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Trading Places (1983)

R | | Comedy | 8 June 1983 (USA)
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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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


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


Some very funny business. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black or White  »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,348,200, 12 June 1983

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the scene with Valentine in the restaurant, with Winthorpe standing outside in the rain, Valentine is asked for his opinion about wheat. At that moment the entire room stops speaking and leans into hear his advice. This is a reference to a series of 1980s commercials for the brokerage firm, E.F. Hutton. The tagline was, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen." See more »


When Billy Ray is in the limo, Randolph Duke introduces himself and Billy Ray asks if the name Randolph is like Randy Jackson of the Jackson 5. Randy was not a member of the Jackson 5. He did not join the group until they became The Jacksons. See more »


[first lines]
Coleman: [holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep] Your breakfast, sir.
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Crazy Credits

Ron Taylor is credited as 'Big Black Guy' and James D. Turner as ' Even Bigger Black Guy' See more »


References Auntie Mame (1958) See more »


by Patrick Cowley & Sylvester
Performed by Sylvester
Courtesy Megatone Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Murphy and Aykroyd are Perfect!
31 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

When it comes to great comic films, nobody recalls the magic between Murphy and Aykroyd in Trading Places. In the early 80's Eddie Murphy was considered the funniest black comedian next to Richard Pryor. Dan Aykroyd was one of the all time great cast members of Saturday Night Live. Both actors started on SNL and were ready to make their career in films. Trading Places is an example of a perfect comedy. It is funny yes, but there is so much more. With its story, the acting, and the political, racial, and economical plots in the film add to its greatness. One of the best comedies to come out of the 1980's, it stands as one of Eddie Murphy's best earlier films as well as Aykroyd's performances as a character actor. A wonderful and somewhat good family film. If you're that kind of family that is.

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