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
Take two complete strangers, make one of them rich the other poor... just watch the fun while they're... TRADING PLACES
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Did You Know?
Several funny moments in the film came about by accident. The scene where Mortimer is trying to catch the money clip and having trouble wasn't supposed to happen that way, but both kept going with it and not breaking character, so it was kept in. Ophelia's "Swedish" disguise came about because Jamie Lee Curtis
couldn't do the correct Austrian accent. See more
The time shown for Hong Kong in the back of the Duke's car is 6:51, which is 13 hours ahead of Philadelphia. Since it's an analog clock the possible local times are 5:51 am or 5:51 pm. Either one of those times it would be dark during the Winter in Philly. See more
[holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep
Your breakfast, sir.
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
Referenced in Shrek
THE BIG WALTZ
by Lyn Murray See more