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
They're not just getting rich... They're getting even.
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Did You Know?
The theme of rich men taking in a bum and passing him off as an aristocrat is reminiscent of the George Bernard Shaw
play Pygmalion, and also includes specific elements of Hoi Polloi
(1935), a previous American film parody of the same play. The theme of a rich and poor person exchanging positions in life comes from the Mark Twain
novel The Prince and the Pauper. 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
[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 The 50 Greatest Comedy Films
Pomp and Circumstance March op.39 No.1
by Edward Elgar See more