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Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!
June 27, 2013 10:31 AM   Subscribe


 
May I suggest using your nightstick, officer?
posted by elizardbits at 10:34 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love this movie, but I think we've just about reached Peak Oral History.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on June 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


In June of 1983, “Trading Places” was released in theaters. It remains the greatest Wall Street ever made.

Not a promising start.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:37 AM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Imagine the climactic scene on the trading floor using today's technology.

*Camera shows a sprawling data center full of server racks. Fans whir. Lights blink. And.... cut!*
posted by diogenes at 10:39 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


About three weeks ago...

Me: Do you want to watch Trading Places?

My 19 year old son: What's that?

Me: 80s movie with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd.

Him: So back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny?

He did enjoy the movie.
posted by COD at 10:40 AM on June 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


It's one of those rare older films that's still good today.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:41 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahh.. Pre Golden Child Murphy.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:42 AM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Trading Places is kind of a life ruiner for me because even though I own it on DVD (and previously on VHS, lol) I will stop whatever I am doing to watch it any time I catch it on tv.
posted by elizardbits at 10:43 AM on June 27, 2013 [32 favorites]


My favorite feel good christmas movie of all time.

In Philadelphia, it's worth 50 bucks.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:44 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Trading Places is, for me, the classic "I've seen pieces of this on cable so many times I've seen the whole thing but never from start to finish" movie.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:45 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is there a problem, officers?
posted by jonmc at 10:50 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Trading Places is, for me, the classic "I've seen pieces of this on cable so many times I've seen the whole thing but never from start to finish" movie.

Me too. I finally watched the whole thing on Netflix fairly recently. It made a lot more sense. It's a very confusing movie if you start in the middle.
posted by diogenes at 10:50 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


It occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.
posted by phaedon at 10:51 AM on June 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


I love this movie, but I think we've just about reached Peak Oral History.

It's my favorite kind of history, so I disagree.
posted by josher71 at 10:52 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


YEAH!
posted by jquinby at 10:52 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


It. Was. The. Dukes. It. Was. The. Dukes.
posted by billiebee at 10:53 AM on June 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Once I finally stopped thinking about Jamie Curtis' breasts, I realised there was quite an entertaining movie there.
posted by vacapinta at 10:53 AM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also: how the con worked. I had a Wharton MBA explain it to me once, and I still didn't quite get it.
posted by jquinby at 10:54 AM on June 27, 2013 [27 favorites]


It. Was. The. Dukes. It. Was. The. Dukes.

PSA: This is the absolute best way to end breath-control sexytimes if you think the other person is going too far.
posted by Etrigan at 10:55 AM on June 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


Enjoyed reading the stuff about the casting. It just seems like such a perfect cast looking back it's surprising there were all kinds of potential doubts about it before the movie was made.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:55 AM on June 27, 2013


how the con worked.

*clicks link*
*sees Metafilter Blue background*

waitaminute

*tabs back*
*tabs forward*
*tabs back*
*tabs forward*

WHAT IS THIS MADNESS
posted by backseatpilot at 11:00 AM on June 27, 2013 [38 favorites]


This is the absolute best way to end breath-control sexytimes if you think the other person is going too far.

And what's the way out if you're dressed in a female gorilla costume and put into a cage with a real gorilla?
posted by three blind mice at 11:02 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I always liked the part where Frank Oz, playing a cop, dips his finger up to the knuckle in the white powder that the Duke brothers had planted on Eddie Murphy, shoves it into his mouth like a kid eating Fun Dip, and exclaims "That's PCP!" Now, I've never tried PCP, but from my understanding of the stuff, the amount he ingested should have gotten him extremely fucking high.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:04 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


And what's the way out if you're dressed in a female gorilla costume and put into a cage with a real gorilla?

Said Gorilla being handled as baggage by Senator Al Franken.
posted by ndfine at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2013 [15 favorites]


Whiskey! All you want!
posted by I_Zimbra at 11:10 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Maybe I'll go to the movies... by myself."

One of my all-time favorite movie lines.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 11:13 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Eggnog?
posted by Melismata at 11:14 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


LANDIS: The most remarkable story, casting wise: I thought, ‘Well, I need someone who was a movie star in the ‘40s, who never has never really played a villain, and I was thinking, ‘Hey, what about Don Ameche?’ And the casting woman said, ‘Don Ameche’s dead.’ And I said, ‘I don't think so, I would know if Don Ameche is dead.’

