Slate Money Goes to the Movies: Trading Places
S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership.
S2: Hello and welcome to the Trading Places episode of Slate Money goes to the movies.
S3: Yeah, we’re going to the movies. We are doing a whole little mini season of watching movies with the business and finance theme. We are going to be doing this throughout the early weeks of 2021. But there is a Christmas movie on the list. It is called Trading Places. It is Christmas. And so as a little sneak preview, the very first episode of the season is going to be trading places. I’m Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Anna Shamansky of Breakingviews. Hello. I’m here with a dig OK, of Quartz. Hi, Yinka. How old were you when you first saw this movie and what country were you living in?
S4: Oh, one of those questions I can say confidently, Nigeria, I was in my teens. Let’s leave it there.
S3: Young teens, we are going to be talking about trading places. The classic John Landis, nineteen eighty three, Eddie Murphy vehicle starring Dan Aykroyd, Dennis Elliott and Jamie Lee Curtis and all manner of other folks, including Al Franken, weirdly enough. And we are going to be talking in a very jumpy around the discursive way about the movie, its acting, its themes, the money, whether it’s realistic. We are not going to be running through the plot in any kind of useful way. So if you haven’t seen the movie, go see the movie first and then listen to us. Or if you basically remember it, you can listen to this. But if you have never seen the movie, you will not understand a word that we’re saying. It is not a great spoiler to admit that we all like this movie. It’s a good movie. If it’s worth seeing, it is worth renting. Go ahead and do that and we will find you on the other side of Slate. Money goes to the movies. So you think you specifically requested that we talk about trading places? When we were chatting on the phone and I was like, we’re doing this season. You’re like, I need to do trading places. We have to do it, Felix.
S5: So explain to me this is the best business movie ever made. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows the best business movie about Wall Street specifically.
S3: Is it the best Christmas movie of all time?
S5: You know, some of us have taken it to be a Christmas movie. It’s not really watching it again. All these years later, I’ve kind of gotten some of the unedited bits are probably not suitable for family viewing.
S1: I do things I had completely forgotten. Had you forgotten, like the boobs, you know, like teenage me obviously enjoyed this immensely. But growing up, me dad’s me is kind of like, well, not while the kids are here.
S3: There’s a bunch of nudity, there’s a bunch of swearing, there’s a bunch of, like, extremely inappropriate racism. And there’s a lot of problematic stuff in this movie, as you would expect from the director of Animal House. This was I think the follow up was this John Landis follow up to Animal House. This is an amazing run of movies, actually. John Landis did in his 20s and early 30s Animal House, the Blues Brothers, American Werewolf in London, and trading places all within the space of five years and then later coming to America and then later coming to America in between the Thriller video.
S3: And then he did the Thriller video and then it was all over at that point. But it’s an amazing amount of movies. It reminds me a little bit, actually, of Oliver Stone, who sort of does Platoon and then he follows it up with Wall Street. Somehow, if you do something which has this big, broad mass appeal, you can say, I want to make a movie about derivatives trading.
S1: And everyone goes, yeah, of course, let you do whatever you want. Right. But derivatives trading in the eighties was exciting, like visually extraordinarily exciting in a way that not quite the same to that. Yes.
S3: If derivatives trading was actually exciting and there would be more than one movie about derivatives trading.
S1: No, but you talk to people who were like commodities traders in the eighties and they talk about those like scrums or you literally had people screaming at each other.
S3: Let’s get into it. So this is the first question which we have to ask. There’s is that classic scene at the end of the movie where the trader gets carried out of the pit like basically semiconscious to get screamed at by the Duke brothers. Are you saying that’s not complete artistic license, that they have some kind of reality there?
S1: I mean, I’m not sure if somebody got dragged out unconscious, but definitely that is again, I did not experience that. I was one when this film was made. But what I’ve talked to people who did this is what they always point to and say, yeah, this is actually one of the more accurate depictions.
S5: Yeah. Everything I’ve read about this is pretty much the same. All the all the old guys, all kind of like. Yep, yep. This is what it was like. He was raw. It was real blood, sweat, tears, the whole kind of drama and the. The thing that I guess makes people will come to New York and work on Wall Street, the Chicago commodities or whatever.
