Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Trading Places (Looking Good, Feeling Good Edition)”

(Paramount. 1983. Color. Widescreen. 116 minutes. Rated R. Directed by John Landis.) Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Jamie Lee Curtis. Music by Elmer Bernstein.

My personal favorite of Murphy’s early-80s Paramount trifecta (along with 48 HRS. and Beverly Hills Cop). He’s a small-time con artist who gets a chance to switch lives with Aykroyd’s commodities broker, thanks to a cruel bet between millionaire brothers Bellamy and Ameche (when Landis thought of hiring the veteran Ameche to play one of the brothers, he was told the actor was dead). Elliott’s Aykroyd’s long-suffering British butler, and Curtis is the hooker whose heart’s not exactly made of gold. Murphy’s very assured in only his second big-screen outing, and all turn in funny performances as Landis directs with a sure hand. Check out the fun extras including Aykroyd and Murphy improvising for an industry promotional piece.

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