Combustible Celluloid
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With: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Frank Oz
Written by: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Directed by: John Landis
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 118
Date: 06/08/1983

Trading Places (1983)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

For Richer and For Poorer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Eddie Murphy stars in one of his greatest roles as Billy Ray Valentine, a beggar who "trades places" with a snotty rich white guy, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), thanks to a "nature vs. nurture" bet between the wealthy Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche).

It's tough to find yourself broke and alone at Christmas, so hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) lends Louis a hand. Director John Landis was at the top of his game here, gracing this comedy extravaganza with his unique, sly rhythms and plenty of wide, establishing shots, showcasing Philadelphia in the winter. Denholm Elliott is terrific as the butler Coleman, and Frank Oz appears in a funny scene as a cop.

Paramount presents this classic comedy on DVD in a new letterboxed transfer.

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