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FULL SYNOPSIS

The "nature-nurture" theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis's hit comedy. The fabulously wealthy but morally bankrupt Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) make a one-dollar bet over heredity vs. environment. Curious as to what might happen if different lifestyles were reversed, they arrange for impoverished street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to be placed in the lap of luxury and trained for a cushy career in commodities brokerage. Simultaneously, they set about to reduce aristocratic yuppie Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd to poverty and disgrace, hiring a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis) to hasten his downfall. When Billy Ray figures out that the brothers intend to dump him back on the streets once their experiment is complete, he seeks out Winthorpe, and together the pauper-turned-prince and prince-turned-pauper plot an uproarious revenge. With the good-hearted prostitute and Winthorpe's faithful butler (Denholm Elliott) as their accomplices, they set about to hit the brothers where it really hurts: in the pocketbook. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Denholm Elliott Best Supporting Actor 1983 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Eddie Murphy Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elmer Bernstein Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score 1983 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Jamie Lee Curtis Best Supporting Actress 1983 Winner

Cast

Eddie Murphy
as Billy Ray Valentine
Dan Aykroyd
as Louis Winthorpe III
Ralph Bellamy
as Randolph Duke
Don Ameche
as Mortimer Duke
Denholm Elliott
as Coleman
Jamie Lee Curtis
as Ophelia
Kristin Holby
as Penelope
Robert Curtis-Brown
as Todd
Don McLeod
as Gorilla
Herb Peterson
Michelle Mais
as Hooker #1
Bernie McInerney
as Trader
Robert Earl Jones
as Attendant
John Randolph Jones
as Trader #2
Florence Anglin
as Duke Domestic
Jacques Sandulescu
as Creepy Man
Nicholas Guest
as Harry
Tom Degidon
as Duke Domestic
Bo Diddley
as Pawnbroker
Gary Klar
as Longshoreman
James Eckhouse
as Guard
Peter Hock
as Cop #2
Tom Mardirosian
as Officer Pantuzzi
Tom Davis
as Baggage Handler
Jack Davidson
as Trader #3
Gwyllum Evans
as President of Heritage Club
Jim Newell
as Duke & Duke Employee
Ralph Clanton
as Official #1
Walter Gorney
as Duke Domestic
Afemo Omilami
as Longshoreman
Bill Boggs
as Newscaster
Frank Oz
as Corrupt Cop
John Bedford Lloyd
as Andrew
Bryan Clark
as Official #2
Lucianne Buchanan
as President's Mistress
Barry Dennen
as Demitri
Bill Cobbs
as Bartender
Giancarlo Esposito
as Cellmate #2
James Belushi
as Harvey
Paul Austin
as Trader #1
Maurice Woods
as Duke & Duke Employee
Sue Dugan
as Duke Domestic
Al Franken
as Baggage Handler
Philip Bosco
as Doctor
Ron Taylor
as Big Black Guy
Clint Smith
as Doo Rag Lenny
Maurice Copeland
as Secretary of Agriculture
Stephen Stucker
as Station Master
William Magerman
as Duke Domestic
Paul Gleason
as Clarence Beeks
Eddie Jones
as Cop #3
Alan Dellay
as Duke Domestic

Crew

John Landis
Director
Aaron Russo
Producer
Herschel Weingrod
Screenwriter
John Landis
Screenwriter
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Malcolm Campbell
Editor
Gene Rudolf
Production Designer
Irwin Russo
Associate Producer
George Folsey, Jr.
Executive Producer
Deborah Nadoolman
Costume Designer
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
David Sosna
First Assistant Director
Bonnie Timmermann
Casting
Jack Engel
Makeup
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