Trading Places (1983) offers a comedic perspective on commodities trading, but its main caper wouldn’t play out the same way today.

Dan Aykroyd stars as elitist commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III, who works for a trading house owned by the enormously wealthy Duke brothers. Eddie Murphy plays Billy Ray Valentine, a hustler who gets arrested for stealing Winthorpe’s briefcase.

The Duke brothers bet each other $1 on whether Valentine could become a successful commodities broker under better circumstances, and whether snobby Winthorpe would resort to criminal behaviour should he lose his wealth. They fire Winthorpe and he becomes homeless while they give Valentine Winthorpe’s old house, salary and job.

At first, Winthorpe becomes a drunk and Valentine a pompous aristocrat. But after discovering the brothers’ bet, Winthorpe and Valentine team up to destroy the Dukes by bankrupting their firm by shorting orange juice contracts.

Along the way, Valentine and Winthorpe find themselves in many comedic misadventures, but the plot centres on commodities trading. So how accurate is it?

On Advisor to Client, Sarah Cunningham-Scharf interviews a commodities trader about what the movie gets right.

For the full review and accuracy rating click here.

Originally published on

Add a comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Register on