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Trading Places (1983)

 -  Comedy  -  8 June 1983 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 86,846 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 149 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:

Take two complete strangers, make one of them rich the other poor... just watch the fun while they're... TRADING PLACES 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

The barbershop quartet song sung by Todd and his pals at the tennis club is sung to the tune of "Aura Lea" an American Civil War song written by W.W. Fosdick (words) and George R. Poulton (music). Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" is a derivative of it as well. Another version of Aura Lee is done in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). It's the song the Pi's sing to offer themselves as dates to the the Tri-Lambs (Hello Lambdas we're the Pi's/And we're here to say/We think you are special guys/Lambdas all the way...) See more »

Goofs

The road in which Winthorpe and Valentine meet in the taxi and limousine is delineated by a white line. Yellow lines are always used to delineate opposing lanes, while solid white lines delineate the right edge of a traffic lane, and sometimes lanes going in the same direction. 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 Shrek (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

JINGLE BELL ROCK
By Joseph Beal & James Boothe (as Jim Boothe)
Performed by Brenda Lee
Courtesy MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unusually good 80's comedy... contains a lot of sad truth
22 February 2006 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

I couldn't remember much of this movie when I borrowed it from a friend to watch for the second time... I can't have been very old when I first saw this, because there were not much more than one scene that I recognized. Even the title seemed new to me. Furthermore, I don't recall thinking about the film... about what it meant. This contains a lot of sad truth. The scenes of Aykroyd's character going from the peak of America's business life to rock bottom in a disturbingly short amount of time provide food for thought. Landis presents these events without pretense or heavy-handedness... he gives us the facts as they are. No bias. This direct, almost indifferent tone makes it all the more scary... this is the way it is, and that's accepted. The movie also has some insight to prove on racism and greed. Paul Gleason, whom I have only seen in The Breakfast Club(and Not Another Teen Movie, spoofing his character in aforementioned movie) plays a radically different role, yet still shows some of the authority he's famous for as the principal in The Breakfast Club. That was amusing to watch for someone who enjoyed said film so much. Jamie Lee Curtis bares a lot of skin, for those in the audience looking for that. Aykroyd and Murphy are both extraordinary. They get to play with their characters a lot, to great effect. They create so many funny moments, there are simply too many to list or for mere words to do justice; you'll just have to watch the film for itself. If you are a fan of either actor, you won't be disappointed. The language surprised me, with how uncensored it was, compared to today's standards. The plot is interesting, and based on an intelligent idea. The pacing is dynamic. The acting is all top-notch. The humor is mostly good and tasteful, with few but glaringly obvious exceptions(the fate of Beeks being an almost offensive one). The film has more heart than most of its kind... if you watch only one movie of this type, let this be it. I recommend this to fans of the actors and/or director, and people intrigued by the general idea. If you are even considering watching this... take my advice and do so. It is intelligent without being preachy and funny without trying too hard. John Landis has yet again created something big. 8/10


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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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