Trading Places (1983)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.


Movie Info

The "nature-nurture" theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis's hit comedy. The fabulously wealthy but morally bankrupt Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) make a one-dollar bet over heredity vs. environment. Curious as to what might happen if different lifestyles were reversed, they arrange for impoverished street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to be placed in the lap of luxury and trained for a cushy career in commodities brokerage. … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 24, 2002
Runtime:
Paramount Pictures

Cast


as Louis Winthorpe III

as Billy Ray Valentine

as Randolph Duke

as Mortimer Duke

as Penelope

as President of Exchang...

as Pawnbroker

as Corrupt Cop

as Baggage Handler No. ...

as Baggage Handler No. ...

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as Duke Domestic

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as D&D Employee

as Duke Domestic

as Officer Reynolds

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Duke Domestic

as Heritage Club Doorma...

as Off. Pantuzzi

as Hooker #1

as Off. Reynolds

as Party Goer

as Doo Rag Lenny

as Big Black Guy

as Even Bigger Black Gu...

as President of Heritag...

as Hooker

as Bartender

as Party Goer

as Bank Manager

as D&D Receptionist

as President's Mistress

as Hooker #2

as Junior Executive

as Junior Executive

as Ophelia's Client

as Duke's Secretary

as Newscaster

as Harvey's Girl Friend

as Gorilla

as Station Master

as Wilson

as Secretary of Agricul...

as Official

as Official

as Longshoreman

as Longshoreman

as Demitri
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Trading Places

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (6)

Trading Places also makes Eddie Murphy a force to be reckoned with.

Full Review… | April 2, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This 1983 film re-creates a screwball comedy format and then eliminates everything but the crudest audience-gratification elements; any incursions into the more morally complicated side of the genre are quickly curtailed.

Full Review… | April 2, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Trading Places is a light romp geared up by the schtick shifted by Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.

Full Review… | April 2, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

As a satire on the internecine savagery of fiscal doings under late Reaganite capitalism, the movie is not as biting as it thinks it is; but it's still the best hoot since Arthur.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

What's most visible in the movie is the engaging acting. Murphy and Aykroyd are perfect foils for each other.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[A] shrewd but very likable movie.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Trading Places

A classic 80s comedy that's still surprisingly relevant in our day.

danperry17
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

That was amazing. Eddie Murphy killed it. Didn't like Winthorpe though.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

Billy Ray Valentine: Hey that's the motherf- I mean... that's the gentleman that had me busted. 

"They're not just getting rich... They're getting even."

Trading Places is one of the best comedies of the 80's and maybe ever. It's my personal favorite Eddie Murphy film and probably tied for my favorite Dan Aykroyd and John Landis film(the other of course being The Blues Brothers). What we have here was an instant comedy classic, that is as much fun as it is funny. There's not a moment of wasted screen time. It's smart, it injects a variety of different forms of humor, and it's fast paced and widely entertaining. There's not much more you can ask for from a comedy. This is the cream of the crop. 

So, two greedy, manipulative, and corrupt investors make a bet. The bet involves two totally different men. One, Louis Winthorpe runs the Duke brothers investment firm and has made them a lot of money in the process. He comes from a good environment. The other is Billy Ray Valentine, a hustler who makes his money acting like a wounded Vietnam vet. He came from a bad environment. One of the Duke brothers believes that if they throw Louis into the bad environment, he will become a no good thief. He also believes that if they put Valentine into the good environment, he will be able to run the firm just as well as Louis. The other doesn't. It's all part of a fun wager until, Louis and Valentine get wise to it.

There's a lot to love about the movie from the great performances from Murphy and Aykroyd to an Oscar nominated score. The versatility showed by Murphy and Aykroyd is what makes their performances so memorable. They both give two different performances within the same movie. Both must act like poor, beaten bums and like wealthy, high class investors. Neither of them waver at any moment and it's pure comedic gold. Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Paul Gleeson, and Jamie Lee Curtis are all very good as well.

Trading Places is a must see comedy for all film lovers out there. It's one of those select few comedies that really stands out above the rest for me. It's up there, for me, with movies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This is a comedic masterpiece and there's just no other way to describe it. If you haven't seen this before, watch it as soon as possible.

blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Trading Places Quotes

– Submitted by Brian f (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)

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