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|Index||164 reviews in total|
I loved this movie the whole way through. All the characters are well
portrayed: Murphy (at his funniest), Ackroyd (loved that Santa Claus scene
with the salmon), Curtis who we see plenty of, Ameche and Bellamy as the
amoral traders, and the utterly obnoxious Gleason (as Clarence Beeks) who
gets his comeuppance in the end. Funny scenes all through this movie, lovely
revenge-laden ending without violence - excellent movie, possibly Murphy's
This film is a classic social comedy. It is like an Oscar Wilde play Americanized and moved from London to Philly. Every time I watch it, something new makes me laugh. One usually expects poor screenwriting and directing from a silly comedy such as this, but that is not the case here. The eighties knew how to handle B-comedy. The script and acting are filled will subtleties and nuances that make it a hilarious in every aspect of the word. "Clearence Beeks" is the funniest of all the characters, with his one liners and actions. Eddie Murphy--enough said. Dan Akyroyd--a perfect fit for the role. Don Ameche is awesome too. Many of the lines are highly memorable, despite (or rather because of) their crudity. If you haven't seen this film--get off your butt and watch it. The comedy central (censored) version will NOT suffice.
'Trading Places' stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in roles perfect for
them. In other movies especially Murphy can get annoying but in this one
that was not the case.
Aykroyd is Louis Winthorpe, a guy with a high position in the company Duke & Duke. Randolph & Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy & Don Ameche) make a bet. They can put homeless guy Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) in the place of Winthorpe and make him as good and smart as him. On the same time they want to destroy Winthorpe's life and make sure he becomes a criminal. We follow Murphy in the high society and Aykroyd who has to live with a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis) because he has nothing.
Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis are all very funny. The story sound familiar but has some nice surprises. If you just need a nice film to entertain yourself this one is perfect.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. 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. Roger Ebert wrote ""Trading Places" resembles "Tootsie" and, for that matter, some of the classic Frank Capra and Preston Sturges comedies: It wants to be funny, but it also wants to tell us something about human nature and there are whole stretches when we forget it's a comedy and get involved in the story. And it's a great idea for a story: A white preppy snot and a black street hustler trade places, and learn new skills they never dreamed existed." Trading Places is one of the best movies and one of the best comedies that I have had the privilege of viewing and almost every aspect of this movie is done to the highest excellence and the highest quality.
It's the efforts of a superb cast that make this comedy work as well as
it does. The premise is a time honoured one: what if you switched a
have with a have not? The nefarious Duke brothers, Randolph (Ralph
Bellamy) and Mortimer (Don Ameche) decide to have a little wager,
meddling in the life of their bright young employee Louis Winthorpe III
(Dan Aykroyd). They scheme to utterly ruin his life, and put in his
place fast talking, street dwelling con artist Billy Ray Valentine
(Eddie Murphy). Their plans work all too well, until the ultimate
moment of revelation sparks a desire by our two pawns to get some
"Trading Places" does go on pretty long, and isn't always terribly funny. In fact, it's not afraid to get rather dark. But our two stars are extremely well cast, and in top form. Aykroyd mostly plays the straight man, while Murphy lights up the screen from the moment that his character is introduced. Screen veterans Bellamy and Ameche are excellent; Denholm Elliott is wonderful as the devoted butler, while Jamie Lee Curtis is extremely engaging in the role that helped her escape from being typecast as a horror genre star. (Some people will be very pleased to note that she bares her breasts on a few occasions.) Paul Gleason is amusing in one of his standard issue jerk roles. Landis dots the landscape with some great cameos (Alfred Drake, Bo Diddley, Frank Oz) and bit parts by a bunch of now familiar faces: Nicholas Guest, John Bedford Lloyd, Giancarlo Esposito, James Eckhouse, Eddie Jones, Bill Cobbs, Philip Bosco. Look also for James Belushi as a drunken reveller, Stephen Stucker (Johnny in "Airplane!") as a stationmaster, and Al Franken & Tom Davis from 'Saturday Night Live' as baggage handlers.
By the time that "Trading Places" has reached its final half hour, when Louis, Billy Ray, Ophelia, and Coleman put their revenge plan into motion, it's all too easy to root for our main characters.
Eight out of 10.
