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Coming to America (1988)

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An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.

Director:

John Landis

Writers:

Eddie Murphy (story), David Sheffield (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,157 ( 134)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Bates ... Oha
Eddie Murphy ... Prince Akeem / Clarence / Saul / Randy Watson
Garcelle Beauvais ... Rose Bearer
Feather Feather ... Rose Bearer
Stephanie Simon Stephanie Simon ... Rose Bearer
Victoria Dillard ... Bather / Dancer
Felicia Taylor Felicia Taylor ... Bather
Midori Midori ... Bather (as Michele Watley)
James Earl Jones ... King Jaffe Joffer
Madge Sinclair ... Queen Aoleon
Sheila Johnson ... Lady-in-Waiting
Arsenio Hall ... Semmi / Morris / Extremely Ugly Girl / Reverend Brown
Raymond D. Turner Raymond D. Turner ... T-Shirt Hawker
Calvin Lockhart ... Colonel Izzi
Billi Gordon Billi Gordon ... Large Woman
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Storyline

It is the 21st birthday of Prince Akeem of Zamunda and he is to marry a woman he never saw before. Now the prince breaks with tradition and travels to America to look for the love of his life. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eddie Murphy is Prince Akeem......Coming to America. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Quest See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$39,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$128,152,300

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$160,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eddie Murphy made the studio hire John Landis as the director for Coming to America; even though the studio did not want him; due to his string of flops in the 1980s; as well as his tarnished reputation from the Twilight Zone Movie Accident that he was charged with manslaughter over (and then exonerated). Murphy told Playboy in an interview on the subject: "Yes. He'd done four f---d up movies in a row and I knew he'd spent a lot of money on his trial. I went to Paramount and said I wanted to use Landis. But they had reservations: His career was f----d up. But I said, "I'm gonna use Landis." I liked the guy. I used to always say that the one fun experience I had with a director--and I've worked with directors I really liked: Marty Brest, Walter Hill, Tony Scott--was with Landis, because he plays around a lot on the set. I made Paramount hire him. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 2 mins) When Semmi picks up the Hold-Up Man's shotgun, he cocks it and points it at him. Since the robber fired a shot into the ceiling moments before, the shotgun should have ejected a spent shell, but it didn't. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rose Bearer: Good morning, Your Highness.
Rose Bearer: Good morning, Your Highness.
Rose Bearer: Good morning, Your Highness.
Oha: Happy birthday, Your Highness.
Prince Akeem: [thinks] Yes, it *is* my birthday.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Eddie Murphy - as the old white man in the barber shop - says: "Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait stop right there! Listen: Stop right there, man. A man goes into a restaurant. You listenin'? A man goes into a restaurant, and he sits down, he's having a bowl of soup and he says to the waiter, waiter come taste the soup. Waiter says: Is something wrong with the soup? He says: Taste the soup. He says: Is there something wrong with the soup? Is the soup too hot? He says: Will you taste the soup? What's wrong, is the soup too cold? Will you just taste the soup?! Allright, I'll taste the soup - where's the spoon?? Aha. Aha! ... Whadaya know from funny, you bastards?" See more »


Soundtracks

Better Late Than Never
Written by Freddie Washington and Allan Scott
Performed by The Cover Girls
Produced by Andy Panda
The Cover Girls perform courtesy of Fever/Sutra Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Trading Countries
2 November 2004 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Eddie Murphy stars as Prince Hakeem, who comes to America with his servant (Arsenio Hall) in search of a future wife who can respect him for his intelligence, not his money. The film is another '80s fish-out-of-water comedy in the vein of "Crocodile Dundee" -- it delivers some of the best jokes of Murphy's career. Although it never becomes "great" and is quite uneven at times, entering its rough spots where the jokes seem to slow down and become not quite as funny, the movie is always entertaining and Murphy's charismatic lead performance displays his skills as a comedian -- unfortunately Hall is not as fortunate. Frankly, he stinks.

The movie features a wide range of cameos and/or star appearances (before they became stars) -- James Earl Jones, Louie Anderson, and Samuel L. Jackson popping up in various scenes.

The movie works as a sort of sequel to TRADING PLACES (1983) -- both star Eddie Murphy, both were directed by John Landis, both deal with the prospect of "trading places" (or countries, in this situation), etc.

Also, it features a great self-referential moment (linked to Trading Places) when Murphy gives a couple of bums a wad of money. It turns out the homeless guys are more than just familiar faces...

Recommended. 4/5


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