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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 who 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
631 ( 319)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 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:

The Four Funniest Men in America are Eddie Murphy 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

DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (John Landis): (breaking the fourth wall): Akeem asks his intended bride to bark like a dog. When she does so, Eddie Murphy looks at the camera. When Patrice tells Darryl he needs to take off his wet clothes after he tells her that Lisa dumped him, he looks directly into the camera. Also, at the McDowell's house, when Cleo's daughter Patrice said, "Why does she always get the good ones?", the dog does the same thing. When Akeem and Semmi are on the ledge of their apartment, Semmi looks at the camera also. See more »

Goofs

(at around 29 mins) When the landlord describes the apartment to Akeem and Semi, he says "it's only got one window, facing a brick wall." In the next scene, Akeem is out on a balcony which is accessed through a window. In the same shot, Semi opens another window directly to Akeem's left to speak with him. There is also another window directly to Akeem's right which appears to be from the same apartment. 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

On conversion of the movie to HD digital format, Saul's credit has been omitted. When Saul interrupts the end credits with the soup joke, originally Eddie Murphy's name appears under Saul to indicate it's him (the name then disappears and reappears immediately under Clarence). This does not happen in modern digital versions of the movie, and Saul is left unidentified until the conventional credits list. See more »

Connections

Referenced in IMDb's 20th Anniversary Star of the Day: Dulé Hill (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Into My Life
Written by Paul Chiten and Pamela Phillips Oland (as Pamela Phillips-Oland)
Performed by Laura Branigan and Joe Esposito
Produced by Arif Mardin and Robbie Buchanan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hilarious romantic-comedy-drama with a great ensemble cast
5 February 2005 | by aaronclemensSee all my reviews

Coming to America centers on the story of young prince, set up for an arranged marriage. He leaves his home in Africa to find a woman that he can truly love. Like all good tales, this one has already been told many times. It covers how a newcomer must adjust to a new culture, including encountering difficulties in the romance department, and fathers who just don't understand. This is all done to comedic effect, but not without romantic and dramatic overtones, to the credit of all involved.

I could watch this movie every week (actually, I have been lately, since it's on CINEMAX). The writing and direction was fantastic, the film is perfectly paced, with constant sight gags and witty repartee. The film works because actors selected have great timing.

Eddie Murphy (Akeem, et al) is quite versatile as the lead. He's in his very best form, earnest when he needs to in this feel-good comedy, with on-point comic timing.

Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell), she's level headed, perfect in delivering outrage and frustration as well as contentment and laughter.

Allison Dean (Princess in "Cool as Ice") as Patricia is not only hot, I love her nappturality hair styles. (Shari's got some nice ones too). Allison ideally portrays the jilted, petulant, and gold-digging little sister.

Eriq La Salle (Darryl) is the outlandish villain you can actually feel sorry for. His Jeri curl, damn, it's atrocious.

Arsenio Hall (Semmi, et al) was a great, smarmy, sidekick.

I could go on and on. The supporting cast, from James Earl Jones (King Jaffe Joffer) and Madge Sinclair (Queen Aoleon) to Frankie Faison (Landlord) and Samuel L. Jackson (hold-up guy), are spectacular.

Every time I watch it again, I find something new. I enjoyed it when I was younger, but now I like it even more.


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