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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Trading Places
Directed by John Landis
Paramount Home Entertainment 06/83 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy team up in this thoroughly entertaining comedy romp. Two wealthy, bored owners of an established investment firm (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) have a long-standing disagreement about whether environment or genes determines someone's success in life. After making a one dollar bet, they strip Dan Aykroyd of his plush position in their firm, humiliate him before his peers, and watch him taken off to prison on trumped-up charges. They then elevate Eddie Murphy, a street hustler, into his position, providing an office, home, limo and servant.

The screenplay by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod is right on target as a lampoon of social snobbery. Murphy steals the movie with his outrageous poses as a streetsmart con man, an uppity gentleman, and a shrewd commodies exchange businessman. Jamie Lee Curtis brightens up the screen as a kindly hooker, and Denholm Elliot is top-drawer as a fastidious mansevant. The final scenes, when the young Turks give the brokerage brothers the shaft, are lots of fun.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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