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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 43. Trading Places (1983)

September 5, 2011

43. Trading Places [DVD] (1983)

Plot: Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy) are commodity brokers who bet money on whether or not they can take a common criminal and make him a successful businessman in the company.

The chosen criminal, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), is given the job and home of their employee Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), who in turn is set up for crimes he didn’t commit. Suddenly Louis finds himself with no job, no home and only a new acquaintance, glamorous hooker Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), prepared to help him.

They’re not just getting rich… They’re getting even. (tagline)

Also Starring: Denholm ElliottPaul GleasonFrank OzJames Belushi
Directed by: John Landis
Written by: Timothy HarrisHerschel Weingrod
Length: 116 min
Gross Revenue: $90,404,800 (USA) $40,600,000 (Rentals USA)

Favorite Quote:
Billy Ray
When I was growing up, if we wanted a Jacuzzi, we had to fart in the tub.

Review: I love Eddie Murphy!! Well.. in the eighties anyway..  and in 1998.. I have actually a theory on why I love some of his movies and not all. If you put his stand-up shows aside, the movies I love most with Eddie are the Beverly Hills Cop-trilogy (or at least I&II), the 48 Hours films, Coming to America, Bowfinger and this one.

In all of them, Eddie is starring alongside someone great, whether it’s a comedian or a “serious” actor, which I think is missing from the films I don’t like as much, you know, the ones where Eddie has to carry the movie on his own. (i.e. Norbit..) And especially the ones where the producers has asked him to “do like you did it in the 80’s, be young, gifted, fresh and black! And have sex appeal!” (i.e. The Nutty Professor).

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The film (originally titled: “Black and White”) was conceived as a vehicle for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. But when Pryor dropped out and Eddie Murphy came on board, Murphy made a motion to get Wilder replaced because he didn’t want people to think he was just trying to be another Pryor.

I love this poster Paramount made to promote Trading Places back in ’83. Perhaps that’s why I love the 80’s Eddie Murphy, because he WAS young, gifted, fresh and black! And had sex appeal! Maybe now he has grown up and has become the opposite. NO! I refuse to believe that the Eddie Murphy we all had to suffer through Norbit to watch is the one we’re stuck with.

Earlier today I wrote about his upcoming revival in Tower Heist and you’re all going to think I’m the son of Harold Camping on November 4, when Eddie Murphy rises from the ashes of Shrek village, steps over Mike Myers who is burned to a crisp and triumphantly retakes his position on the throne as the funniest man alive!! And the people will cheer; “Mike Myers is dead, long live Eddie Murphy!!”

But until then, watch Trading Places. It’s really funny. Dan Aykroyd is great and you get to see Jamie Lee Curtis naked.

Oscar Count: 1 Nomination: Best Music, Original Score (Elmer Bernstein)

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 44. Willow (1988)


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