S1: That’s one of the reasons why I also really like this movie, because there’s that scene where they’re walking into what think was the World Trade Center and the Dan Aykroyd character is describing what they’re going to be walking into. And he describes it as like the most exciting thing you can possibly imagine. And what you see, it’s both of these things. It’s this like almost animalistic capitalism at its most raw. But at the same time, it is really exciting. And I feel like that kind of gets to that contradiction in a way that a lot of other films, I think are a little bit more laissez.
S6: Think, think, think positive. Never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the profit. Buy low. Sell high fare. That’s the other guy’s problem. Nothing you have ever experienced can prepare you for the unbridled carnage you’re about to win the Super Bowl or World Series. They don’t know what pressure is in this building. It’s either kill or be killed. Make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you’re up half a million in soybeans on the next boom, your kids don’t go to college and they’ve repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me? Yeah, well, we got to tell them. I got to tell them.
S7: That scene is my favorite piece of dialogue, I should say. It’s just like my favorite. It’s just the way he lays it all out of me. Like I watch this. I can’t remember how old I was 30 years ago when I had visited America. Once I lived here, didn’t really fully get it. And I was like, oh, well, if he loses money, his kids don’t go to college.
S1: This was just such a weird concept because everywhere I lived, college was free, actually, especially where you can get in. But in America you have to be to go to college. You have to work really hard and make a lot of money. And it’s kind of like it really explained America to me then. And it kind of still does is kind of still relevant. You could make all this money in America, but could also lose it. And there is no safety net.
S3: The only difference is that instead of the World Trade Center, we now have Robin Hood.
S1: He’s definitely New Zealand Robin Hood right now. But I do think this film also gets at this very complicated relationship that America does have with well, and I think it’s notable that the film is set mostly in Philadelphia so they can have all these scenes of like Americana, Ben Franklin and this idea of the scrappy upstart who should intro the first scenes. Yeah, beautifully done.
S3: The credit sequence. Let’s talk about the credit sequence, because it’s actually very different in the sort of tonally from the rest of the movie, the movie. It’s got a huge amount of forward momentum. It’s not a short movie, but it swings past very quickly. There’s broad comedy. There’s there’s a whole bunch. It’s very tightly written. But the opening credits is basically just this incredibly loving portrait of working class Philadelphia over the overture to the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. And you’re like, wha what are we doing here with Mozart and working class Philadelphia when neither of those things are obviously related to, well, derivatives trading, for starters.
S5: But they show you the exchange rate because it’s not just the working class. Philadelphia, they show you. They also show you the wealthy parts of Philadelphia right next door to poor kids playing basketball without a proper. But it’s just beautifully done. And I love the way it sort of goes all the way right into our first scene with Dan Aykroyd waking up for breakfast with his vallet, his butler, his gentlemen’s gentleman, whatever you want to call it.
S1: And he’s making orange juice. Yes, you make a really good point.
S4: It it’s almost out of sync with the rest of the movie with the piece of the rest of the movie. Yet it lays it all out for us, especially for those of us who don’t know Philadelphia that well or or don’t fully understand what we’re about to get into.
S3: I have to say, I don’t fully understand why it’s set in Philadelphia. I would have thought if this is a derivative trading thing, like I said in Chicago, possibly set it in New York.
S1: What is it doing in Philadelphia? Do we understand that? I really think it’s so they could have those scenes of Americana, because I think this is a film about American myths. There’s no Americana in Chicago. There is, but it’s not Philadelphia. You’re not going to have Ben Franklin. You have a like a men’s club that says liberty and justice for all on it right now. I think that’s why they did it.
S3: It is a lot more conservative. You do have the extremes of I guess put it this way. It’s always ludicrous to think that a young executive at a trading house is going to have a butler with a chauffeur driven limousine and get around and be all sort of hoity toity like that. But if it would happen anywhere, I suppose it would happen in Philadelphia.
