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"Trading Places" with Aykroyd and Murphy

Updated on February 14, 2019
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.

What would you do if someone made you lose your job and turned others against you? And it all cost him a dollar!

Well, that's how it goes in Paramount Pictures' hilarious comedy Trading Places.

I was in college in 1983 when this film was released. A year later, I watched this with my late father and sisters. It was one of those weekend afternoons when we would gather in the family living room and watch a nice Betamax tape (there were no DVDs then).

I enjoyed Trading Places so much that I watched it every night for like two weeks! It was simply entertaining!

The story revolves around two men from opposite worlds - the successful businessman Louis Winthorpe III (played by Dan Aykroyd) and the poor street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (played by Eddie Murphy). After an unpleasant encounter in which Winthorpe has Valentine arrested for suspected robbery attempt, their lives - unknown to them - are suddenly and manipulatively switched by Winthorpe's unscrupulous and stingy employers Randolph (played by Ralph Bellamy) and Mortimer (played by Don Ameche) Duke. The brothers use Winthorpe and Valentine as guinea pigs for their experiment, and whoever comes out with better results - wins a dollar!

People in the corporate world - particularly those in the commodities trade - will definitely enjoy this movie (set in Philadelphia and New York). They can truly relate to it.

"Trading Places" trailer

Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy)
Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) | Source

Every scene just seems so delightful and funny!

I like the scenes where the villainous Clarence Beeks (played by Paul Gleason) cunningly exposes Winthorpe’s theft, and the poor executive is immediately sent to jail where he has to deal with the rough handling of the cops and inmates.

I also feel sorry for Winthorpe in the Christmas party scene where, donned in a Santa Clause costume, he takes food from the buffet table and simply stuffs them in his pockets - without even wrapping them!

But the part that I love rewinding is the train scene where Winthorpe, Valentine, Coleman (played by Denholm Elliott) and Ophelia (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) thwart the plan of Beeks. I'm just so amused by the way Valentine - disguised as an exchange student clad in an African costume - declares an emphatic "Merry New Year!", much to the annoyance of Beeks. And I burst out laughing all the more when the likewise disguised-Winthorpe and Valentine perform some weird African school cheer! ("Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah! Boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, boo-boo yah, hah!")

"Merry New Year!" scene with Valentine (Eddie Murphy), Coleman (Denholm Elliott) and Beeks (Paul Gleason)

Merry New Year! Ha, ha, ha!

— Billy Ray Valentine

Valentine and Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) doing their hilarious "Boo-boo ya" cheer

To this day, Murphy's classic "Merry New Year!" greeting has become a joke among my family members and friends every New Year.

And I like imagining myself as one of the characters in the stock market scene. As soon as Winthorpe hands Valentine the dollar, I see myself looking the Dukes in the eye, telling them, "Serves you right!"

Exciting stock market scene where Winthorpe and Valentine strike it rich while the Dukes go bankrupt

The activity at the New York Stock Exchange trading floor
The activity at the New York Stock Exchange trading floor | Source

Of course, spicing up the comedy are the ruthlessness of the Dukes, the kindness of Ophelia, and the politeness of Coleman.

Unlike in other movies where the characters become unrealistically vindictive, I like Trading Places because it presents revenge in a comic way. There’s also a bit of The Prince and the Pauper twist.

Of course, I know that getting even is wrong, but the film tackles this on the lighter side, making it appealing to me. And with the perfect partnership of Murphy and Aykroyd, this movie will make you die laughing from start to finish!

This is truly a good movie to unwind with at the end of a stressful day.

Don’t let anyone ruin your life for a dollar!


If someone tried to ruin your life for a dollar, what would you do?

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This is truly one Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy film not to be missed!

Trading Places
Trading Places
An entertaining film about revenge and the corporate life!

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  • Charito1962 profile imageAUTHOR

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

    6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    Thanks! Nice to hear from you, janshares!

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 

    6 years ago from Washington, DC

    We have the same taste in comedies, Charito. This is on my list of favorites as well, have seen it many times. It's one of those you see over and over and still laugh as hard as you did the first time you saw it. More importantly, what I love about this film is the message about judging someone by the way they look or their station in life. I love the vindication in the end. Voted up and funny. I like the way you capture the funny scenes through your writing.

  • Sylvestermouse profile image

    Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

    6 years ago from United States

    This really is a fun movie and it has been a long time since we watched it. I could certainly use a few laughs right now. Must be time to view it again. Thanks for the reminder.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I did enjoy that film but had forgotten about it, thanks!

  • KimGiancaterino profile image


    7 years ago

    This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Jamie Lee Curtis was absolutely charming as the "working girl."

  • queenofduvetcover profile image


    7 years ago

    I remember this movie. Enjoyable to watch. =)

  • MissNikkiSays profile image


    7 years ago

    I don't think I have seen this movie - I will have to find it and watch it soon!

  • takkhisa profile image


    7 years ago

    Great review on this comedy movie! I like the story.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    One of the funniest movies ever!

  • mihgasper profile image

    Miha Gasper 

    7 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

    Fun movie. I had great fun watching it as well!

  • OhMe profile image

    Nancy Tate Hellams 

    7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

    I love this movie, too. Great review!

  • RhondaAlbom profile image

    Rhonda Albom 

    7 years ago from New Zealand

    This is one of my favorite movies as well, although I don't think I could watch it every night for two weeks :)

  • asereht1970 profile image


    7 years ago from Philippines

    Sounds like a good movie. Haven't seen it though. Wish I could still find it in the internet.

  • TolovajWordsmith profile image

    Tolovaj Publishing House 

    7 years ago from Ljubljana

    I have seen this one. It's really funny movie, although if I remember correctly there were other expenses and the net price was way above one dollar ... Thumbs up!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    nice lens

  • Dave Lynch profile image

    David Edward Lynch 

    7 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

    This looks like a really funny movie.

  • Maggie42 profile image


    7 years ago

    You're right this was a good fun movie but it seems a long time ago.

  • Charito1962 profile imageAUTHOR

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

    7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    @Rhonda Lytle: Thanks!

  • Rhonda Lytle profile image

    Rhonda Lytle 

    7 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

    I got a huge smile remembering this movie. I agree. It was hilarious. Awesome review!

  • rainykua profile image


    7 years ago

    I've never heard this movie. Sounds like a funny movie. :)

  • shay-marie profile image

    Shay Marie 

    7 years ago from Southern California

    Thank you for your review. I've pinned it to my 80s board!

  • Charito1962 profile imageAUTHOR

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

    7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    @IanTease: Yes, the Dukes are in "Coming to America", another one of my favorite Eddie Murphy comedies.

  • IanTease profile image


    7 years ago

    This is a wonderful review of a wonderful film. Its the one film I watch nearly every Christmas time. Was delighted recently to discover that the Duke brothers make a cameo in Coming To America.


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