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Trading Places (1983)

 -  Comedy  -  8 June 1983 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 84,916 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 145 user | 66 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

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Title: Trading Places (1983)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Maurice Woods ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Richard D. Fisher Jr. ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Jim Gallagher ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Anthony DiSabatino ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Bonnie Behrend ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Sunnie Merrill ...
Duke & Duke Employee
James Newell ...
Duke & Duke Employee (as Jim Newell)
Mary St. John ...
Duke & Duke Employee
Bonnie Tremena ...
Duke & Duke Employee
David Schwartz ...
Duke & Duke Employee
...
...
Tom Degidon ...
Duke Domestic
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Storyline

Louis Winthorpe is a businessman who works for commodities brokerage firm of Duke and Duke owned by the brothers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. Now they bicker over the most trivial of matters and what they are bickering about is whether it's a person's environment or heredity that determines how well they will do in life. When Winthorpe bumps into Billy Ray Valentine, a street hustler and assumes he is trying to rob him, he has him arrested. Upon seeing how different the two men are, the brothers decide to make a wager as to what would happen if Winthorpe loses his job, his home and is shunned by everyone he knows and if Valentine was given Winthorpe's job. So they proceed to have Winthorpe arrested and to be placed in a compromising position in front of his girlfriend. So all he has to rely on is the hooker who was hired to ruin him. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're not just getting rich... They're getting even. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black or White  »

Box Office

Gross:

$90,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kelly Curtis:  The country club member "Muffy" is played by the sister of Jamie Lee Curtis. See more »

Goofs

In the interior exchange in the police station between Winthorpe and Penelope - immediately after Winthorpe is released on bail - his blackened left eye is open and blinking; in the scenes that follow, he forces it closed, as if swollen shut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Coleman: [holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep] Your breakfast, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of the major actors/actresses are shown superimposed on short clips from the film. The clips showing Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Jamie-Lee Curtis respectively are obvious outtakes as they all crack up and burst into smiles and/or laughter. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Step by Step: Trading Places (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

THE LOCO-MOTION
By Gerry Goffin & Carole King
Performed by Little Eva
Courtesy Roulette Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I had the most absurd nightmare, I was poor, no one liked me. Phinellipe hated me, and it was all because of this terrible awful Negro"
22 December 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Trading Places, one of the best comedies of all time! I don't even know where to start on how great this movie is. I've been watching this movie since I was a kid, know that sounds weird as this is an adult comedy, but I actually loved it growing up. As an adult it just gets better and better each time I watch it. It's one of the most intelligent comedies mixed with some great slap stick and take on our society. What a great idea, take an educated man, take away everything he knows and owns and see if he could survive. Then take a man with no education, given the right encouragement if he would rise to the occasion. Trading Places isn't just one of the best comedies to come out of the 80's, but one of the best comedies of all time.

Duke brothers Randolph and Mortimer own Duke & Duke, a successful commodities brokerage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Holding opposing views on the issue of nature versus nurture, they make a wager and agree to conduct an experiment switching the lives of two people at opposite sides of the social hierarchy and observing the results. They witness an encounter between their managing director, educated Louis Winthorpe III, and a poor street hustler Billy Ray Valentine; Valentine is arrested at Winthorpe's insistence because of a misunderstanding robbery attempt. The Dukes decide to use the two men for their experiment. Take away Winthorpe's fiancé, home, job, money, friends and respect, frame him on a drug charge, will he bounce back because of his education and manners? Give uneducated Billy Ray a great job, beautiful home, respect and encouragement, will he turn hardened criminal into an upstanding citizen? Trading places, what a great idea if the boys only knew of the Duke's scheme.

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy were just way too awesome together and had amazing chemistry. Their comedic timing is always on key. A mix with Jamie Lee Curtis and Denholm Elliott added much more to the story and jokes with their reactions and presence. My favorite scene with Dan was definitely seeing him exit the prison with his fiancé and Jamie Lee Curtis has been paid to make it look like he's her lover/drug dealer and her all over him in front of his fiancé while he's just shocked as Jamie goes down on him and to add it all he gets a hard slap to the face! Ouch! But you'll have to pause the scene because you'll die of laughter. Eddie's best scene is also when he gets excited that he could go to his low life acquaintances and show off, he throws a party and they trash his house and he kicks them all out was so funny the way he did it. What a classic movie, one that I will watch again and again. I proudly show this movie to my friends when they need a good laugh. This movie is a treasure to comedies, it's well paced and one of the best movies of all time. The only change I would have made is that at the end when they are on their own private island they toast each other on a job well done and since ironically they ruined the Dukes with orange juice, it would have been more hilarious if that's what they were toasting with instead of champagne. But it's still a perfect movie, highly recommended.

10/10


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Valentine's sudden 'knowledge' robdrum4
I've Always Been Confused About Coleman's Knowledge of The Dukes' Plan. ChairmanOfTheBored
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Jamie Lee Curtis JLC1FAN
SCARIEST SCENE IN CINEMATIC HISTORY.PERIOD. ebuish
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