And so we called the Screen Actor’s Guild, and his residuals were being sent to his son in Phoenix, Arizona. And I thought, ‘Well that's not a good sign.’ And he didn't have an agent, and I thought, ‘Shit, goddamm, who else could we get?’ when one of the secretaries said, I heard you're looking for Don Ameche.’ We said ‘Ya.’ She said, ’I see him all the time walking on San Vicente in Santa Monica.’

So I called information, and I said, ‘I there a Don or D Ameche on San Vicente in Santa Monica?’ And there was! So I called him. And you know he has that unmistakable voice, and you realize, Don was a huge star, in the late ‘30s, definitely a big star in the ‘40s — I mean he was Alexander Graham Bell for chrissakes! — a major star in ‘50s, Broadway star, radio star, movie star, television star.

And I said, ‘Mr. Ameche?’ ‘Yeeessss...?’ ‘My name is John Landis, I’m with Paramount Studios, and I'm making a film and I’d like you to consider a part.’ So I had a script sent over. ‘And could you please read this and can you come in tomorrow? And he said, ‘Yes.’ Would you like us to send a car?’ He said, ‘No no, I can drive.’ I said, ‘Great.’

And he came in and was prepared to read for me. I was so shocked. I said ‘You don't have to read for me.’

He hadn't made a movie in 14 years, he'd been doing dinner theater.

While we were shooting later in Philadelphia — he was so wonderful — I said, ‘Don, may I ask a question? How come you haven't worked in 14 years?’ And he said, ‘Well, nobody called!’

The great upshot of this is after Trading Places came out, the next movie he was in was ‘Cocoon,’ which he won an Oscar. He never stopped working the rest of his life — he made like 10 more movies, I worked with him twice more.
OK, seriously how cool is that?
posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on June 27, 2013 [150 favorites]


It's one of those rare older films that's still good today.

What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you trying to make me feel a hundred years old? An "older film" is Bringing Up Baby or Casablanca or some shit from the 1920s. A FILM FROM WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER IS NOT AN OLDER FILM!! SO YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!
posted by NoMich at 11:16 AM on June 27, 2013 [60 favorites]


>In June of 1983, “Trading Places” was released in theaters. It remains the greatest Wall Street ever made.

Not a promising start.


To be fair, the Wall Street shenanigans in Trading Places did not hurt any real people, that does kind of make it "the greatest Wall Street ever made."
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:19 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin is showing Trading Places on the big screen right now as part of its "Summer of 83" series. Just so you feel old, all these other films were released that summer, too: Return of the Jedi, Risky Business, National Lampoon's Vacation, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Scarface, Screwballs, War Games, Octopussy, and Mr. Mom.
posted by mattbucher at 11:21 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


A note about how big Don Ameche was in his heyday -- his portrayal of Alexander Graham Bell in the biopic had an entire generation of people refer to the telephone as "the Ameche" (Montgomery Burns did it in an episode of The Simpsons to emphasize how old he was). That, whippersnappers, is star power.
posted by Etrigan at 11:21 AM on June 27, 2013 [28 favorites]


I also like how the Dukes show up again in Coming to America and are totes homeless.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:22 AM on June 27, 2013 [32 favorites]


This movie. THIS MOVIE. My Metafilter username was THIS close to being "lookatthatScargo"

Thanks for finding this, COD. It's gratifying to know that Landis and co. didn't quite understand the climactic market-cornering at the end, either. (Hell, I didn't understand it until a few months ago, and I had to make A FLOWCHART to figure it out.)

It's amazing how satisfying the ending is even if you don't understand its mechanics, though, and a real testament to Landis' filmmaking. The pacing and energy of it is just beautiful and Murphy and Aykroyd's glee is infectious. You're happy because they are, and that's all that matters.

And no more damned jerky beef.
posted by greenland at 11:22 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


So back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny?

