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From the Vaults: Summer of ’83's 'Trading Places'

In his second feature, Eddie Murphy was still a film newcomer
Marjorie Baumgarten, 5:30pm, Fri. Jun. 21, 2013

It's hard to remember a time before Norbit and Donkey from Shrek, before Doctor Dolittle and the Nutty Professor, hell – even before Axel Foley became better-known as the Beverly Hills Cop. Trading Places was Eddie Murphy's second movie, after his film debut in 1982 as Nick Nolte's co-star in 48 Hrs..

Still riding high on his Saturday Night Live success (he appeared on the show between 1980-84), it wasn't long before the comedian started receiving flak for the homophobic tendencies on display in his widely distributed concert films Delirious and Raw. Despite this, his star continued to rise and he became a bona fide cultural institution who was even nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his dramatic turn in Dreamgirls.

The Alamo Drafthouse's tribute to the Summer of ’83 continues as June starts drawing to a close, and is presenting Trading Place this week at all four Alamo Drafthouses. Nostalgically, we dug up The Austin Chronicle's original review, which was published in our June 10, 1983 issue. The Chronicle was still biweekly in those days and the film reviews, you'll notice, were quite a bit shorter than they are today. We also graded movies then on a 4-star scale instead of a 5-star scale as we do now. Former Film Editor Scott Bowles concludes his 3.5-star review by announcing that Trading Places will be "the probable comedy hit of the summer."

Alamo Ritz, Sat, 3:45pm; Sun 3:40pm; Wed, 7:30pm
Alamo Lake Creek, Mon, 7:10pm
Alamo Slaughter, Tue, 7:15pm
Alamo Village, Thu, 7pm

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