A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director:

John Landis
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Popularity
1,830 ( 525)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denholm Elliott ... Coleman
Dan Aykroyd ... Louis Winthorpe III
Maurice Woods Maurice Woods ... Duke & Duke Employee
Richard D. Fisher Jr. Richard D. Fisher Jr. ... Duke & Duke Employee
Jim Gallagher Jim Gallagher ... Duke & Duke Employee
Anthony DiSabatino Anthony DiSabatino ... Duke & Duke Employee
Bonnie Behrend Bonnie Behrend ... Duke & Duke Employee
Sunnie Merrill Sunnie Merrill ... Duke & Duke Employee
James Newell James Newell ... Duke & Duke Employee (as Jim Newell)
Mary St. John Mary St. John ... Duke & Duke Employee
Bonnie Tremena Bonnie Tremena ... Duke & Duke Employee
David Schwartz David Schwartz ... Duke & Duke Employee
Ralph Bellamy ... Randolph Duke
Don Ameche ... Mortimer Duke
Tom Degidon Tom Degidon ... Duke Domestic
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Storyline

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 rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're not just getting rich... They're getting even. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 1h 20 mins) The "other" Santa Claus is Mike Strug, a television reporter who once worked for a network affiliate in the city of Philadelphia. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 16 mins) At the Christmas party when Winthorpe jumps on the table waving the gun, the clocks show that it is 1905 in Los Angeles, 2205 in Philadelphia and 0205 in London. London should read 0305. London is five hours, not four, ahead of Philadelphia, regardless whether in Daylight Savings Time (British Summer Time) or in Standard Time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Coleman: [holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep] Your breakfast, sir.
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Crazy Credits

The names of the major actors/actresses are shown superimposed on short clips from the film. The clips showing Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Jamie-Lee Curtis respectively are obvious outtakes as they all crack up and burst into smiles and/or laughter. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Andante Cantabile
From K-465 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Murray Adler, Harris Goldman, David Schwartz, Armand Kaproff
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User Reviews

 
Murphy and Aykroyd are Perfect!
31 January 2002 | by caspian1978See all my reviews

When it comes to great comic films, nobody recalls the magic between Murphy and Aykroyd in Trading Places. In the early 80's Eddie Murphy was considered the funniest black comedian next to Richard Pryor. Dan Aykroyd was one of the all time great cast members of Saturday Night Live. Both actors started on SNL and were ready to make their career in films. Trading Places is an example of a perfect comedy. It is funny yes, but there is so much more. With its story, the acting, and the political, racial, and economical plots in the film add to its greatness. One of the best comedies to come out of the 1980's, it stands as one of Eddie Murphy's best earlier films as well as Aykroyd's performances as a character actor. A wonderful and somewhat good family film. If you're that kind of family that is.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black or White See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,348,200, 12 June 1983

Gross USA:

$90,404,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,404,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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