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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 ...Show synopsisThe "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 Aykroyd to poverty and disgrace, hiring a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis) to hasten his downfall. When Billy Ray figures out that the brothers intend to dump him back on the streets once their experiment is complete, he seeks out Winthorpe, and together the pauper-turned-prince and prince-turned-pauper plot an uproarious revenge. With the good-hearted prostitute and Winthorpe's faithful butler (Denholm Elliott) as their accomplices, they set about to hit the brothers where it really hurts: in the pocketbook. ~ Hal Erickson, RoviHide synopsis
TITLE: Trading Places
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
CAST: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholme Elliot and Paul Gleason (Bit parts by Al Franken, Tom Davis, Bo Diddley and Frank Oz)
PLOT: In a new twist on the Pygmalion plot two 'can never have enough' brothers bet they can take a criminal and turn him into a commodities broker and conversely turn a commodities broker into a criminal. They seem to succeed until the tables get turned on them.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9 of 10; There are no great laughs in this piece but it is put together (cast, dialog, character development etc) so well you overlook the stereotypes it abuses to make its chuckle. There are several nude scenes (two of JLC). The background for the play is Christmas time so a lot of folks put this as a traditional watch in the season. There is a bunch wrong but it doesn't show too much.
DVD BONUS: None (a shame as most of the cast is still around)
ADDED NOTES: Murphy as the Vietnam vet trying to panhandle for money and then as a tough guy in the jail cell are hilarious takes. Aykroyd gets to kiss Curtis (Jealous sigh)