Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places

Nature vs. nurture. Is it your genes which determine what kind of person you’ll turn out to be? Or is it how and where you are raised that has the principal influence on how you end up? This argument usually shows up during discussion about serial killers or war criminals (who were on the losing side, of course). I’ve pondered this from time to time and the result is always inconclusive. Brothers Randolph (Ralph Bellamy) and Mortimer (Don Ameche) Duke chatter about it as well. Being slippery, sleazy and manipulative, they decide to forge a real example and bet a buck upon which would prove supreme. They choose Louis Winthorpe III ((Dan Aykroyd), who runs the Dukes’s company, who soon finds himself framed for theft, jailed for dealing drugs, turned out of his house, shunned by his friends and despised by his fiancée after the brothers hire a hooker, Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), to speed his downfall. The other side is represented by Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), a street hustler, who is given everything that Louis has lost. Woe betide the brothers when Louis and Billy Ray discover the Duke’s plan.

Director:  John Landis
Writer:  Timothy Harris; Herschel Weingrod
Dan Aykroyd -  Louis Winthorpe III
Eddie Murphy -  Billy Ray Valentine
Ralph Bellamy -  Randolph Duke
Don Ameche -  Mortimer Duke
Denholm Elliott -  Coleman
Jamie Lee Curtis -  Ophelia
Kristin Holby -  Penelope Witherspoon
Paul Gleason -  Clarence Beeks
Alfred Drake -  President of Exchange
Bo Diddley -  Pawnbroker
Frank Oz -  Corrupt cop
James Belushi -  Harvey
Al Franken -  Baggage handler #1
Tom Davis -  Baggage handler #2
Maurice Woods -  Duke & Duke employee
Richard D. Fisher Jr. -  Duke & Duke employee


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