When I was a kid in the 80s, I used to forever see Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live, and their famous classic Trading Places on TV all the time. So when the opportunity arose for me to review the Trading Places: 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, I had to watch it again as I hadn’t seen it in awhile. It’s good to know it’s just as crazy and funny as I remember, and that fans and newcomers will be treated to some very hilarious comedy here.
Playing as a modern take on The Prince and the Pauper, we enter the lives of Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), where Billy does what he can to get by being poor on the streets while Louis enjoys riches and the high life. One day, two wealthy brokers known as the Duke brothers (played by legends Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) decide to have fun and make a wager to see if Winthorpe could survive being poor while taking Valentine in and making him a rich socialite. Of course Winthorpe isn’t going to take this lying down, and with the help of a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis) and eventually Valentine who learns of the dirty switcheroo, he sets to get revenge against the brothers and reclaim his rich life with hilarious results in the process.
Watching these characters and the zany situations they get into is comedic gold, especially near the end where there’s a party on a train and Aykroyd and Murphy play African characters. Whether you’re a fan or just seeing it for the first time, you’ll find yourself cracking up more times than not watching this comedy classic. This was my first time watching it in high definition, and the visuals and sound make the film look and sound better than ever, despite showing its age here and there.
As far as extras go, there’s a few interviews with some of the cast members where they discuss their characters and how it was filming the movie. There’s a deleted scene that has audio commentary, and we learn that this scene is shown on the television edit in order to make up for the content that was edited out. There’s also a costume design extra, some interviews with stock traders that talk about what they do in the industry, and a trivia track that you can play alongside the film and some other extras round out the special features.
Those looking for some classic comedy can’t go wrong with Trading Places: 35th Anniversary Edition. Along with the Coming to America re-release, this is one of Murphy’s best and one of the greatest comedies out there. Toss in some great co-stars such as Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, and Jamie Lee Curtis who flipped the script on their careers with this film, and some cool extras, and you’ll want this Blu-ray to trade places from the store shelf to your movie shelf.