When he was on "Inside the Actor's Studio," they asked him if he'd ever considered doing standup again. He said "yes, I do think about it from time to time, I really should do that again." There's now hope in my life.
posted by Melismata at 11:22 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


i was so happy to see that the opening pic in the linked article, of eddie murphy, was from the scene where they were explaining commodities to him... "bacon... like you might find in a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich" and he breaks character to stare directly into the camera like, wtf??!! my favorite moment in just about any movie ever.
posted by rude.boy at 11:23 AM on June 27, 2013 [21 favorites]


We saw this a few months ago and I was surprised at how well it held up. The one thing that really felt uncomfortably out of place in a modern context was the gorilla rape joke.
posted by dfan at 11:25 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Merry New Year" is how my brother and I greet each other on birthdays, Christmas, etc.
posted by jquinby at 11:25 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Arbitrage is (IMO) a pretty neat movie. It is ostensibly about Wall Street, but more generally about a man who is always leveraging everything - he's never fully up-front and invested in anything he does - what he wins, and what he loses. Not at all as cut-and-dried, good guy/bad guy as Trading Places, but still full of tricky & high-stakes dealing.

Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon (in a great role), Tim Roth, and Nate Parker in a powerfully pivotal role. Hard to go wrong there!
posted by IAmBroom at 11:26 AM on June 27, 2013


Etrigan: "A note about how big Don Ameche was in his heyday -- his portrayal of Alexander Graham Bell in the biopic had an entire generation of people refer to the telephone as "the Ameche" (Montgomery Burns did it in an episode of The Simpsons to emphasize how old he was). That, whippersnappers, is star power."

The whole movie is on youtube! The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939).
posted by zarq at 11:26 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


shakespeherian: "I also like how the Dukes show up again in Coming to America and are totes homeless."

"Mortimer! We're back!"

I remember seeing CtA at a theater and the whole place erupted in laughter when he said the line.
posted by zarq at 11:28 AM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


The one thing that really felt uncomfortably out of place in a modern context was the gorilla rape joke.

Dan Aykroyd in blackface is pretty uncomfortable, but I do love this movie.
posted by ndfine at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whenever I make a grocery list, I always write FCOJ instead of orange juice.
posted by ckape at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


I wondered how Paige had aged so well.
posted by parmanparman at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2013


"In an interview some years later on Larry King Live, co-star Jamie Lee Curtis said that Ameche, a proper old-school actor, went to everyone on the set ahead of time to apologize when he was called to start cursing in the film."
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


So back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny?

And back when Aykroyd wasn't bonkers.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:31 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


So back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny?

When he was on "Inside the Actor's Studio," they asked him if he'd ever considered doing standup again. He said "yes, I do think about it from time to time, I really should do that again." There's now hope in my life.


I think Harlem Nights followed up with Another 48 Hours was his firebombing of Dresden. He was like fine, fuck it, and shifted his focus to really bland broad comedy.

Even after The Golden Child he was still edgy.

I wonder if it was the flack he took over Harlem Nights followed so quickly with Another 48 Hours made him want to give up, or he just shifted focus. Maybe he just lost his swing.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:32 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dan Aykroyd in blackface is pretty uncomfortable

That scene is positively lousy with ethnic stereotypes, but at least it's self-aware of how awful they are.

"Ja, I am Inge from Sweden!" "But you're wearing lederhosen..."
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:33 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Bonkers? I hadn't heard that. Just fat.
posted by Melismata at 11:33 AM on June 27, 2013


...and then she stepped on the ball!
posted by Mocata at 11:36 AM on June 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Bonkers? I hadn't heard that. Just fat.

Ask him about his alien-skull vodka sometime.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:38 AM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


*reads Wikipedia* Ah, now I see.

My memory of the movie is everyone laughing hysterically at the "Eggnog?" line, as well as EM's trademark laugh. One of my all-time favorites. Let's have a movie-watching meetup.
posted by Melismata at 11:39 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Maybe I'll go to the movies... by myself."

One of my all-time favorite movie lines.


My husband actually did go to the movies by himself last week, and that line was all I could think about! I didn't even give him 5 dollars!
posted by Biblio at 11:41 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


And back when Aykroyd wasn't bonkers.

He's always been bonkers. You ever read that Live From New York book? He had to be convinced to leave the biker truck stop he owned in Canada to join the show. The book doesn't bother to hide that Aykroyd actually believes in astral projection, mental telepathy, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, etc. It's just that these days the guy doesn't have anything else to do but talk about that stuff, so it's all a bit much.
posted by greenland at 11:42 AM on June 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


i was so happy to see that the opening pic in the linked article, with eddie murphy, was from the scene where they were explaining commodities to him... "bacon... like you might find in a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich" and he breaks character to stare directly into the camera like, wtf??!! my favorite moment in just about any movie ever.
YouTube
posted by dfan at 11:43 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


I also like how the Dukes show up again in Coming to America and are totes homeless.

