Murphy's Romance Locations
Looking for Eunice, Arizona? You’ll need to head to the town of Florence, which is located about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix in southern Arizona.
It’s here that you’ll find a host of instantly recognizable Murphy’s Romance locations, particularly along the town’s main street. Take a wander here and you’ll pick out the spot where Emma strolls along the street leaving flyers on car windscreens. You’ll also pick out the building used as Murphy’s pharmacy, including the tree that was planted out the front after the parking meter was removed.
The surrounding desert landscape was also used for scenes at Emma and Jake’s ranch, while some cinema scenes were shot at a theater in Tempe, a little over 50 miles away from Florence.
So if you want to visit the filming location of Murphy’s Romance, here’s how to check these film production sites out for yourself.
Sally Field once revealed that the passionate embrace she shared with James Garner in Murphy’s Romance was the best on-screen kiss she ever had.
Emma meets Murphy scene in Murphy's Romance
Emma is a strong and independent woman, and she’s determined to provide a happy life for her son following the breakdown of her marriage. But if she’s going to find a home for them in Eunice, she needs to get her horse training and boarding business up and running.
To do that, she’ll have to drum up business any way she can, so she starts by distributing flyers around town. Early in the film, we see her walking along the street leaving flyers advertising her services on car windshields.
But when she leaves a flyer on an immaculate old Studebaker, she’s interrupted by the car’s owner. “Lady, you’re covering up my causes,” says Murphy, pointing out that Emma’s flyer is blocking his sticker that reads “Re-forest America.” She asks if she can put her flyer in his shop window, but he wants to read it first. “I’m for free enterprise. Put it up,” he says.
The street we see Emma wandering along is Florence’s Main Street, which cuts through the heart of town from north to south. Take a stroll along here and it won’t take you long to spot shopfronts you recognize from Murphy’s Romance.
Cinema scene in Murphy's Romance
Valley Art Theater
With Bobby Jack still trying to find a way back into Emma’s heart, things settle into an uneasy truce. Bobby Jack clearly feels threatened by Murphy, however, and is keen to try and score points over the older man whenever he can.
In one memorable scene, Emma, Jake, Bobby Jack, and Murphy all head to the cinema to watch a gory slasher flick. As blood is spilled in gruesome fashion on-screen, Bobby-Jack appears enthralled, Emma is horrified, and Murphy shakes his head in disgust.
Murphy walks out of the film and Jake soon follows him. “I once worked in a slaughterhouse,” Murphy explains. “Why pay good money to see that again?”
Some of the interiors for these cinema scenes were shot at the Valley Art Theater in Tempe, Arizona. This Murphy’s Romance filming location is found at 509 South Mill Ave and is easy to check out if you’re ever spending some time exploring Phoenix.
Murphy kisses Emma scene in Murphy's Romance
210 North Main Street
Despite clearly realizing that Bobby Jack is not the right man for her, Emma is still saddened when Wanda (Anna Levine) arrives in town with Bobby Jack’s twin baby boys. With Bobby Jack finally out of the picture, an important chapter in her life is now closed.
Feeling lost and more than a little confused, she heads to Murphy’s pharmacy for advice. She asks Murphy what she should do, and his response is blunt. “I’m not a lifeguard, I don’t put up bail and I’m not your damn Dutch uncle.” And with that, he spins her around, puts his hands on her face, and plants a passionate kiss on her lips!
Then he lifts her off the chair and practically pushes her out the door with a parting piece of advice: “If you don’t know how things are, you’re not as smart as I thought you were.” As Emma stands there stunned, he flips the Open sign to Closed.
The building used as Murphy’s pharmacy is found at 210 North Main Street in Florence, Arizona. It’s an insurance agency these days and looks quite different inside, but one cool fact is that you can still see the tree they planted on the street in the movie, at Murphy’s request, after removing the parking meter.
If you’re keen to check out any Murphy’s Romance locations, this one is an absolute must-visit.
There’s nothing particularly flashy or spectacular about Murphy’s Romance, but this ‘80s classic is nonetheless a fan favorite. The chemistry between Sally Field and James Garner is plain to see, and the film’s slow-burning plot is a whole lot more subtle than many other big-screen romances throughout history.
Best of all, it’s easy to check out the filming location of Murphy’s Romance for yourself. Whether you’re an Arizona local or traveling from further afield, make a beeline for Florence to re-enact some of your favorite scenes from this much-loved romantic comedy.