In the conniving world of politics, even a professional shyster like Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) can find himself outmatched. After using name recognition to get elected, ... See full summary »
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
In disguise on the train as an exchange student from Cameroon, Valentine uses the name "Nanga Eboko." Nanga Eboko is a village in eastern Cameroon. See more »
When Billy Ray is giving the briefcase to Louis, the two
baggage handlers walk past Billy with a bag of pretzels (the Keebler logo is shown). In the next shot, the baggage handlers are in the bar car. See more »
[holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep]
Your breakfast, sir.
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Ron Taylor is credited as 'Big Black Guy' and James D. Turner as ' Even Bigger Black Guy' See more »
This is probably one of the funniest films of the 1980's. It not only is a play on the classic nature vs. nurture theme, but it is also a somewhat comedic commentary on the "greed is good" decade of the 80's. However, it is also a nice bridging of the generations as it features two of the biggest stars to come from "Saturday Night Live" Eddie Murphy does a fine job as con man Billy Ray and Dan Ackroyd is great as Louis. Jamie Lee Curtis is also wonderful as Ophelia. In fact, it was good to see her do something other than the "scream queen" roles which she became famous for during the early part of her career. She definitely shows the comedic timing that she would display later in her career and would make her one of the finest comedic actresses in film today. However, the one that really steals it for me is Denholm Elliot as Coleman. He delivers a very low key performance that is befitting for that role. This is a real gem.
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