Trading Places
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The "nature-nurture" theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis's hit comedy. The fabulously wealthy but morally bankrupt Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) make a one-dollar bet over heredity vs. environment. Curious as to what might happen if different lifestyles were reversed, they arrange for impoverished street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to be placed in the lap of luxury and trained for a cushy career in commodities brokerage. Simultaneously, they set about to reduce aristocratic yuppie Louis Winthorpe III (Dan… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Trading Places also makes Eddie Murphy a force to be reckoned with."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"As a satire on the internecine savagery of fiscal doings under late Reaganite capitalism, the movie is not as biting as it thinks it is; but it's still the best hoot since Arthur."
‑ , Time Out
"This blatant, unacknowledged reworking of The Prince and the Pauper is a rattling comedy showcase for the unique talents of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, who have seldom recaptured the form they show here."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"It's all outrageously contrived, and only surprising restraint by director John Landis makes it work. The writing is superb, too, leaving the two funnymen free to do the most inspired textured portrayals either has managed in movies."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Preposterous lighthearted one-joke comedy."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"This 1983 film re-creates a screwball comedy format and then eliminates everything but the crudest audience-gratification elements; any incursions into the more morally complicated side of the genre are quickly curtailed."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"What's most visible in the movie is the engaging acting. Murphy and Aykroyd are perfect foils for each other."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"While the two-hour running time overstretches the material, there are plenty of laughs -- as well as sly digs at the racism and greed of the American establishment."
‑ , Total Film
"Edgy, bawdy '80s comedy not meant for kids."
‑ Alex Orner, Common Sense Media
" of the most impressive comedies to emerge out of the 1980s."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Trading Places is a light romp geared up by the schtick shifted by Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"[A] shrewd but very likable movie."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Directed by John Landis with a surprising amount of class, though he lets some of his old Animal House' vulgarity slip ostentatiously into the action."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"...a fun-filled film all the way around."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Fast-paced and energetic social satire fleshed out with lots of enjoyable silliness."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Trading Places on Rotten Tomatoes

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