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
John Landis directed Eddie Murphy in Trading Places, as well as Beverly Hills Cop 3 and Coming to America. The two were close friends as a result of all of this; though Landis resented that Murphy did not support him while he was still embroiled in the Twilight Zone movie manslaughter case against him. Landis wanted Murphy to testify as a character witness on his behalf; or at least show up in trial as a show of support; but he refused. Murphy said the following about the conflict with Landis in a recent Playboy interview: ": As it turned out, John always resented that I hadn't gone to his Twilight Zone trial. I never knew that; I though we were cool. But he'd been harboring it for a year. Every now and then, he would make little remarks, like, "You didn't help me out; you don't realize how close I was to going to jail." I never paid any mind." Murphy goes on to subtly indict Landis in the accident; or at least assign him some of the blame, in the interview:" I don't want to say who was guilty or who was innocent. But if you're directing a movie and two kids get their heads chopped off at twelve o'clock at night when there ain't supposed to be kids working, and you said, "Action!" then you have some sort of responsibility. So my principles wouldn't let me go down there and sit in court. That's just the way I am." 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 »
There was a scene in the movie that was not included in the final cut, but can only be seen when the movie is shown on television (presumably to fill a longer time slot with commercials). This "TV-only" scene occurs after Clarence Beeks talks to the Dukes via telephone and Billy Ray eavesdrops on their scheme. In the original cut, he goes from the phone booth to the Amtrak train platform, holding the briefcase with the crop report. Yet in this added scene, we see Beeks go and procure the reports from a secured vault where he drugs a security guard and uses the guard's keys to open a safe-deposit box. See more »
Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper has seen many incarnations from Disney to The Simpsons. But none have been as cruel (and funny) and John Landis' Trading Places, which proves just how funny Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy used to be.
Louise Winthorpe III is a spoiled, snobby managing director at the Duke & Duke commodities brokerage. Billy Ray Valentine is a poverty-stricken street hustler. Randolph Duke makes a wager with his brother Mortimer that the men can be successfully swapped . The con is on as Valentine is plucked from the streets and Winthorpe is ungraciously dumped on them. There's loads of fun watching him hit absolute rock bottom while Valentine quickly becomes spoiled and snobby himself.
Jamie Lee Curtis is the hugely-boobed hooker with a heart of gold who takes Winthorpe in while the always brilliant Denholm Elliott is Coleman, the unwilling butler caught up in the Dukes' evil plan. Once all four unravel the scam they team-up to destroy the Dukes.
Trading Places is crammed full of hilarious scenes, great dialogue, and funny cameos. Who cannot resist Eddie Murphy's foreign exchange student disguise or Ackroyd's Lionel Josef. Even the gorilla in the train is a brilliant character.
For those of you who love dark, cruel comedies Trading Places is utterly essential. It may be very 80s, but it never gets old. It's a must see and must have.
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