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Trading Places (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  8 June 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 94,920 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 152 user | 67 critic | 9 from

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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

Did You Know?


The story about the Dukes' cornering of the orange juice market was probably inspired by the "Silver Thursday" market crash of 27 March 1980, during which the Hunt brothers of Texas tried to corner the silver market and subsequently failed to meet a $100 million margin call. See more »


When Mortimer Duke is signing the paychecks, at least one of the shots is flipped horizontally. At first he signs with his left hand, then his right, then his left again. The part in his hair changes sides as well. See more »


[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 »


Featured in The Greatest 80s Movies (2014) See more »


by Lyn Murray
See more »

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User Reviews

Hugely funny film - Eddie Murphy's finest moment
21 December 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Right from the opening credits, this film shows quality. It stands above other comedies due to the lack of filler material - every line is memorable. The cast is great; the two leads make the most of their characters (both as brokers and bums) but never overstep the mark, thanks partly to the tight editing. The plot becomes a little bizarre, but by that time you're already hooked, and the ending of the film is pure joy. To my mind, no recent comedy has been this good; it mixes high and low brow jokes without resorting to toilet humour, it doesn't pull any punches (spot the social commentary), the performances are masterful and the script achieves depth without sacrificing the one-liners or slowing the pace.

78 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Most quoted movie after Pulp Fiction old-skool101
Coleman the butler colingar
taking briefcase twice. cjware1974-535-342216
Valentine's sudden 'knowledge' robdrum4
I've Always Been Confused About Coleman's Knowledge of The Dukes' Plan. ChairmanOfTheBored
calling the 80's viewers of this film old-skool101
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