That was an awesome cameo. Parts of Coming to America are cringe-worthy these days, but it was all worth it for "Waiter! Taste my soup!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:43 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came in also to quote "stepped on the ball," which is extra priceless because it's the hateful Gloria Upson's line from Auntie Mame.

One of my all-time favorite movies.
posted by Mchelly at 11:43 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Trading Places is kind of a life ruiner for me because even though I own it on DVD (and previously on VHS, lol) I will stop whatever I am doing to watch it any time I catch it on tv.

This and also Metafilter is kind of a life ruiner for me for reasons that are similar
posted by sweetkid at 11:45 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


TP occupies a strange place for me. I find it an ok film, sorta enjoyable for the most part (gorilla rape scene excluded). But it's nowhere near what i would call one of my favorite films, nor one that I'll watch intentionally, I've never say "Hey! lets watch trading Spaces!". But, yeah if I'm somewhere and it's on it's hard NOT to watch it. And there are a few really funny scenes.


back when Eddie was funny... course back then every black guy needed a white guy in the movie as well.
posted by edgeways at 11:50 AM on June 27, 2013


And back when Aykroyd wasn't bonkers.

Always bonkers, but now unhidden bonkers, and a simple asshole diva.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:50 AM on June 27, 2013


You know, you could take out the gorilla-rape scene and the movie would be just fine. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw a TV edit that did just skip over it.

I put this movie in with those like Protocol and Dave in that they were heartwarming comedies about underdogs finally making it and when necessary, sticking it to the Man. And having a happy ending.

I'm not sure you could make them now, because no one believes such a thing is possible.

:(
posted by emjaybee at 11:55 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


//Hey! lets watch trading Spaces//

Well, I would certainly hope not!

Disclosure - I proofread the OP 3 times before submitting to make sure I didn't make that same type.
posted by COD at 11:59 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, it's Gus Fring! (a very young Giancarlo Esposito as Cellmate #2)
posted by Auden at 12:01 PM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


I like how Landis admits that he didn't know who Eddie Murphy was because he "didn’t watch Saturday Night Live since John [Belushi] had died."

Even in the 80s, people thought the Golden Age of SNL had passed.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


When I was growing up, we wanted a jacuzzi we had to fart in the tub.
posted by billiebee at 12:03 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And he [Ameche] said, ‘Well, nobody called!’

Did the rest of you also hear that in perfect Don Ameche comic-actor intonation? Rising on the 'well', strong beat on the comma, "nobody" pronounced "no - body"?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:05 PM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


Ask him about his alien-skull vodka sometime.

The Crystal Head Vodka is reasonably good. I keep a bottle at my desk at work for emergencies.

Now about that bonkers?
posted by bafflegab at 12:05 PM on June 27, 2013


%n: " This is the absolute best way to end breath-control sexytimes if you think the other person is going too far.

And what's the way out if you're dressed in a female gorilla costume and put into a cage with a real gorilla?
"

Learn to love buggery?
posted by Samizdata at 12:05 PM on June 27, 2013




It remains the greatest Wall Street ever made.

Or at least one of the "finnest"
posted by hal9k at 12:09 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The more I think about it, the more I realize that I quote this movie a whole lot, often without even realizing it. Especially the Harvard tie bit.
posted by elizardbits at 12:11 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


%n: "This movie. THIS MOVIE. My Metafilter username was THIS close to being "lookatthatScargo"

Thanks for finding this, COD. It's gratifying to know that Landis and co. didn't quite understand the climactic market-cornering at the end, either. (Hell, I didn't understand it until a few months ago, and I had to make A FLOWCHART to figure it out.)

It's amazing how satisfying the ending is even if you don't understand its mechanics, though, and a real testament to Landis' filmmaking. The pacing and energy of it is just beautiful and Murphy and Aykroyd's glee is infectious. You're happy because they are, and that's all that matters.

And no more damned jerky beef.
"

NO! Beef jerky time!
posted by Samizdata at 12:11 PM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


oh god and the "YES! FUCK YOU TOO!" scene from Coming to America
posted by elizardbits at 12:12 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


looking good, Billy Ray!
feeling good, Louis!


