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
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. See more »
During early scenes in the movie there's a fair amount of snow on the ground, but later scenes show a completely dry and snow-free Philadelphia. In fact, one overhead shot of Constitution Hall and the surrounding park shows green grass and leaves on the trees - highly unlikely in Philadelphia at Christmas time. 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 »
Another scene that is only available in the television version is one where Valentine (Eddie Murphy) first enters the Duke and Duke building. The cut version shows Coleman dropping off Valentine for his first day of work, then showing a smiling Valentine exiting an elevator and speaking to a receptionist. The uncut scene (television version) has Valentine entering the main hall of the building and going through a series of interactions with the same people that were pretty much identical to the scene near the beginning of the movie when Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) enters the building to go to work. This scene is one of the many ways of portraying contrasts in the movie... in this case "not knowing what to expect rookie" versus "veteran snob". This scene also shows why Valentine has a smile on his face as he exits the elevator and speaks confidently to the receptionist. Valentine sure was nervous before he entered the building talking to Coleman, but gains confidence as he progresses down the main hall toward the elevator. See more »
Unusually good 80's comedy... contains a lot of sad truth
I couldn't remember much of this movie when I borrowed it from a friend to watch for the second time... I can't have been very old when I first saw this, because there were not much more than one scene that I recognized. Even the title seemed new to me. Furthermore, I don't recall thinking about the film... about what it meant. This contains a lot of sad truth. The scenes of Aykroyd's character going from the peak of America's business life to rock bottom in a disturbingly short amount of time provide food for thought. Landis presents these events without pretense or heavy-handedness... he gives us the facts as they are. No bias. This direct, almost indifferent tone makes it all the more scary... this is the way it is, and that's accepted. The movie also has some insight to prove on racism and greed. Paul Gleason, whom I have only seen in The Breakfast Club(and Not Another Teen Movie, spoofing his character in aforementioned movie) plays a radically different role, yet still shows some of the authority he's famous for as the principal in The Breakfast Club. That was amusing to watch for someone who enjoyed said film so much. Jamie Lee Curtis bares a lot of skin, for those in the audience looking for that. Aykroyd and Murphy are both extraordinary. They get to play with their characters a lot, to great effect. They create so many funny moments, there are simply too many to list or for mere words to do justice; you'll just have to watch the film for itself. If you are a fan of either actor, you won't be disappointed. The language surprised me, with how uncensored it was, compared to today's standards. The plot is interesting, and based on an intelligent idea. The pacing is dynamic. The acting is all top-notch. The humor is mostly good and tasteful, with few but glaringly obvious exceptions(the fate of Beeks being an almost offensive one). The film has more heart than most of its kind... if you watch only one movie of this type, let this be it. I recommend this to fans of the actors and/or director, and people intrigued by the general idea. If you are even considering watching this... take my advice and do so. It is intelligent without being preachy and funny without trying too hard. John Landis has yet again created something big. 8/10
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