Think about it. Many other biblical stories involve the punishment of
'wicked' people, but the Book of Job is God being a jerk to a good
person just to prove a point with Satan, which God doesn't actually win
because Job eventually becomes angry with God. So here the Duke
brothers are actually being a jerk to two people. Ralph Bellamy and Don
Ameche play the old money Duke brothers, Randolph and Mortimer. In the
classic movie era Ralph Bellamy could play the clueless good guy and he
could also play very bad characters. Don Ameche tended towards the good
guys in most of his films, or at least the well meaning. Well here
these two are rotten to the core. They are not malicious, they just
have no respect or regard for their fellow human beings whatsoever. Dan
Akroyd plays Louis Winthorpe III, an employee of the Dukes who is their
fair haired up and coming employee. He also comes from a wealthy
background with a former debutante for a fiancée. Eddie Murphy plays
Billy Ray Valentine, a poor conman, pretending to be a legless Vietnam
vet to be a more successful panhandler. As a result of a mix-up, Billy
Ray is accused of trying to rob Winthorpe, and Winthorpe chases Billy
around his exclusive club, and holds him until the police get there.
Now the brothers, who have observed this commotion, have been having an argument about whether environment or breeding makes a man, and they bet one dollar against one another in an experiment in which they will disgrace Winthorpe, cause him to lose his money and his standing in the community, and make him poor. The other half of the experiment is to build up Valentine into someone that they can pass off as one of their employees, and they give him Winthorpe's old house to live in. The experiment will tell whether a change in environment will make a gentleman out of Billy Ray and cause Winthorpe to turn to crime.
How are the Dukes being a jerk to Billy Ray? Once the experiment is over they plan to throw him back out into the street.
Well the brothers successfully pull off both switches. As a result both Winthorpe and Billy Ray learn the people they thought were friends really aren't. Winthorpe's friends and fiancée abandon him. Billy Ray discovers his friends are hanging around "his house" just for freebies. Meanwhile a beautiful hooker (Jamie Lee Curtis) takes in Winthorpe who has no idea how to fend for himself without money or at least plastic. She is doing this for a price however, once Winthorpe can reclaim his fortune he promises to pay her well.
Funny thing, Curtis' hooker has a plan that would never work today. She is saving her money and putting them in T-Bills at 10% and plans to retire in a few years and live off the interest. Good luck with that plan today since you cant even get banks to pay you .01%. She'd be on her back until she was old and flabby and nobody wanted the ride.
How does this all work out? I'll just say "justly". That's all. Try to dig up this oldie from the 80's when greed was good and watch for yourselves.
Personally, the Dukes are so bad they are terrific. My favorite exchange between them:
Duke brother 1 - "Mother always said you were the greedy one".
Duke brother 2 - "She meant it as a compliment."
This is one of the funniest films i have ever seen, and having just come back from Philadelphia where i believe the film was partly made i can see why it was so brilliantly made.Eddie murphy is a genius ,Dan Ackroyd is histerical, and Jamie Lee Curtis is as beautiful as her mother.This film must be one of the best ever comedies ever made. Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche were suberb. The best actor though was the late Denholm Elliot, who in my eyes was the epitomy of the British serving class. How this film never got an oscar for, not only the actors but for the film itself is a mistake that the film industry will regret for a very long time.
This is one of the most funniest movies ever. Ackyroyd and Murphy work GREAT together. The premise is wonderful. A poor person switching lives with a rich person, so original! I give this movie four stars. Great work!!!
Truly wonderful, from the opening score to the final credits, this film exceeds all expectations that one would wish to throw at John Landis. The Murphy/Ackroyd combination is perfect, and with excellent support from Curtis and Elliot, there are laughs galore. Murphy really is in his element as the fast talking Billy-Ray Valentine, while Ackroyd excels in the pomp of Louis Winthorpe III. But it is perhaps the lines of the 'incidental' actors that really set this movie apart. The two black cons are a wonderful double act - something like little and large, without the little. Meanwhile, Denholm Elliot as Coleman is his scathingly brilliant best. Watch this film, enjoy it, then watch it again!
Gotta love that part where Eddie Murphy is Upstairs with the Duke Brothers and they are explaing the different types of items sold on the stock market and Duke says "Pork Bellies, which are used to make bacon, which you may find in a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich". Eddie murphy looks at the camera and it is SO funny!
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