What Do You Know About the Movie, "Trading Places?"

J. Reinoehl

6 Min Quiz

Image: Cinema Group Ventures Eddie Murphy Productions

About This Quiz

"Trading Places" is the 1983 film featuring two of the '80s most popular comic actors Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. Many say it was inspired by the Twain novel, "The Prince and the Pauper," as two young men, a wealthy professional and a homeless hustler, are portrayed as a bet inspired by the '80s obsession with Wall Street. 

"Trading Places" was one of the most popular films of 1983, grossing over $90 million over its box office release. You're an obvious fan of '80s movies, so how much do you think you remember from this hilarious movie that is all about the culture of the '80s? For starters, do you remember the disabilities Billy Ray Valentine pretends to have at the beginning of the movie? Or, how Valentine makes his first $15,000 profit for the Dukes? 

Those questions are just a starter to get your lips wet and your mind flowing. But it gets harder from here. Do you remember the $7,000 item that Winthorp tried to pawn, and how much the pawnbroker actually offered him for the item?

It's time to make your bet on how well you'll do with this quiz. But, how much is a bet truly worth? $1, $50, or thousands of dollars? Not sure?  Why don't you just ask Mortimer and Randolph?

Which stock did Louis Winthorpe III want to sell when it hit 76.25?

"Pork bellies, hmmm. I have a hunch something very exciting is going to happen in the pork belly market this morning."

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What disabilities did Billy Ray Valentine pretend to have at the beginning of the movie?

Initially, Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder were set to star in the movie, originally titled "Black and White." Although Pryor was attached to the project, after he set himself on fire, director John Landis began looking for someone else.

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What relationship did Penelope have to Mortimer and Randolph?

honest woman of her.”

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Which actor played Winthorpe?

Dan Aykroyd (born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian actor nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Driving Miss Daisy." He was nominated several times (and won in 1977) for an Emmy because of his work on "Saturday Night Live."

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How did Mortimer reply when Randolph said, “Mother always said you were greedy.”

“Mother always said you were greedy.” “She meant it as a compliment.”

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Where did Valentine run after taking Winthorpe’s briefcase?

Writer Timothy Harris set the movie in Philadelphia because of its connections with the founding of the country. He wanted to link the film with the idealism that built America—that all men were created equal.

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What was planted on Winthorpe to show him as a thief?

"We marked three $50 bills with red Xs. Less than ten minutes ago those bills were stolen from a coat in the cloakroom."

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Who got Winthorpe out of jail?

Frank Oz (born May 25, 1944) played the corrupt cop who plants the drugs on Winthorpe when he is booked. Oz is well known for his puppeteering, which brought us such characters as Yoda (Star Wars), Cookie Monster/ Bert/ Grover (Sesame Street), and Miss Piggy/ Fozzie/ Animal (The Muppet Show).

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Billy Ray Valentine said he didn’t have bruises when he arrived in the jail cell because of what?

"’Cause I’m a karate man, all right? Karate men bruise on the inside. They don’t show their weaknesses."

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What did Clarence Beeks pay the hooker at the police station to do?

Paul Gleason (1939-2006), who played Beeks, had an impressive list of supporting roles that began in the early 1960s. Known for playing bullies and white-collar degenerates, he also had roles in "Die Hard," "All My Children," and "The Breakfast Club."

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How did Valentine make his first $15,000 profit for the Dukes?

“I think we paid $35,000 for it, but I seem to remember we estimated its value at $50,000 for the insurance company. You see, Mortimer, William has already made us a profit of $15,000.”

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Which actor played Valentine?

Eddie Murphy first appeared on "Saturday Night Live" in 1980 and was famous for his skits portraying Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat, and cynical Gumby. His first full-length film was "48 Hrs." (which grossed almost $79 million domestically), but "Trading Places" surpassed that (grossing $90 million domestically).

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How did Coleman react when Winthorpe showed up on the doorstep?

"Who are you? What do you want?"

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What did Ophelia do for a living?

This movie prompted the creation of “The Eddie Murphy Rule” in 2010. The rule bans the use of misappropriated government information for trading on the commodity markets. Prior to 2010, this was not illegal.

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Why couldn’t Winthorpe get his money out of the bank?

"I’m sorry, Mr. Winthorpe, but the IRS has frozen your accounts."