Ignignokt and I say this to each other all the time, because how can you not? However, I have trouble remembering the characters' names, so more often than not I end up saying "Feeling good, Other Guy!"
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:15 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I rewatched the movie last week without being aware of the anniversary. And then a couple of nights ago I rewatched The Awful Truth (Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, 1937), which is a great movie, but I got severe temporal whiplash when I remembered that the young goofily handsome Oklahoma oilman who's chasing Irene Dunne is played by Ralph Bellamy.

Oh, and L'Estrange Fruit, two things.

A) that's not an "older movie"
B) you've been watching the wrong "older movies". Go watch My Favorite Wife (also Grant and Dunne). Or Ninotchka. Or Stalag 17. Or The Best Years of Our Lives. And then get back to us.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 12:19 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Now about that bonkers?

It's that the vodka is filtered through diamonds valued for their metaphysical properties which are mined from the same place as the legendary Crystal Skulls favored by paranormal buffs.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:20 PM on June 27, 2013


Actually I mostly liked Coming to America, except for the contrived ending. Well crafted, African-Americans in strong roles, tons of great throwaway lines (I thought it was the trash!). And oh, the dancing at the beginning.
posted by Melismata at 12:22 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


(choreographed by Paula Abdul in case anyone was wondering/cares/is also a dance nerd)
posted by elizardbits at 12:24 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's the "Oh!" from Eddie Murphy after Denholm Elliott, in "character" as the Irish priest mentions that eating beef jerky gives him "the wind something terrible". It's brilliant, as it kind of sounds like Billy Ray's "character" is surprised that a priest would mention passing gas, but simultaneously understanding and empathizing. Almost as if to say "I see! That would be a good reason not to partake of beef jerky! I will take your information thus and not be offended by your polite refusal."

All in one little "Oh!"
posted by grubi at 12:32 PM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


What the fuck is wrong with you?

There's also the part about it being rare that an older film still holds up which is just... I don't even know where to begin.
posted by kmz at 12:33 PM on June 27, 2013


I'm not a big seafood eater and I think one of the reasons was from watching Ackroyd eating the salmon when his santa beard kept getting in the way and I always think of it as being ... stiff and fuzzy.
posted by jessamyn at 12:35 PM on June 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


I like how Landis admits that he didn't know who Eddie Murphy was because he "didn’t watch Saturday Night Live since John [Belushi] had died."

That's faulty thinking, Mr Landis. Murphy was on the show two years before Belushi died.
posted by grubi at 12:35 PM on June 27, 2013


Actually I mostly liked Coming to America, except for the contrived ending. Well crafted, African-Americans in strong roles, tons of great throwaway lines (I thought it was the trash!). And oh, the dancing at the beginning.

Oh my god YES. Still one of my favorites, for good reason. "His mama call him Clay, I'ma call him Clay."
posted by grubi at 12:40 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


An oral history of a movie without the two main stars? I think not.

And, Capt. Renault, what makes Aykroyd a "simple asshole diva" because he can be selective about what movie parts he picks? Sounds like the sanest thing about him, really.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:41 PM on June 27, 2013


grubi: "Oh my god YES. Still one of my favorites, for good reason. "His mama call him Clay, I'ma call him Clay."

I would have watched a whole movie of barbershop scenes.
posted by jquinby at 12:46 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


And it was great seeing Frank Oz and Richard Hunt in small roles. You could hear their Muppet characters in their voices!

Ok, I'll stop rambling now ...
posted by Melismata at 12:47 PM on June 27, 2013


I said "older movie" to try to distinguish it from the era of real classics like All About Eve... I should have just said rare re-watchable 80s movie. Damnit, the 80s were 30 years ago, I am old!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:48 PM on June 27, 2013


Bonkers.

His roles in Coneheads, Ghost Busters and Sneakers worked so well because it scratched the surface to see inside him a little ways...
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:53 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was recently thinking about Eddie Murphy's creative peak in the 80's when he released Delirious (full concert movie NSFW). First off, he was 22 years old when Delirious was released. And at that point in time, he more or less was the god emperor of comedy, he ruled the fucking world when it came to comedy. At 22. As fucking mind blowing and depressing it is to think about what he achieved by 22 and what most people achieve in an entire lifetime, it was almost a curse. At 22, he was on top of the world but had a looong distance to inevitably fall.

I've been wondering though, for all the people who romanticize his early days how many of them have thought about some of his less.. sensitive material. While I watch bits like this (NSFW) from Delirious, his homosexual jokes seem more playful and creative without being especially hateful.. aside from openly admitting he is terrified of homosexuals. But just a few years later in Raw, he wasn't quite as kind. Would people today, unfamiliar with his old material, put up with this humor?
posted by mediocre at 12:54 PM on June 27, 2013


Like, oh sure, HE went to Harvard.

