They portrayed the Duke brothers, Randolph and Mortimer, respectively. The Duke brothers, who clearly feel they are above everybody else, make a bet, for one dollar, over whether anybody regardless of breeding can, in the right environment, become an upper-crust gentleman. So as an experiment to see which one is right, they work circumstances so that the rich Louis Winthorpe III is turned into a miserly bum, while they have Billy Ray Valentine take his place. He takes over Louis’s job, his house, and his standing in the community. Well, no, not really, but this is a farce, so it doesn’t really have to be. Enjoy a collection of popular favorites in Spanish – CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo.
An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn’t commit, with the siblings then installing the street-smart Valentine in his position. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes. Reviewers agreed that the film featured Aykroyd’s best performance to date. People said that if audiences had given up on Aykroyd following the failures of Neighbors and Doctor Detroit , his career was revitalized by Trading Places. Canby said that Aykroyd gave a more consistent performance than in his previous roles. He said that Aykroyd had demonstrated that his success was not dependent upon his partnership with John Belushi.
Several publications have attempted to explain exactly how Valentine and Winthorpe make a large sum of money on the commodities market while simultaneously bankrupting the Dukes. The fake crop report created by Valentine and Winthorpe indicates to the Dukes that the orange crop will be poor, making the limited stock more stock trading robots valuable. The Dukes attempt to buy up as many Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice futures contracts as possible to corner the market—effectively owning a substantial enough number of contracts that they are able to control the price of FCOJ. The other brokers realize what the Dukes are doing and join in buying futures.
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Canby said the pair had well-written roles that were supported by their comic performances. He continued that Ameche was as funny in Trading Places as he was always meant to be. I skimmed over the comments to this movie and was heartened to see that so many people love it like I do.
- Paramount Studios opted to release Trading Places at the start of summer, as those films expected to do well would benefit from being in theaters longer during this busy period.
- The film has also been compared to Twain’s 1893 short story The Million Pound Bank Note, in which two brothers bet on the outcome of giving an impoverished person an unusable million-pound bank-note.
- Curtis said Landis had “single-handedly changed the course of my life by giving me that part”.
- Valentine surely was nervous before he entered the building talking to Coleman, but he gains confidence as he progresses down the main hall toward the elevator.
- Vincent Canby said that the screwball style had been updated for the “existential hipness” of the 1980s, but the film lacked the same morality tale the genre often espoused that money is not important.
The pair determined that the commodities market would make for an interesting setting for a film, as long as it was not about the financial market itself. It was decided to set the story in Philadelphia because of its connections to the founding of the United States of America, the American dream and idealism and the pursuit of happiness. This was tempered by introducing Billy Valentine as a black man begging on the street.
It was seen as a substantial increase in spite of increased ticket prices. Even so, the year was a mixture of unexpected successes and disappointments. Films like Superman III and the action comedies Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 and Stroker Ace had failed at the box office. The science fiction comedy The Man With Two Brains featuring an established star in Steve Martin had also underperformed. Conversely, Flashdance was an unexpected hit and the third highest-grossing film of the year, despite a negative critical reception. In September, The New York Times wrote that Trading Places was the only film of the fifteen top-grossing films that could be recommended without reservation.
Maslin agreed that the film was too enamored with the wealthy institutions it satirized to provide a true criticism of the system and its failings. The film’s use of the word “nigger”, said during Mortimer’s statement that he will never allow Valentine to run his family business, is sometimes censored in TV broadcasts. Todd Larkins Williams, director of the 2004 documentary The N-Word, said that it is a critical scene that should not be censored. He considered it dangerous to pretend a word never existed as in turn other negative events could also be ignored.
She was dismissed as only a horror film star before her critically well-received breakthrough performance in Trading Places. Watch full seasons of exclusive series, classic favorites, Hulu Originals, hit movies, current episodes, kids shows, and tons more. Of course, we would not be able to offer this wonderful merchandise without the thousands of Suppliers who have moved, downsized, relocated or continue to redecorate their homes on a regular basis. Trading Places is a venue and marketplace for sellers to showcase their furniture and home decor, on consignment, and receive top dollar from the proceeds of the sale.
