Louis Winthorpe is a businessman who works for commodities brokerage firm of Duke and Duke owned by the brothers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. Now they bicker over the most trivial of matters and what they are bickering about is whether it's a person's environment or heredity that determines how well they will do in life. When Winthorpe bumps into Billy Ray Valentine, a street hustler and assumes he is trying to rob him, he has him arrested. Upon seeing how different the two men are, the brothers decide to make a wager as to what would happen if Winthorpe loses his job, his home and is shunned by everyone he knows and if Valentine was given Winthorpe's job. So they proceed to have Winthorpe arrested and to be placed in a compromising position in front of his girlfriend. So all he has to rely on is the hooker who was hired to ruin him.Written by
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. See more »
The amount of tinsel Ophelia has in her left hand while decorating the Christmas tree changes between camera shots. See more »
[holding a breakfast tray while Louis is still asleep]
Your breakfast, sir.
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Ron Taylor is credited as 'Big Black Guy' and James D. Turner as ' Even Bigger Black Guy' See more »
There was a scene in the movie that was not included in the final cut, but can only be seen when the movie is shown on television (presumably to fill a longer time slot with commercials). This "TV-only" scene occurs after Clarence Beeks talks to the Dukes via telephone and Billy Ray eavesdrops on their scheme. In the original cut, he goes from the phone booth to the Amtrak train platform, holding the briefcase with the crop report. Yet in this added scene, we see Beeks go and procure the reports from a secured vault where he drugs a security guard and uses the guard's keys to open a safe-deposit box. See more »
This is probably one of the funniest films of the 1980's. It not only is a play on the classic nature vs. nurture theme, but it is also a somewhat comedic commentary on the "greed is good" decade of the 80's. However, it is also a nice bridging of the generations as it features two of the biggest stars to come from "Saturday Night Live" Eddie Murphy does a fine job as con man Billy Ray and Dan Ackroyd is great as Louis. Jamie Lee Curtis is also wonderful as Ophelia. In fact, it was good to see her do something other than the "scream queen" roles which she became famous for during the early part of her career. She definitely shows the comedic timing that she would display later in her career and would make her one of the finest comedic actresses in film today. However, the one that really steals it for me is Denholm Elliot as Coleman. He delivers a very low key performance that is befitting for that role. This is a real gem.
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