• Trust Weighted Good
  • 66 Trust Points

On Demand

Netflix On Demand

Amazon Instant Video On Demand

$2.99 Rental

iTunes On Demand

Rent from $3.99


Tag Tree


Wick's Review

Created Jun 28, 2014 11:28PM PST • Edited Jan 15, 2017 11:23PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Good 3.0

    Trading Places hasn’t aged well. A morality tale full of shopworn caricatures more than a continuously effective comedy, it remains notable for its rich production values and big stars — Aykroyd, Curtis, etc. Eddie Murphy – in particular – rescues the movie in one of his early smash performances. The guy slays.

    It gets silly cheesy in the third reel: Dan Ackroyd performing in blackface as a Rasta a case in point. It also degrades from a comedy to a snarky morality tale, losing all laughs in the process, other than Murphy’s. From the time he appears at mark 9:24, comedy is in the house. Big Ed showed his serious side, whipping it out for half the third of the movie in which he appears, making his funny side all the more hilarious.

    Money is everything to everyone in Trading Places, making it more Hollywood than Philadelphia. The idea was to demonize Reagan Republicans. Yet as typical of Left Wing Hollywood, it demonized everyone.

    The enormous cast included Minnesota Senator Al Franken, revealing an early version of Franken-omics.

    Trading Places isn’t on legendary comedy director John Landis’s Top Four Filmography for good reason. Family resemblance notwithstanding, An American Werewolf in London or Animal House it’s not.

    Ninety minutes with Trading Places isn’t a bad time trade, albeit the return doesn’t exceed the investment.

  3. Great 4.0

    Eddie Murphy slays as Billy Ray Valentine, by turns devastatingly funny and bracingly sharp. Murphy’s second movie, Trading Places confirmed his superstar status after he’d exploded on screen in 48 Hrs.

    Ralph Bellamy & Don Ameche are dry as fraternal toast points as Duke & Duke, Main Line financial titans.

    Dan Aykroyd always played street guys, so wasn’t a natural as Louis Winthorpe III, fancy Philly finance figure. Ackroyd kept his nose in the air and pulled it off, even if he wasn’t nearly funny as usual.

    Jamie Lee Curtis cheerfully plays a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, famously going topless in a display of family assets. Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh’s daughter has had quite a career, with Trading Places one of her memorable roles.

    Denholm Elliott underplays the discrete British butler about as well as it can be done.

    Partial Recounting of the Huge Cast
    • Kristin Holby … Penelope Witherspoon
    • Philip Bosco … Doctor
    • Duke & Duke Employees: Maurice Woods, Richard D. Fisher Jr., Jim Gallagher, Anthony DiSabatino, Bonnie Behrend, Sunnie Merrill, James Newell, Mary St. John, Bonnie Tremena, David Schwartz
    • Duke Domestics: Tom Degidon, William Magerman, Alan Dellay, Florence Anglin, Ray D’Amore, Bobra Suiter, Herb Peterson, Sue Dugan, Walt Gorney, B. Constance Barry
    • P. Jay Sidney … Heritage Club Doorman
    • Gwyllum Evans … Heritage Club President
    • Robert Earl Jones … Attendant
    • Officers: Tom Mardirosian & Charles Brown
    • Cops: Robert E. Lee, Peter Hock, Frank Oz as Corrupt Cop
    • Doo Rag Lenny, Big Black Guy & Even Bigger Black Guy played by Clint Smith, Ron Taylor & James D. Turner respectively
    • Prison Scene: Giancarlo Esposito … Cellmate #2; Steve Hofvendahl … Cellmate #3; James Eckhouse … Guard
    • Paul Gleason … Clarence Beeks
    • James Belushi … Harvey, Deborah Reagan … Harvey’s Girlfriend
    • Al Franken & Tom Davis as a couple of dim Baggage Handlers. They were SNL partners.
  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. Good 3.0

    High dollar production values give Trading Places a rich gloss. If only the laughs were richly distributed.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5

    John Landis was the king of pop and circumstance, er, pomp and circumstance, as he showed in Animal House.

  10. Play Barely OK 2.0
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.1

    The overt racism is jarring and detracts from the comedy after all these years.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.1
  16. Violence Fierce 1.7
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Surreal 2.1
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Surreal 2.3
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


Subscribe to Trading Places 0 replies, 0 voices
No comments as yet.