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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

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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