detail. His addition only boosts an already fantastic movie.
Lost In Translation (2003)
The Film: Bob Harris (Murray) is on a trip to Tokyo to film a whisky commercial, where he meets the newlywed Charlotte (Scarlet Johansson), with whom a friendship quickly flourishes.
Murray Magic: Sad, alienated, over the hill. It’s impossible not to empathise with Murray’s tired old actor. Here, the funnyman proves just as adept in giving Bob fascinating depths as he is in some funny set-pieces. He got an Oscar nom for his troubles.
The Film: Post-apocalyptic comedy in which Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson fight off flesh-munching zombies.
Murray Magic: Murray’s only on-screen for about 10 minutes, but what a 10 minutes it is. Playing a Hollywood version of himself, he’s hysterically funny, lathered in fake zombie make-up and rolling around an empty mansion. Genius.
Ed Wood (1994)
The Film: Black and white comedy drama that follows the career of Ed Wood (Johnny Depp), one of the worst filmmakers ever to pick up a camera.
Murray Magic: Another small role, but a career stand-out, as Murray champions offbeat characters with a dry, sardonic wit. Here, he’s the brilliantly-named Bunny Breckinridge, a friend of Ed’s who goes through unsuccessful sex reassignment therapy…
Groundhog Day (1993)
The Film: Weatherman Phil (Murray) finds himself reliving the same day over and over again, with no apparent escape.
Murray Magic: We never took Bill for a romantic lead, but he blows it out of the water with Groundhog Day. This isn’t your typical romcom, and Bill eschews cutesy clichés as the short-tempered Phil.
The Film: After having their financing withdrawn at New York’s Columbia University, three parapsychologists turn themselves into the Ghostbusters, and hire themselves out as paranormal dustbin men.
Murray Magic: Sleazeball? Or puppy dog? Murray layers Dr. Peter Venkman beautifully, making him utterly irresistible as a smart-mouthed womaniser. Is it any wonder it’s number one?