Trading Places (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Trading Places1983

Trading Places (1983)



Critic Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.

Trading Places Videos

Trading Places Photos

Movie Info

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 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, Rovi

Watch it now


Dan Aykroyd
as Louis Winthorpe III
Eddie Murphy
as Billy Ray Valentine
Ralph Bellamy
as Randolph Duke
Don Ameche
as Mortimer Duke
Paul Gleason
as Beeks, Clarence Beeks
Kristin Holby
as Penelope, Penelope Witherspoon
Alfred Drake
as President of Exchange
Bo Diddley
as Pawnbroker
Frank Oz
as Corrupt Cop
Al Franken
as Baggage Handler #1, Baggage Handler No. 1
Tom Davis
as Baggage Handler #2, Baggage Handler No. 2
Jim Gallagher
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #3
Bonnie Behrend
as Duke & Duke Employee #5, D&D Employee
Jim Newell
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #7
Richard D. Fisher Jr.
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #2
Anthony DiSabantino
as Duke & Duke Employee #4, D&D Employee
Sunnie Merrill
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #6
Mary St. John
as Duke & Duke Employee #8, D&D Employee
David Schwartz
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #10
Maurice Woods
as Duke & Duke Employee #1, D&D Employee
Bonnie Tremenal
as D&D Employee, Duke & Duke Employee #9
Tom Degidon
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #1
Alan Dellay
as Duke Domestic #3, Duke Domestic
Ray D'Amore
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #5
Herb Peterson
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #7
Walt Gorney
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #9
William Magerman
as Duke Domestic #2, Duke Domestic
Florence Anglin
as Duke Domestic #4, Duke Domestic
Bobra Suiter
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #6
Sue Dugan
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #8
B. Constance Barry
as Duke Domestic, Duke Domestic #10
P. Jay Sidney
as Heritage Club Doorman
Tom Mardirosian
as Officer Pantuzzi
Charles D. Brown
as Off. Reynolds, Officer Reynolds
Robert E. Lee
as Cop #1, Cop
Eddie Jones
as Cop, Cop #3
John McCurry
as Cop, Cop #4
Peter Hock
as Cop, Cop #2
Clint Smith
as Doo Rag Lenny
Ron Taylor
as Big Black Guy
James D. Turner
as Even Bigger Black Guy
Giancarlo Esposito
as Cellmate, Cellmate #2
Steve Hofvendahl
as Cellmate #3, Cellmate
Gwyllum Evans
as President of Heritage Club
Michele Mais
as Hooker, Hooker #1
Barra Kahn
as Hooker #2, Hooker
Bill Cobbs
as Bartender
Joshua Daniels
as Party Goer
W.B. Brydon
as Bank Manager
Margaret H. Flynn
as D&D Receptionist, Duke & Duke Receptionist
Lucianne Buchanan
as President's Mistress
Paul Garcia
as Jr. Executive #1, Junior Executive
Jed Gillin
as Jr. Executive #2, Junior Executive
Jimmy Raitt
as Ophelia's Client
Kate Taylor
as Duke's Secretary
Bill Boggs
as Newscaster
Deborah Reagan
as Harvey's Girl Friend, Harvey's Girlfriend
Don McLeod
as Gorilla
Stephen Stucker
as Stationmaster, Station Master
Paul Austin
as Trader #1, Trader
John Randolph Jones
as Trader, Trader #2
Bernie McInerney
as Trader #4, Trader
Maurice Copeland
as Secretary of Agriculture
Ralph Clanton
as Official, Official #1
Bryan Clark
as Official, Official #2
Gary Howard Klar
as Longshoreman, Longshoreman #1
Afemo Omilami
as Longshoreman, Longshoreman #2
Barry Dennen
as Demitri
View All

Critic Reviews for Trading Places

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (11)

Trading Places, in this of all Hollywood years, is a joy to behold -- clever without being smart, affectionate without being sentimental, They can make movies like they used to after all.

August 20, 2021 | Full Review…

Landis' direction is deft, but the sparkling performances are the real draw not only by Murphy and Aykroyd but also by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as the meddling oldsters, Denholm Elliott as the gentlemanly servant and Jamie Lee Curtis.

October 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Trading Places is a comedy of unavoidable fits and starts.

November 23, 2015 | Full Review…

The Saturday Night Live veterans Murphy and Ackroyd are the show-stealers here in this decent family comedy.

April 2, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Trading Places also makes Eddie Murphy a force to be reckoned with.

April 2, 2008 | Full Review…

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.

April 2, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Trading Places

The Book of Job meets Pygmalion in this intelligent comedy that benefits from great performances (especially by Eddie Murphy), and, no matter how utterly implausible everything we see here is, at least it sells us the whole thing with enough conviction to make it a blast.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Okay 80's comedy. Laughed a few times.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A classic 80s comedy that's still surprisingly relevant in our day.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Trading Places Quotes

News & Features