(One of the best things about watching Karl Rove's election meltdown was that almost unanimously, nearly everyone at the party started shouting TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!)

I saw Trading Places in the theater and looking at wikipedia, I see that I saw about another two dozen movies just that same summer, including two of the greatest awful movies ever made, Yor, Hunter From the Future and Metalstorm, the Destruction of Jared-Syn.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:55 PM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


PSA: This is the absolute best way to end breath-control sexytimes if you think the other person is going too far.

Actually, this is the absolute best way.
posted by phaedon at 12:55 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, his old standup material would never hold up today. But oh, that imitation of Bill Cosby!!
posted by Melismata at 12:58 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


But just a few years later in Raw, he wasn't quite as kind

Methinks the Eddie doth protest too much.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 1:05 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


And, Capt. Renault, what makes Aykroyd a "simple asshole diva" because he can be selective about what movie parts he picks? Sounds like the sanest thing about him, really.

Selective about roles, sure. But refusing to work with 'unknowns'?

Once upon a time, he himself was an unknown. And by now refusing to give any other kid the same opportunity he himself was afforded -- yes, I find that asshole diva behaviour.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:05 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still can't see a bottle of Old Spice without giggling.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:06 PM on June 27, 2013


A rare moment for me to name-drop: I had the pleasure of visiting John Landis at his home 2 weeks ago. (he had bought a printer from my store and I went to install it for him) He is still extremely energetic and preoccupied, very much the type of "type A" borderline hyperactive personality I imagine it takes to survive as a director in Hollywood. He must have made or received a dozen phone calls in the 2 hours I was there, always picking up right where we left off in our conversation.

We talked about Shlock and An American Werewolf in London mostly (as I am a huge fan of the latter) but I never got around to asking about his comedies. (this wasn't a formal interview, after all) Pretty amazing how Trading Places managed to accomplish so much that we take for granted now (as far as the careers of those involved) while being so risky at the time.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:18 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Methinks the Eddie doth protest too much

That is a beauty of a purple leather suit.

Grantland did a piece on Murphy's career a few years ago. I didn't think it was too far off the money.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:25 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


An American Werewolf in London is Landis's greatest achievement that isn't Thriller.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:33 PM on June 27, 2013


Now I have ICE CREEAAAAM! ICE CREAM MAN!! running through my head.

Moooomm!!!
posted by Melismata at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And ironically, Eddie Murphy's purple leather outfit in Raw is the greatest leather ensemble that isn't being worn by Michael Jackson in Thriller.
posted by mediocre at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


jeeeeeze.... Ophelia is younger than my partner... when did we get so old?

I'm watching this movie for the first time and I'm practically gobsmacked at all the "hilarious" period-accurate prejudices.
posted by rebent at 1:43 PM on June 27, 2013


And what's the way out if you're dressed in a female gorilla costume and put into a cage with a real gorilla?"

Trying to look on the bright side, gorilla's only average two inches on the stiff.
posted by biffa at 1:47 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


That scene is positively lousy with ethnic stereotypes, but at least it's self-aware of how awful they are.

"Ja, I am Inge from Sweden!" "But you're wearing lederhosen..."


IIRC, that's actually a goof that they left in the film, but I can't find a cite at the moment, argh.
posted by Melismata at 1:48 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's really not how I read what he said, Capt. Renault. Not everyone in, say, Behind the Candelabra was a star, or for that matter in any other film that he's been in. I read it as him explaining that he's not going to appear in just any old piece of straight-to-DVD shit just to pad out his IMDB profile. Unless you think that there aren't enough crap movies made with a single known actor who's obviously just slumming it, I'm not sure what the problem is here.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:48 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh god the salmon on the bus scene. I swear I can smell him in that scene. Every time I see salmon laid out in the grocery store or at a buffet, I think of just what I would need to do to end up on the bus, eating salmon through my fake, filthy, santa claus beard...
posted by gofargogo at 1:51 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


his portrayal of Alexander Graham Bell in the biopic had an entire generation of people refer to the telephone as "the Ameche"

My god. I just understood a joke in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio plays for the first time in 30 years.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 1:55 PM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't that I've ever been able to ask anybody if they would like some beef jerky without asking it "BEEF JERKY?!?" like Eddie does. Not that I offer people meat-based snacks that often, but when I do, I relish the opportunity.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:00 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


It was a stooooonnnnnne grooooooooove
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:22 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.

