1983, R, 118 min. Directed by John Landis. Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche.
REVIEWED By Scott Bowles, Fri., June 10, 1983
Even without Eddie Murphy, Trading Places, would be a pretty terrific film. Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod's script is bright enough to avoid the cliches of a snob (Dan Aykroyd) falling on hard times and a ghetto hustler (Eddie Murphy) taking over his job managing a commodities brokerage. Perhaps in response, director John Landis foregoes his usual crude physical humor and Aykroyd very rarely resorts to schtick. But it's Murphy who steals the show. In just two films, Murphy has established himself as the best film comedian working. His comic timing is impeccable and his repertoire of reactions is a joy to behold. That part of the script which deals with the Murphy character is probably weaker than the rest of the screenplay, but Murphy glosses over those deficiencies and makes this the probable comedy hit of the summer.