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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


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black or White  »

Box Office


$90,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


A scene in the movie not included in the final cut but seen frequently when the movie is shown on television (presumably to fill a longer time slot with commercials) occurs after Clarence Beeks talks to the Dukes via telephone and Billy Ray eavesdrops on their scheme. In the original cut, Beeks goes from the phone booth to the Amtrak train platform, holding the briefcase with the crop report. In the added scene, we see Beeks procure the reports from a secured vault where he pays off a security guard and opens a safe-deposit box. See more »


During early scenes in the movie there's a fair amount of snow on the ground, but later scenes show a completely dry and snow-free Philadelphia. In fact, one overhead shot of Constitution Hall and the surrounding park shows green grass and leaves on the trees - highly unlikely in Philadelphia at Christmas time. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

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


Written and Performed by The Silhouettes
Courtesy Bulldog Records, Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Murphy and Aykroyd at their best
11 December 2005 | by (El Paso, TX) – See all my reviews

Could this movie honestly have been any more funny? I saw it again, as I have repeatedly for years, and still laughed. My new son had never seen it before and liked it as well. Murphy was at the top of his game back then and Aykroyd is the perfect snob-class elitist. Some of these jokes are so timeless that I still refer to them from time-to-time and they STILL get laughs, both from people who have and haven't seen this film.

Yes, the jokes are a bit dated and somewhat slapstick, but this was a sign of the times. Most 80s comedies were full of slapstick moments. Jamie Lee Curtis was at the height of her sexy image and I'd forgotten how well she'd played her role. The late Don Ameche is so animated that it played perfectly into the mood of the film.

You can find this film in the bargain bin of most stores these days. I saw it for sale for only $5.50. It's worth owning.

63 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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