"White people got more in common with colored people than they do with rich people."
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:26 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


"White people got more in common with colored people than they do with rich people."

Silly as it is, that film deserves a cultural reappraisal.
I rewatched it a month ago and it (while having its goofy moments to overcome) manages to still feel shocking in its honesty in places.

I think part of where Beatty's head was at was with the funkier social satires of the late 60s/early 70s like Putney Swope but all the public saw was "old white man rapping movie" and stayed away in droves. Which is a shame.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:38 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read it as him explaining that he's not going to appear in just any old piece of straight-to-DVD shit just to pad out his IMDB profile. Unless you think that there aren't enough crap movies made with a single known actor who's obviously just slumming it, I'm not sure what the problem is here.

And yet: 50 First Dates.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:04 PM on June 27, 2013


Halloween Jack: "An oral history of a movie without the two main stars? I think not.

And, Capt. Renault, what makes Aykroyd a "simple asshole diva" because he can be selective about what movie parts he picks? Sounds like the sanest thing about him, really.
"

Not to mention he ended up marrying Donna Dixon. siiiiiiiigggggggh...
posted by Samizdata at 3:18 PM on June 27, 2013


Hmmm... not really talking about a movie that makes nearly $200M.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:04 PM on June 27, 2013


Halloween Jack: "Unless you think that there aren't enough crap movies made with a single known actor who's obviously just slumming it, I'm not sure what the problem is here."

Yeah, back in his prime, Aykroyd wrote and directed Nothing But Trouble, which is far more disturbing than it is funny, and which seems to get shown endlessly on various cable channels. I'm OK with him hanging back.

The podcast How Did This Get Made skewered it pretty well.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:08 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


krinklyfig: "Halloween Jack: "Unless you think that there aren't enough crap movies made with a single known actor who's obviously just slumming it, I'm not sure what the problem is here."

Yeah, back in his prime, Aykroyd wrote and directed Nothing But Trouble, which is far more disturbing than it is funny, and which seems to get shown endlessly on various cable channels. I'm OK with him hanging back.

The podcast How Did This Get Made skewered it pretty well.
"

I was just going to bring that one up, but you beat me.
posted by Samizdata at 4:23 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was a stooooonnnnnne grooooooooove

To this day, I still say this when leaving a party. Of course, I hardly go to parties anymore.
posted by Zonker at 5:11 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nothing but Trouble had serious problems but it was the first national exposure for Mr Tupac Shakur.
posted by Megafly at 5:50 PM on June 27, 2013


Don't be hating on The Golden Child.



"I... I.. I... Want the knife... Pleeeeeease."
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:00 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Grantland did a piece on Murphy's career a few years ago. I didn't think it was too far off the money.
-
Anyway, Eddie brings the house down with an impression of Stevie singing My Cherie Amour. Unbelievable. Crushes it. With Stevie standing right there. The crowd settles down and Stevie "tries" his impersonation again … still terrible. Eddie's turn. He nails Stevie a second time. After the crowd settles down, the scene shifts back to Stevie for one last "attempt."

Only this time, Fake Stevie suddenly turns into Real Stevie and belts out an a cappella version of My Cherie Amour that was like … I mean, I can't possibly describe how good this was.5
-
Of course, Eddie never breaks character. He waits for the applause to die down, waits for an extra second and finally says, "No, man, it still sucks." Huge laugh. Perfect ending.

Can anyone direct me to a video of this skit? The footnote indicates it is on Hulu Plus but I can't seem to find the right search terms.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:09 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]




One of my favorites. This was Dan Ackroyd at his best, Eddie Murphy at his best, John Landis at his best. (And, by the way, Landis is one of the great directors of the 80s, who, if he had died around 1990, we would all have been lamenting the loss of a true artist. Thankfully he didn't die, but virtually everything he's done since the mid 90s has been a dud, and it's tarnished his own rep.)

Just everything is so perfect. A movie I could watch over and over. And I have!
posted by zardoz at 6:48 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tough one. Here is part of it. Here's a longer but ad-saturated version.

