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Trading Places More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A film I'll keep coming back to...

Author: Michael Morley from Cambridge, England
15 November 2003

This film was made two years before I was born. My Dad loves it, and it was he who first introduced me to it It's still damned good! I watched this film again last night. I hadn't seen it for so long... I watched with one mate who had seen it before, and one who hadn't and they both loved it. The interplay between the Dukes, and between Valentine, Winthorpe, Coleman, and Ophelia is absolutely brilliant. It's a gentle comedy for the most part, but the scene on the train always has me in stitches. And my favourite part? The ending of course: Winthorpe introducing Valentine to the commodities exchange, Valentine and Winthorpe's calmness on the trading floor as they prepare to bid, and the little thrill watching the price of Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate change. I love it!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very entertaining, and one of Landis's best

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
25 September 2010

Well, here it is an 80s comedy gem and one of my personal favourite John Landis films along with The Blues Brothers and the underrated Oscar. It does lag slightly in the middle and the finale is rather brash and slapsticky for me, but Trading Places is still incredibly entertaining that is lifted especially by the brilliant chemistry of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, who both give one of their best performances of their careers here. The script is wonderful, the comic situations overall are wonderfully timed and fresh, the story is interesting and the direction is great. Aside from Murphy and Aykroyd, the other performances make an impression, Jamie Lee Curtis gives a performance that is more than her just screaming and running away from psychopaths as the kind-hearted hooker and Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy steal the acting honours as the mischievous business bigwigs. In conclusion, one of Landis's best and an entertaining film. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Another 80's gem lands in my collection!

Author: thekyles99 from Canada
9 June 2010

Just added this gem from the 80's into the Kyle movie collection. Great storyline combined with a stellar cast make for a hilarious flick. Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd fresh from their s.n.l. runs..back when it was Saturday night live not Saturday night dead. I have owned this flick before but on VHS and now i get to see Jamie Lee Curtis's all time great cinematic scene stealer when she exposes her fantastic chest for all to bear, keeping in mind that paused movies look better on DVD. Watch out for the excellent casting decision of Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy who are superb as mortimer and randolf duke. Directed by the awesome John Landis. some trivial facts that you may not have known about this film are: Richard Pryor was originally considered for the role of Billy Ray Valentine.The film was conceived as a vehicle for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. But when Pryor dropped out and Eddie Murphy came on board, he made a motion to get Wilder replaced because he didn't want people to think he was just trying to be another Pryor. The original title: "Black and White". The electronic status board at Duke & Duke's (seen prominently in the Christmas scene) is the "Big Money" board from "Family Feud" (1976). And last but not least John Gielgud and Ronnie Barker were offered Coleman the butler. If you have never seen this film and are starting to watch Ediie Murphy movies when he was actually still doing good movies make sure not to miss this one!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Murphy's best film

Author: Herbest8 from United States
13 November 2009

The combined talent of Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy provide us with a terrific comedy that proves two big stars don't necessarily have to outshine each other to make the comedy work.

The story is recycled from the old Three Stooges shorts from the 1930s but with a unique twist. Using their resources, the Duke Brothers switch a prissy businessman (Aykroyd) and street hustler (Murphy) to see if it's heredity or environment that shapes a person's success.

The helmsman here is John Landis who had scored three years earlier with "The Blues Brother" also starring Dan Aykroyd and this follow-up film rivals that in terms of just how funny it really is. The cast is just fantastic (everyone from Denholm Elliot to Frank Oz to even Bo Diddly) and the production values are just exquisite. It has some raunchy humor which is a trademark of Landis's but it doesn't detract from the charm and wit this movie has.

Despite lagging slightly in the middle, "Trading Places" is funny, charming, very well-made and strangely timeless. I advise any Murphy or Aykroyd fan to see it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A shocking tale of life in business

Author: Stampsfightclub from United Kingdom
3 August 2008

Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers) stars as Louis Winthorpe, a smart and rich businessman who gets his life turned around when he is kicked out of his house and is forced to live on the street, all because of 2 other businessmen who have placed a wager to see if a street thief would succeed in his place.

In this ambitious and dramatic tale, viewers are invited into the hard and cruel life of the business world and what goes on behind closed doors, and though unrealistic, is a tale of cunning and loyalty in a great comedy drama.

In his best ever role, Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop) stars as street urchin Billy Ray Valentine, a cheeky and egotistical man who can't believe his luck when he is invited to work for the Dukes, the two businessmen who are scamming against him. Murphy excels in his own way, with that big smile and that own sophistication that he does so well, and the reason that this is his best ever role, is because as well as the comedy, there is a strong and determined belief about his character that is admirable and watchable and through his portrayal, we can see differences in the type of culture his character takes to.

Murphy is matched on every level by an excellent performance by Aykroyd whose life falls through our very eyes. The way his life can't seem to get any worse is one of the many reasons this film works so well.

These performances are matched with a gripping plot that sees viewers taken into the dark side of the business life, and through two evil and manipulative money driven owners, the Dukes. And the concept of money drives the film forward and the cruelty behind their bet is unbelievable and horrible to even think about, and is shown in such a dramatic fashion.

There is plenty of illegal activity, not to mention racial abuse and discrimination through the hierarchy that it is unthinkable that business was once like this.

Though I was completely lost during the final couple of scenes, this is a serious ideology encoded into a fairly humorous and dramatic film about the dealings and the life in business.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Prince and the Pauper with Eddie & Dan on sparkling form.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
4 March 2008

Mortimer & Randolph Duke are two repugnantly rich brothers, they make a bet that sees the role reversal of top toff yuppie , Louis Winthorpe, and wise cracking street hustler bum , Bily Ray Valentine. That's about the strength of the films plot, yet it makes for a very funny film that crackles with glee due to it's excellently written script. Watching the respective characters rise and fall respectively creates laughs aplenty whilst asking the question of how we all would cope in similar circumstances.

