Jamie Lee Curtis
Fresh off the successes of ANIMAL HOUSE, THE BLUES BROTHERS and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (and a year prior to the TWILIGHT ZONE tragedy), director John Landis strikes a perfect tone between old-school storytelling and decidedly modern vulgarity. And although it clocks in at just under two hours in length, TRADING PLACES breezes by, thanks to a tight and clever screenplay, a solid stable of comedic actors, and a director who was at the very top of his game.
If you're an Eddie Murphy fan who wasn't even born by 1983, do yourself a favor and rent this DVD. The flick houses one of Murphy's very best performances, a slick concept that's only occasionally undone by a few odd divergences (the ape gag is just a little too broad for me), and a lovely look at my hometown of Philadelphia. I'm not entirely sure if TRADING PLACES is considered a "comedy classic" or not, but it sure is around my house.
And if I have to even mention the famous Jamie Lee Curtis booby scene, well, that means you DEFINITELY need to see this movie.
"Insider Trading: The Making of TRADING PLACES" is an 18.5-minute featurette that offers interview segments with Landis, Aykroyd, Curtis, producer George Folsey, and screenwriters Timothy Harris & Herschel Weingrod. (Eddie Murphy contributes by way of archival interview segments.) I wouldn't have minded a little more meat on this mini-doc's bones, but it's still a pretty entertaining look back all the same.
"Trading Stories" is eight minutes of old-school interviews from the cast's publicity tour in Great Britain. Fun for the fans, but not something you'll watch more than once. You'll also find one deleted scene that you can watch with optional commentary by producer George Folsey, a 6.5-minute featurette that focuses on the costume design, a 5.5-minute piece called "The Trade," in which three commodities brokers try to explain what happens in the big finale, and a 4-minute Showest promotional clip that Landis and his gang tossed together in a big hurry.
The last extra is a "pop-up trivia track" that offers a bunch of behind-the-scenes info during the movie. (I'm a little annoyed that nobody thought to do a "locations" featurette, as the flick's a virtual love letter to Philadelphia.)