Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places (1983)

Dan Aykroyd, left, and Eddie Murphy in the poster for Trading Places. Paramount. Credit: Paramount

After a mean-spirited bet causes them to trade lives, Dan Aykroyd’s yuppie-turned-homeless man Louis and Eddie Murphy’s homeless-man-turned-yuppie Billy Ray team up to take down Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche), the bored rich brothers who played them like puppets.

Louis learns street smarts and Billy Ray learns market manipulation, making them both adept con man at opposite sides of the social hierarchy. Trading Places takes the view that luck matters every bit as much in life as hard work — unless you find a way to manipulate the odds.

It’s impossible not to root for Louis and Billy Ray, especially once they enlist the stagecraft of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Ophelia, a sex worker with a heart of gold.

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