S1: That’s actually true. But but I think, like this is I mean, obviously, the film really is about this moment in the 80s where you’re seeing the rise of finance, the rise of this extreme wealth at the same time that you’re seeing very, very visible poverty as you’re seeing more and more homeless people on the street at that time. And that’s clearly what this film is about. I think it’s notable that, you know, it’s basically a Prince of the Popper update, written papers written during the Gilded Age. I think that’s clearly what it’s getting at.
S3: So we have this introduction of the princes and the paupers. We have done a polishing up, ironing the newspaper or whatever it is he’s doing while the kids are playing basketball with no hoop. And we meet our protagonist, Lewis, Dan Aykroyd, and he’s kind of a dick. And this is. One of the things that really fascinates me about this movie, you have to clear the bad guys. You have three clear people with hearts of gold, one of whom is a hooker. And then in the middle, you have the actual main character who winds up on the side of good rather than evil, I guess. But kind of despite himself, he’s just not a good person. And that one fascinates me.
S1: But I think that in storytelling in general, you want to show an arc. You want to show a change. Do you think he changes? I mean, he becomes less actively mean. But it is interesting because he is the center of the film, even though clearly the real center of the film is Eddie Murphy. Yeah.
S5: I mean, he has all the best lines that he has all the best lines. And Eddie Murphy has the best quips. He has the best comebacks. Eddie Murphy, in the 80s, he was a God, right? He stole scenes just by being there. And really because, you know, you haven’t had that kind of combination of bad boy slash comedian slash, good looking, well-dressed, well put together all that all together in this one package and then just hit after hit after hit 48 hours trading places. But in this movie here he is alongside Dan Aykroyd, who was already an established shows on a bit of a Wayne. But I mean, it does outshine him by completely, you know, holds his own and they make this into something really special.
S1: Yeah. And the his character, it’s interesting because he similarly goes through a change. But the change is almost like like the real him that would have existed. Exactly. It’s almost like that experiment works, right? Exactly. Right.
S3: Right. Well, the experiment clearly works, right. It’s clear who wins the. It’s clearly a question of nature rather than nurture. Eddie Murphy takes what about like less than a day to start worrying about his carpets, his fellowship, his Persian rug, his Persian. And Dan Aykroyd takes like less than two days to start, like pulling guns on people and trying to shoot himself, which, again, like you have to treat all of this with a certain amount of poetic license. Oh, it’s a myth. You know, it is a Christmas movie. After all. It’s not meant to be full to the brim with verisimilitude, but you do have that very quick and very simple. Oh, yeah. It’s obvious the bet has been decisively won on this side rather than that side. And that happens very quickly. I feel like the bed is a bit of a MacGuffin, really, that the movie isn’t really about the bed. But I might be. I want to know what you guys think about that.
S1: Yeah, I mean, I think the bet is important because obviously the entire film, you’re just like, you know, these people are horrible for playing with these people’s lives. But then when it turns out it’s for one dollar, it just speaks to this idea of what I do think the film is trying to get at that. You have this new wealthy class that doesn’t value other people’s lives. I clearly think that’s what I mean. The Dukes, if you pay attention, I notice this because I was watching it very closely and we’re going to talk about it. They have a photo of Ronald Reagan on their desk and a photo of Richard Nixon. Were you, like, pausing the movie? No, I made so many notes.
S3: So The Dukes, we should mention this, the Dukes are clearly based on the Hunt brothers who cornered the market in silver. And there’s this line towards the end of the movie when they start buying up all of the frozen, concentrated orange juice for someone like they’re trying to corner the market.
S8: Hey, hey, the ducks are trying to corner the market. They know something. I can feel it. Let’s get in on it. To undertake by.
S9: 200, 200 is not yet almost. Winnebago nine, yup, yup, got them and. Now, so door, door to walk down.
S3: And as the finance pro here, what does it mean to corner the market and is that bit realistic?
S1: I mean, I think that’s obviously somewhat extreme, but it’s not that you wouldn’t necessarily have someone who’s essentially trying to buy up a significant portion of futures contracts in a particular commodity. But the level of buying you’re seeing at the time and especially the difference in price that occurs has almost never I don’t think it’s ever happened. They sell at one point or two and they buy it twenty nine cents like you don’t see that type of movement.
