Find That Film: Trading Places

New year, new episode for Find That Film. We’ll start 2018 with the John Landis comedy Trading Places.

Back in the summer of 1983, the Saturday Night Live player Eddie Murphy was breaking out to the mainstream thanks to teaming him with known quantity Dan Aykroyd and surrounding him with acting greats Denholm Elliott, Ralph Bellamy, and Don Ameche in this gem. Eddie Murphy spent the rest of the 80s killing it.

The nauseatingly rich Duke brothers Randolph (Bellamy) and Mortimer (Ameche) rarely agree on anything. Their current disagreement is nature vs nurture in a bet about breeding and the slums. Star employee and trust fund baby Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) has everything taken from him by the brothers and their lackeys. He’s broke, framed, homeless, and damn lucky to find hooker with the heart of gold Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) who helps him survive. In his place, the brothers offer Winthorpe’s home and job to street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy). Coleman (Elliott), the house butler, does his best to guide Billy Ray and finds in him a man deserving of something better than the Duke brothers’ machinations.

Travel back with us to a time when Landis was king, Aykroyd was solid gold, and Murphy didn’t do kids’ stuff. Watch a masterclass in timing and directing. It’s easy to find that film Trading Places.

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