7.5/10
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183 user 97 critic

Trading Places (1983)

R | | Comedy | 8 June 1983 (USA)
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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
798 ( 251)
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:

Some very funny business. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

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): When the Dukes explain to Billy Ray what bacon is, he looks directly into the camera as if to say, "These guys must think I'm a complete idiot." See more »

Goofs

When Ophelia first takes Louis to her apartment, as she enters you can see that she's wearing pantyhose. Later in the scene when she removes her dress she's only wearing panties. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Coleman: [holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep] Your breakfast, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Eddie Murphy is not mentioned in the opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

When Aired on Spike TV the scene of the train speeding between Philadelphia and New York is cut as well as the scene where The Dukes and Bily Ray and Louie are walking outside of the World Trade Center. In this edited version as soon as Billy Ray and Louie go down the escalator at 30th street station in Philadelphia it cuts straight to The World Trade Center right where Louie says "Well this is it the last bastion of real pure capitalism on earth". See more »

Connections

Featured in Inside the Actors Studio: Eddie Murphy (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Pomp and Circumstance March op.39 No.1
(uncredited)
by Edward Elgar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unusually good 80's comedy... contains a lot of sad truth
22 February 2006 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

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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