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It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler whose lives cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. The storyline is often called a modern take on Mark Twain 's classic 19th-century novel The Prince and the Pauper. It was released to theaters in North America on June 8, , where it was distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Duke brothers Randolph and Mortimer own a successful commodities brokerage in Philadelphia. Holding opposing views on the issue of nature versus nurture , they make a wager and agree to conduct an experiment switching the lives of two unwitting people at opposite sides of the social hierarchy and observing the results.
They witness an encounter between their managing director—the well-mannered and educated Louis Winthorpe III, engaged to the Dukes' grand-niece Penelope—and a poor street hustler named Billy Ray Valentine; Valentine is arrested at Winthorpe's insistence because of a suspected robbery attempt. The Dukes decide to use the two men for their experiment. Winthorpe is publicly framed as a thief, drug dealer and philanderer by Clarence Beeks at the request of the Dukes.
He befriends Ophelia, a prostitute who agrees to help him in exchange for a financial reward once he is exonerated. Meanwhile, the Dukes bail Valentine out of jail, install him in Winthorpe's former job and grant him use of Winthorpe's home.
Valentine soon becomes well-versed in the business using his street smarts to achieve success, and begins to act well-mannered. During the firm's Christmas party, Winthorpe is caught planting drugs in Valentine's desk in an attempt to frame him, and he brandishes a gun to escape. Later, the Dukes discuss their experiment and settle their wager for one dollar, before plotting to return Valentine to the streets.
Valentine overhears the conversation, and seeks out Winthorpe, who attempts suicide by overdosing on pills. Valentine, Ophelia and Winthorpe's butler Coleman nurse him back to health and inform him of the Dukes' experiment. Winthorpe and Valentine recall large payments made to Beeks by the Dukes and realize that the Dukes plan to obtain the report to corner the market on frozen orange juice.
On New Year's Eve, the four board Beeks' Philadelphia-bound train, intending to switch the original report with a forgery that predicts low orange crop yields. Beeks uncovers their scheme and attempts to kill them, but he is knocked unconscious by a gorilla being transported on the train. The four disguise Beeks with a gorilla costume and cage him with the real gorilla. After delivering the forged report to the Dukes in Beeks' place, Valentine and Winthorpe travel to New York City with Coleman's and Ophelia's life savings to carry out their part of the plan.
On the commodities trading floor , the Dukes commit all their holdings to buying frozen concentrated orange-juice futures contracts ; other traders follow their lead, inflating the price. Meanwhile, Valentine and Winthorpe sell futures heavily at the inflated price. Following the broadcast of the actual crop report and its prediction of a normal forecast, the price of orange-juice futures plummets.
Valentine and Winthorpe close their futures position by buying futures at the lower price from everyone but the Dukes, turning a large profit. Valentine and Winthorpe explain to the Dukes that they had made a wager on whether they could simultaneously get rich while making the Dukes poor.
Later, the now wealthy Valentine, Winthorpe, Ophelia, and Coleman vacation on a tropical beach, while Beeks and the gorilla are loaded onto a ship heading for Africa. The storyline of Trading Places —a member of society trading places with another whose socio-economic status stands in direct contrast to his own—often draws comparisons to Mark Twain 's novel The Prince and the Pauper. Parallels have also been drawn between Trading Places and Mozart 's 18th century comic opera The Marriage of Figaro in which a servant Figaro foils the plans of his rich master who tried to steal Figaro's bride to be.
Cavell postulates that film is sometimes used as a new technology in the production and experience of an opera. He explains that this axiom asserts its importance not in the fact that "our time" sees an increased expectation of new operas being developed but, rather, in the fact that there is an increased expectation of "new productions of operas.
David Budd, in his book Culture Meets Culture in the Movies , writes about the experiences of characters when the expected roles of races in society are sometimes reversed.
The fiction film White Man's Burden and John Howard Griffin 's factual book Black Like Me are used as a foundation to show how different the experience of white people can be when subjected to the prejudices faced by black people. In that respect, Budd proclaims Trading Places as "uncannily illustrative if heavy-handed". Beginning from the premise that, in the film, the "expectations of the races also stand upon their head", Budd states that "through even a highly comedic vessel a message loudly asking for a reassessment of prejudice, and for level playing fields, is heard.
Trading Places was released theatrically in the United States on June 10, The film remained in the top ten grossing films for 17 weeks. Trading Places was met with positive reviews from critics. The site's consensus states: Author and critic Richard Schickel of Time magazine called Trading Places "one of the most emotionally satisfying and morally gratifying comedies of recent times". While admitting Aykroyd's success in demonstrating "perfect prissiness as Winthorpe", Schickel commented on Murphy's performance as Valentine calling Murphy "a force to be reckoned with" and stating that he "makes Trading Places something more than a good-hearted comedy.
He turns it into an event. Ebert stated "This is good comedy"; he described the characters as "wonderful comic inventions" that rose above what could have been stereotypes due to the actors' skill and explained that the comedy is successful because it "develops the quirks and peculiarities of its characters, so that they're funny because of who they are.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times repeated some of Roger Ebert's sentiments stating that "Preston Sturges might have made a movie like Trading Places - if he'd had a little less inspiration and a lot more money. The song " The Loco-Motion " by Little Eva is also heard on the train scene and is credited on the film. Almost 30 years after its release, the plot for the movie was part of the inspiration for new regulations on the financial markets.
In the movie Trading Places , starring Eddie Murphy, the Duke brothers intended to profit from trades in frozen concentrated orange juice futures contracts using an illicitly obtained and not yet public Department of Agriculture orange crop report.
In Italy the movie has become a Christmas classic, being broadcast by Italian television every year, from December 24, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the comedy film. For other uses, see Trading Places disambiguation. Not to be confused with Trading Spaces. Retrieved April 4, Retrieved September 25, Archived from the original on February 7, Retrieved December 30, Accessed April 12, Accessed April 13, Accessed January 26, Retrieved December 25, Accessed February 19, Accessed April 9, Accessed September 7, La Stampa in Italian.
Films directed by John Landis. Charles Dickens ' Dombey and Son. Dombey and Son Rich Man's Folly Dombey and Son Dombey and Son Mark Twain 's The Prince and the Pauper Prince Edward Tudor Tom Canty.
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