When it comes to 80s classic comedies, you can’t miss with the combination of director John Landis and actors Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd in the brilliantly hilarious Trading Places. Paramount Pictures brings this beloved and laugh out loud comedy to blu-ray for a 35th anniversary edition with a plethora of extras and laugh out loud moments.
Akroyd and Murphy are joined by Jamie Lee Curtis as Ophelia (a hooker with a heart of gold), Don Ameche, Ralph Bellamy, Denholm Elliot (the perfectly English butler) and Paul Gleason in a story that sees an investor, Louis Winthrope III (Akroyd) change places with con artist, Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) in a bet contrived by a pair of millionaire brothers (Ameche and Bellamy).
This was Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd at the start of their cinema careers, and they were hungry to prove themselves, and it pays off, because the film is consistently and brilliantly funny.
This edition’s extras include a look at the making of the film, with vintage interviews from those involved. behind the scenes work, yes, a look at the trading floor, and those who work there, a promotional piece for Sho-West, and a fun pop-up trivia that plays through the course of the film.
Would this be a movie that would get made today? Probably not, as there is blatant racism (including Akroyd in black face) and sexism, but it is really something to see two comedic legends paired together, and tearing the screen up with ribald laughs, gags, and lots of foul language.
Once the bet is revealed to Valentine as well as the true nature of the Duke brothers, it’s something brilliant to see Valentine and Winthorpe turn the tables on them.
This one is enjoyable funny, very much a creation of the 80s, and despite it’s now, nostalgic trappings, is still a damned entertaining film – and honestly, it’s a little refreshing to watch a comedy that isn’t afraid to say and do things for a laugh that might not be accepted today.
And honestly isn’t that the point of some comedic stylings? To make us laugh at things we may not and consequently see them in a different way? Yes there are racist and terrible characters in this film, but they get their just desserts. Winthorpe is tool at the beginning of the movie, and he’s a tool at the end of the movie, despite what he’s gone through, but both he and Valentine learn from their experience.
This one is a classic, and John Landis proves once again that he’s a fantastic director.
Trading Places the 35th Anniversary Edition is available on blu-ray today from Paramount Pictures. Pick it up, and get some classic laughs from come comedy legends.