S3: But although the reason they say this is actually my favorite thing about the whole movie is the the slogan we all know the slogan about buy low, sell high. But for reasons which I just love and I don’t know whose idea this was the great grand finale, they sell high and buy low sell before they start selling. They go short and then they cover their short. And then that’s just like this little piece of financial cleverness. It slipped in there. And you’re like, Oh, that’s clever. I love that. I love that little tweak. Most normal screenwriters would have been like, well, buy low, sell high. They decided to sell short cover the short, which again, like in terms of being realistic, number one, there’s no way that someone can get onto the floor of the futures exchange with like a forty thousand dollar check from a hooker with the heart of gold. That was going to ask about that forty two thousand dollars and T bills and suddenly get like a three hundred million dollar margin account on the basis of that. But even if you kind of allow them that, as you say, there’s a lot of overdramatized in there. But I do think there is something real underneath it, which is this thing that happened in the 70s and I think even the 80s, that people would try mostly fail, but definitely try to corner the market. And cornering the market was the thing that happened back then. And it hasn’t happened that I can recall in decades. I think markets all just too big and liquid right now.
S1: Yeah, exactly. I don’t think that’s something you could possibly do with just how technology has changed. Our trading has changed. I don’t think.
S3: But back in the day, it was a thing. And basically what it means is buying up so much of whatever the commodity is, whether it’s silver or orange juice or whatever, that you control the price and the controlling of the price and the manipulating of the markets like that was all just part of the game. Right. This is the other thing that really struck me really watching this movie is that our heroes, the good guys, are the ones who are manipulating the markets, who are feeding false information to the Hunt brothers who had insider trading on on material, non-public information. And those are the good guys who are doing all of that.
S1: Well, no, but this is actually also a fascinating thing. What they did and what the Duke brothers did was not actually illegal at the time. It was late. It was only in 2010 that he became illegal to trade based on insider information from the government. And it was actually called the Eddie Murphy Rule.
S3: It literally took the financial crisis to make this illegal. This kind of stuff would have been illegal on the stock market for ever since nineteen thirty whenever the hell and the creation of the S.E.C.. But the FCC doesn’t govern derivatives markets. The CFTC does, which is part of the Agriculture Committee in the Senate. It’s completely different and it’s the Wild West.
S1: Isn’t the principle the same, though, Felix? Exactly. The principle is exactly the same. Agreed. But also go back to what I think you were trying to maybe get out to the idea that our heroes are manipulating the market. And again, I think this speaks to this like weird relationship that America has with well, and especially the quick accumulation of wealth that on the one hand, it’s often the way that films end is that somebody becomes extraordinarily wealthy. But then at the same time, wealthy characters in films are kind of suspect. And there’s always this idea, too, that if someone is extraordinarily wealthy, usually it’s because something they did something wrong wasn’t through honest means. And to a certain extent, it’s the same thing here. Yeah, but they got one over the really bad guys. Well, exactly. I mean, yeah, of course they’re all very happy when they end up on the island. You can even hear it in their whole entire hubris. Towards the end of the movie. We’ve been on the exchanges set up. Right. Right, right. Because we own this exchange and all that stuff and stuff like. All right. Serves them right. Exactly. Because I think it’s also like America. It’s also this weird relationship with hereditary wealth.
S3: And I think that’s kind of what the Dukes clearly are supposed to represent, and that’s what makes them suspicious, although it’s also what presumptively makes Lewis suspicious. Right.
S1: Third is always the third. Yeah. Who talks like Katharine Hepburn for some unknown reason.
S3: And he has to kind of get thrown out onto the street and hit rock bottom, basically, what in order to overcome the blinkers of his privilege and wealth, this highly privileged guy who went to Harvard and sailed into this top job and apparently has no family or support group whatsoever.
S1: No, exactly. And his job mainly seems to be looking at payroll, like that seems to be his primary job, I guess, in the markets guessing and then saying pork bellies, pork bellies.
S3: But this is the other thing which I wanted to ask. And the thing that he does at the beginning of the movie, which is then echoed by the thing that Eddie Murphy does a few scenes later, is bottom tick the market. You know, he’s like, wait another five minutes and you can buy it for a dollar less and then you buy it there and then you make more money. The Duke brothers are very, very happy about that. So you just made us another million dollars. Is that realistic? Is that what trading was at the time? Was just like trying to work out? Exactly. It’s basically market timing.
