Trading Places  (1983)

IMDB Rating 7.5/10  116 min - Rated 15 Comedy | Drama

Stars:           Eddie Murphy,  Dan Ackroyd,  Ralph Bellamy Director:      John Landis

Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) is a rich young broker who works at the commodities firm of Duke and Duke. Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) is a con-man who ‘works’ outside Duke and Duke. Randolph (Bellamy) and Mortimer are the two elderly Duke brothers. They like a bet and decide to gamble on ‘nurture versus nature’. They set Louis up with a drugs charge and a spell in jail, and give his job and his house to Billy Ray. Louis does badly; deprived of his props he turns (ineptly) to crime. However, he realises all will be over when the old guys settle their bet. He and Louis get together to turn the table on the Dukes.  John Landis was riding high after (National Lampoon’s) Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1980). For Trading Places, he took a very archetypal theme  – rich guy becomes poor guy, and poor guy becomes rich guy – and added a well-chosen cast, a fine script with excellent comic dialogues, and his own funny and delicate touches. There are also, underpinning it all, some need-to-look-at questions about – not nature and nurture – but money.