Thanks, the second one delivered!
posted by Drinky Die at 7:08 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


krinklyfig, that's the other side of Dan Aykroyd: maybe his desire to appear only in good (or at least halfway-decent, or at the very least professionally-done) movies is not only because he can, but because he did Nothing but Trouble, which I have not seen but by all accounts is kind of horrific. Even his original scripts for The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters were nigh-unfilmable until other people helped whittle them down into something more manageable, and things like Nothing but Trouble and Dr. Detroit are what you get when someone else isn't around to put the brakes on for him.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:16 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm so thrilled to see I'm not the only one who loved this movie. One of my absolute all-time favorites. This post made my day. Thanks, Metafilter! Beef jerky time!
posted by hampanda at 7:20 PM on June 27, 2013


Here's a longer but ad-saturated version.

That is so hilarious!! Eddie couldn't keep a straight face!
posted by Melismata at 7:59 PM on June 27, 2013


See you next Wednesday!
posted by 4ster at 8:05 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, I love walking around my house saying "It ain't cool bein' a jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving!" and hearing my little girl say "Yeah!"
posted by 4ster at 8:10 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I love walking around my house saying "It ain't cool bein' a jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving!" and hearing my little girl say "Yeah!"

Five years from now when my daughter asks why we decided to have her I'm going to tell her it was just because we couldn't wait to see her.

But really it will be this.
posted by greenland at 8:16 PM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm a karate man. Whoooo! Whooo!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:17 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just saw this last week on TV. Made me very homesick for Philly. Rittenhouse Square, 30th Street Station, the Paperclip, I think the Italian Market has a cameo & it even has a shot of the porn shop that used to have a very jarring presence on Market Street just a block from City Hall.

The Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin is showing Trading Places on the big screen right now as part of its "Summer of 83" series.

Now you've given me something to do this weekend. I pretty much have to round up some friends to go see it. Thanks for the tip!
posted by scalefree at 8:30 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


billiebee: "When I was growing up, we wanted a jacuzzi we had to fart in the tub."

You can smell it!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:12 PM on June 27, 2013


BTW, it is ALWAYS beef jerky/smoked salmon time in SamizWorld.
posted by Samizdata at 9:37 PM on June 27, 2013


Great film. The bit that absolutely killed me was when the old geezer was patronisingly explaining commodities to Murphy's character as if he were a simpleton. The look at the camera is just golden.
posted by Decani at 3:01 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hello security? Merry Christmas!
posted by jonnyploy at 3:24 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just had another, er, pleasant memory: the scenes in "Hollywood Shuffle" where they tell all the auditioning African-American actors that they are looking for the next Eddie Murphy, and will settle for nothing less. "Eddie Murphy! Eddie Murphy! BE Eddie Murphy! You ARE Eddie Murphy! Eddie Murphyyyyyy..." People who only know EM from the Klumps would SO not get how true that was at the time...
posted by Melismata at 9:16 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My sons, 9 and 6 years old, do the "Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!" lines with me.

It is in this way we pass on vital knowledge to the next generation.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:45 AM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


After reading through this thread and seeing someone mentioning above that this was on Netflix I watched it all the way through last night. Probably the first time in a very long time all the way through, and not the sanitized TBS version. My takeaways:
- The opening scene setups with showing how Mortimer and the Dukes live. It's amazing to me now that I'm older that there probably are people who actually live this way. Servants. Making your breakfast. A straight razor shave in your bathroom. Wow.
- Lots of N word and it's variations. The anecdote about Ameche apologizing for "cursing" ahead of time is probably about this I would imagine.
- Franken's dimwitted character and his sidekick always reminded me of the McKenzie brothers
- My wife made the first comment about Jamie Lee Curtis' physique. Which was/is amazing.
- Beeks in the gorilla suit - I felt sad for the guy. During his final scene on the ship I found myself thinking "this isn't funny. He would probably die from lack of food/water if the real gorilla didn't kill him first."

Overall though I thought it aged really well. Great movie. The little guys take down the big money bags. But then turn into money bags...
posted by Big_B at 12:01 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Big_B: "The little guys take down the big money bags. But then turn into money bags..."

But, critical note here. Money bags, yes. Giant asshole money bags, no.
posted by Samizdata at 7:45 PM on June 28, 2013


Cattle mutilations are up.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thank you, kirkaracha. One of my favorite movies, and Ackroyd's character pleases me no end. Okay, boss, this LTX-71 concealable mike is part of the same system that NASA used when they faked the Apollo Moon landings.
posted by theora55 at 7:22 AM on July 2, 2013




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