When Hollywood Imitates Wall Street

Five examples of actors trying to be as cool as bankers
January 17, 2014

Trading Places (1983)


Starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy and directed by John Landis. Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer gives the film a 88% and an average user rating of 85%.

To settle a debate on nature versus nurture, two hot shot commodities brokers make a $1 wager on the results of framing and firing the wealthy trader Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), and giving his role to a homeless street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Valentine quickly learns the business, and after some interesting plot twists, unites with Winthorpe to enact revenge through frozen orange juice futures on the two responsible for the mess.

Memorable Quote

Louis Winthorpe III: [approaching the New York Commodities Exchange] Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That's the other guy's problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series - they don't know what pressure is. In this building, it's either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you're up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don't go to college and they've repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?
----
Billy Ray Valentine: Yeah. You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.


Flashback to the 80's stock exchange madness at 1:30:


Trading Places won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and Best Actress in a supporting role and was nomniated for Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy category and Best actor in the same category. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song Score or Adaption Score.

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