Sure the film does beat one over the head with its social message, we are in no doubt from the off about the gap between the rich and the poor, and yes the colour of a persons skin also rears its ugly head here to make this one of the more braver comedies of the 80s. Billy Ray Valentine {a brilliant dual performance from Eddie Murphy} is elevated up the social ladder, he becomes a force in industry, but as the progression enthrals him it also makes him aware that the things at the top end of the ladder aren't exactly stand up doings. Winthorpe {a perfectly casted Dan Ackroyd} drops further down the social ladder and resorts to behaviour that nobody from the upper echelons could ever have dreamed he would be capable of, it's only an encounter with prostitute Ophelia {Jamie Lee Curtis at the peak of her sexiness}, and her good heart, that starts to see an upturn in his now dead bottom fortunes. The gags come thick and fast, both verbally {Murphy on fire} and visually, the film sees the whole cast fusing together to create a cracking comedy, and come the denouement on Wall Street we are privy to a joyous and savage turn of events that ice the clever cake we have just digested. It does have an 80s sheen about it, and viewing now in post 9/11 times it's got a tint of nostalgia value to it, but really it's all about the script, the stars and a kick in the eye for those who think nothing of treading on the people below them, enjoy. 8/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pygmalion the way it should have been

Author: Ddey65 from United States
28 February 2005

I hated Pygmalion, as well as almost every remake of it from MY FAIR LADY to SHE'S ALL THAT, because Eliza Doolittle and Laney Boggs sell themselves out just to have boyfriends/husbands and be part of the upper crust, and when hardcore feminists praise it, I'm always surprised. But for some reason I can actually tolerate this movie, and it's got more to do with the fact that Eddie Murphy was at the pinnacle of his career at the time.

Louis Winthorpe III(Dan Aykroyd) is the privileged member of an investment group lead by Mortimer and Randolph Duke(Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy). He's a man who has his whole life ahead of him with a yuppie girlfriend(Kristin Holby) and a butler(Denholm Elliot). Billy Ray Valentine(Murphy) is a failed hustler living on the streets of Philadelphia. One day while trying to flee the cops, he runs into somebody working for the Duke's firm carrying a briefcase. Desperately seeking to return it, he's accused of stealing it. The incident gives the Dukes a sneaky idea -- they're going to take Billy Ray Valentine off the streets to show the other that the right environment will make him a law-abiding citizen. Only unlike Professor Higgins and Zach Silver, Randolph decides they're going to knock somebody else down while Mortimer suggests bringing Billy Ray up. And that somebody is Louis Winthrope III. With the help of a securities expert named Clarence Beeks(Paul Gleason), the Dukes plant "stolen" money, and later dope on Winthrope to get him fired from the firm. Ophelia(Jamie Lee Curtis) is a hooker paid by Beeks to further screw up Lou Winthorpe's reputation, and break him up with his girlfriend. The trouble is, when you hire a hooker with no pimp, she tends to use her own mind, and this whore uses it to invest her own money, and even takes in the man she helped the Dukes' firm victimize.

Meanwhile, Billy Ray is doing wonders for the firm, but he discovers that shady little connection with Beeks while looking through the books. Then he finds out what role both he and Withrope played in this scheme. Maybe it's the fact that Billy Ray pays the Dukes back for their disdainful attitudes towards African-Americans whereas Eliza Doolittle doesn't do a damn thing to Professor Henry Higgins' attitude towards women. But even that would seem too formulaic.

Then again, besides the fact that it was just funny, maybe that's why I do like it, and that's okay with me.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Jessica Cole (
27 April 2003

This movie teaches a valuable lesson: The Golden Rule. This movie followed both tragetic and comedic outlines. I was just recently introduced to Eddy Murphy and Dan Akyroyd, therefore this was one of those "I don't really know what's coming" movies. But I was happily suprised. I was laughing so hard I was nearly crying, and visa-versa. Eddie and Dan should do more movies together in the future, because they make the perfect pair. Great Work.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Genetics and Genius

Author: annmason1 from Bellingham, WA
28 January 2001

This is an all time favorite of mine. Not perfect...what's with the ape?...but fun and funny.

The premise of Nature Vs. Nurture makes for great comedy. The bad guys prove that neither is a guarantee of superiority and end up (delightfully) in the streets of "Coming To America". But that's another story.

Films that successfully juxtapose opposites are rare. For some reason, "Trading Places" succeeds. Eddie Murphy, for all his later career errors, is undisputedly a great comedian. Dan Ackroyd is perfect as straight man, but hey, these two had lots of practice. Jamie Lee Curtis is the heart-(and eventually bank account)-of gold prostitute.

One of the good things about this film is the background music. Also, the Christmas setting...even Bo Diddley...somebody made good choices all the way around.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious fun!

Author: The_Core from Seattle, WA. USA
30 March 2000

This movie is just ridiculously funny! Although it has its cornball moments (they could have done without the ape scenes and a few others), this is in my opinion one of the funniest movies ever made. All-around excellent acting talent carries the movie, even at times when the script falters a bit. Eddie Murphy is a riot as Billy Ray Valentine, many of the lines are just unforgettable, and (perhaps most importantly) the ending truly satisfies. Set and filmed mostly in Philadelphia, you really get a feeling for the city. 9/10.

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