4 of 12
Click Next or Swipe on Mobile

‘On The Fourth Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent To Me…Trading Places’ (1983)

trading-places

Trading Places was one of the first big studio comedies to benefit from the VCR revolution and the phenomenon of Home Taping. It wasn’t just the Pause button that was famously deployed by millions of teenage Jamie Lee Curtis-obsessed greenhorns back in 1986 but Rewind too; scrolling back jokes and funny lines time and again until they were ingrained in the memory. eg “Back off, or I’ll rip out your eyes and piss on your brain!”

As such, by now Trading Places is a film that thousands of people of a certain age can recite from memory; a TV screening in December is like a night of carol singing, with friends joining in as one: “It ain’t cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving,” “Eggnog!” and “Those men tried to have sex with me!” It’s our God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Trading Places is the It’s A Wonderful Life for the Stranger Things-era generation. As much as it’s a direct variation on Mark Twain’s Price & The Pauper story, the swift descent of ghastly rich snob Louis Winthorpe III is every bit as unsettling for him as George Bailey’s trip through his alternative reality was back in 1947. Jimmy Stewart meant to commit suicide by throwing himself into a river. 36 years later Dan Aykroyd tried to shoot himself in the head, wearing a urine-soaked Santa outfit with a fake beard full of stolen salmon.

Such is the march of progress.

4 of 12
Click Next or Swipe on Mobile

Previous articleThe Klingons are coming! Three new cast members sign up for Star Trek Discovery
Next articleDisney’s The Lodge confirmed for season 2!
If your pub team is short of an encyclopedic Bond or Hammer fan (the horror people, not the early-90s, billow-trousered rap icon) - then he's our man. Given that these are rather popular areas of critical expertise, he is happy to concentrate on the remaining cinematic subjects. He loves everything from Michael Powell to David Lean, via 70s New Hollywood up to David Fincher and Wes Anderson; from Bergman and Kubrick to Roger Corman and Herschell Gordon Lewis. If he could only take one DVD to the island it would be Jaws, but that's as specific as it gets. You have a lovely day now. Follow him at your own risk at https://mobile.twitter.com/CaiRoss21