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What did Mortimer drop in Valentine’s office to try to trick him?

They filmed the trading scenes in real trading pits. Many of the brokers helped Murphy and Aykroyd learn how to bid realistically.

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What did Ophelia want in return for helping Winthorpe?

"I’m talking about a business proposition, Louie. I help you get yourself back on your feet, and you pay me in cash five figures."

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What did Winthorpe try to pawn?

The pawnshop broker was Bo Diddley (born Ellas Otha Bates). An accomplished musician, Diddley’s compositions can be heard on over 150 soundtracks.

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What did the pawnshop give Winthorpe for his item that retailed for $6,955?

"$50? This is a Roche Vouceau, the thinnest water-resistant watch in the world, singularly unique, sculptured in design handcrafted in Switzerland and water-resistant to three atmospheres. This is the sports watch of the ‘80s--$6,955 retail."

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What drug did Valentine keep from the ones Winthorpe tried to plant on him?

Writer Harris (who also wrote "Twins," "Kindergarten Cop," and "Pure Luck") wrote "Trading Places" after encountering two obnoxious brothers on the tennis court. The brothers, like Mortimer and Randolph, almost always had some rivalry going, which made others dislike playing with them.

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How much was the bet between Mortimer and Randolph?

“Pay up. I won the bet.” “Here. One dollar.”

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Where did Valentine overhear the Dukes discussing the bet?

They filmed the trading scenes inside the World Trade Center, with its exterior shown in the background as Murphy and Aykroyd are preparing for the final trade. Terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

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How did Billy Ray reply when Randolph asked, “You’re from a broken home, of course?”

“You’re from a broken home, of course?” “Yeah, we was broke. So what?”

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What happened when Winthorpe attempted to shoot himself?

Aykroyd stated in an interview that if he ever lost all his money, he holds a license in Canada for driving a dump truck or heavy truck and he knows how to run a bulldozer. He would be able to find some work even if he didn’t have his money—unlike his character who had nothing but the good graces of others to fall back on.

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Who was Clarence Beeks?

"And now for the news. Under heavy security, the crop estimates for next year’s orange crop are being delivered from Miami to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D. C. In charge of security is Mr. Clarence Beeks, head of Lyndhurst Security."

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What method of suicide did Winthorpe use that almost worked?

Clips from "Trading Places" are still used in many business schools to explain certain aspects of the stock market. Machines have replaced most of the people on the trading floor.

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Why were Randolph and Mortimer paying Beeks?

“Mortimer said it was for research.” "Yeah, researching how he can get his hands on that top secret crop report two days before it goes public.”

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Where do Valentine and Winthorpe get the crop report away from Beeks?

Eddie Murphy said he doesn’t feel anyone should try to look for hidden meaning in movies like "Trading Places." He believes motion pictures and entertainment can be compelling and prone to misinterpretation, and he doesn’t want to influence the public beyond entertaining them.

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Finish the quote: “The good part, William, is that no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the commissions.” “ …Sounds to me like _______________.”

“The good part, William, is that no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the commissions.” “ …Sounds to me like a couple of bookies.” “I told you he’d understand.”

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As what animal do they dress up Beeks?

Comedy team Al Franken and Tom Davis were the two baggage handlers dealing with the gorilla. Franken and Davis were friends since high school and became the first two writers for "Saturday Night Live" in 1975.

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Who loaned Valentine and Winthorpe the money to purchase stocks?

“Lose it? Coleman, in a couple of hours, you’re gonna be the richest butler that ever lived, man.”

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Who gives the false crop report to Randolph and Mortimer?

The characters Randolph and Mortimer appear in a later Eddie Murphy film, "Coming to America." They are poor bums still living on the street, who plan to rise again after Prince Akeem Joffer gives his travel money to them in passing.

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Finish the quote: "Yeah, you know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people _____________________."

"Yeah, you know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.” “You have to admit, sir, you didn’t like it yourself a bit.”

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Which actress played Ophelia?

Jamie Lee Curtis (born November 22, 1958) is the daughter of screen icons Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. An accomplished actress in her own right, she got her start in the movie, "Halloween" (1978).

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What commodity put the Duke brothers into the poorhouse?

“The Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market.” “Unless somebody stops them.”

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