The film was well-received critically and considered a significant commercial success, along with Flashdance and Return of the Jedi. Then-production vice president of MGM/UA studio Peter Bart described it as a “gimmick” film that focused on a “high-concept” over story and characterization. Bart believed its success triggered a negative trend that resulted in him receiving numerous film pitches—often a mix of the high-concept nature of Trading Places with a Flashdance-inspired breakdancing or gym setting. Harris recalled people asking if the producer Aaron Russo or Katzenberg had created the idea and just paid him to write it. He said he knew it was a success because people were trying to take credit for it. Harris and Weingrod researched the commodities market for the script.
Arnold called the role “stale” and “predictable” but felt Curtis offered an “infectious” humor that earns the audience’s support. People said that she had a significant appeal, and Kempley called her both “curvaceous” and “vivacious”. Canby said that in her first major non-horror role, Curtis performed with “marvelous good humor”. Kehr criticized Landis for often turning his heroines into “busty bunnies”, and said that he had treated Curtis the same way.
Valentine becomes well versed in the business, using his street smarts to achieve success, and begins to act in a well-mannered way. If there’s a running theme in this movie, it is duplicity and mistaken identity. People are constantly being mistaken for something they are not, or forced into a situation where they become something they are not. Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine are the subjects of a bet by successful brokers Mortimer and Randolph Duke .
He had used classical music in his previous films to represent the upper classes and felt that it would be fitting for the pompous elites of the financial industry. The Marriage of Figaro concerns the story of a servant who is wronged by his wealthy employer, Count Almaviva, and takes his revenge by unraveling the count’s own machinations. John Gielgud and Ronnie Barker were considered for the role of Winthorpe’s butler, Coleman.
The Duke & Duke upstairs offices were filmed inside the upstairs of the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York. Murphy’s character, pretending to be crippled, is introduced in Rittenhouse Square. The nearby Curtis Institute of Music, shown as the exterior of the Heritage Club, is seen adjacent to Rittenhouse Park in the film’s opening. The interior was filmed at the then-abandoned New York Chamber of Commerce Building. During filming in Philadelphia, Murphy was so popular that a police officer had to be stationed outside of his trailer to control the crowds.
She continued, “Preston Sturges might have made a movie like Trading Places – if he’d had a little less inspiration and a lot more money.” Gary Arnold said the film was too inconsistent to be compared to those older films. Vincent Canby said that the screwball style had been updated for the “existential hipness” of the 1980s, but the film lacked the same morality tale the genre often espoused that money is not important. Instead, the characters do not dismantle or expose the corruption of the financial system, they just take revenge on the Dukes, obtaining extreme wealth in the process. Even so, he concluded the film was one of the best American comedies released in a long time.
Other minor roles include Ron Taylor as “Big Black Guy”, American football player J. T. Turner as “Even Bigger Black Guy” who only says “Yeah!”, and Giancarlo Esposito as a cellmate. Trading Places also features the final theatrically released performance of Avon Long who plays the Dukes’ butler Ezra.
Harris has described the story as a satire of greed and social conventions, but in the end, the good guys win by becoming extremely rich. Economic inequality is demonstrated by the wealthy who live in luxury. They are completely removed from those whose lives are affected by poverty.
On the commodities trading floor, the Dukes commit their holdings to buying frozen concentrated orange juice futures contracts, legally committing themselves to buying the commodity at a later date. Other traders follow their lead, driving the price up; Valentine and Winthorpe short-sell juice futures contracts at the inflated price. Following the broadcast of the actual crop report and its prediction of a normal harvest, the price of juice futures plummets.
As part of their revenge against the Dukes, Winthorpe disguises his identity by donning blackface makeup, an act enabled by Valentine who has helped loosen up this strait-laced character. This requires Valentine to accept and support Winthorpe despite having numerous reasons to dislike him, including originally getting Valentine wrongly arrested and then later trying to frame Valentine to reclaim his old job. Even so, Valentine befriends Winthorpe and helps him get revenge on the Dukes, the old establishment characters who demonstrate explicit racism. The film requires Valentine to act “white”, performing as is expected of him to survive in the Dukes’ world.
It just doesn’t seem to be considered by the mainstream to be in the same league as, say, “Beverly Hills Cop” or “Coming to America” when talking about Eddie Murphy’s movies, but the fact is that this is hands down his funniest part ever. In the early 1980s, writer Timothy Harris often played tennis against two wealthy, but frugal brothers who regularly engaged in a competitive rivalry and betting. Following one session, Harris returned home exasperated with the pair’s conflict and concluded that they were “awful” people. The situation gave him the idea of two brothers betting over nature versus nurture in terms of human ability.