S1: I mean, definitely there was a lot more market timing just for the nature of how trading worked. I mean, obviously, everyone can’t be doing that exactly the same. Can’t work for everyone at the same time. But I do think I mean, obviously, this is a simplistic representation of how that would work. But I think in general, there was way more than now this sense of especially, I would say probably in some of those markets, this idea that you really could actually time certain things.
S3: And certain people like Steve Cohen is famous for being able to trade the tape. You see how the numbers are moving and you just have this feel for like when to buy and when to sell. And it’s this kind of mystical thing.
S1: Yeah. And you can back in the day, the like technical analysis, we were like Deadman’s Cross in the head and shoulders of some stupid chart and then the dying hanging. Exactly. And it’s like, oh, this is clearly going to go down because it’s so I mean, I think a lot of that kind of, you know, slightly ridiculous, also slightly fun stuff has all really, to a certain extent gone away. It’s been taken over by the algorithms. Exactly. Exactly. As I said, like if they tried to make this film, that would just be like people like looking at their Bloomburg.
S3: So the modern day equivalent that sprung to mind when I was watching this of the Duke brothers going bankrupt and losing their company was John Causin going bankrupt with MF Global? You remember after he was governor of New Jersey, he set up his own boutique investment bank and put on this can’t lose trade involving something to do with, like European sovereign bonds or something. I can’t even remember what it was. And it blew up spectacularly and he lost everything, which just kind of goes to show that it’s not as completely ludicrous as it maybe seems to someone who doesn’t understand the market.
S1: Yeah, no. I mean, I get obviously it is an exaggeration, but at the same time, you certainly did have instances where people lost their seat on the exchange because they couldn’t meet the margin call like that.
S3: That was a very real thing, although they never really get into the nitty gritty and do they of like the central clearing counterparty risk.
S1: And what happens is make that margin that wasn’t nearly as exciting as just watching them scream at each other.
S3: So let’s move on a little bit and talk about race. When you first saw this as a non American black person, like what? What on earth did you think this is then?
S4: You just it’s just like Eddie Murphy, so cool. You don’t really get past that, right? You just but, you know, so watching it against Ceressus, like. Huh, I don’t remember all this. This is this is all this stuff was problematic because you see, they never actually genius’s they never actually refer to Eddie Murphy as black. He’s always called the Negro. It’s just kind of like, OK, but it was nineteen eighty three. Surely, surely we got started to use the word black. So the idea is supposed to get across is these guys are so out of the normal world, these people are so ridiculous and so over the top that this is the way they speak.
S7: Maybe. Yeah I guess we could believe that. And you know, and there’s an actual scene where dynamic’s character uses the N-word. Maybe he would have, actually.
S4: But it’s just like it’s not in the spirit of the movie itself. If you were like doing a Hard Wall Street people getting killed, that that kind of thing. OK, but this just felt like. Yeah. And that’s why you look at it now at the time. This is the way America is. And it’s a strange place and this is the way they talk and that kind of thing. You look at it very differently and especially looking at it kind of with that same understanding of race in America itself. The whole place is strange.
S3: Do you think that this is a movie about race? Is race like the primary subject? Is that what the movie is about or not?
S4: No, I don’t think it is. But Eddie Murphy brings it right. Eddie Murphy himself brings. So you can tell they and I think Philadelphia is like Boston is like these cities where that line is very strongly racial as well. I mean, this is pretty much many cities in America, but the class line is very, very clear. You know, black working class people are a key part of the city. So you really get this sense that it’s OK if we’re going to show working class people, which we need to show because we want to show the other side of the track, we’re going to show more black people. And then Eddie Murphy himself, who is he going to hang with? Who are the people who are going to be his friends? And who can you bring that kind of thing that Eddie Murphy brings within? So then you get the party scene at the house.
S3: Oh, the party scene at the house with with the great Sylvester Track playing and the highly realistic way in which all of the party guests just. Decided to get their tits out.
S1: I don’t know how much money you’ve had in your life, but when you have a certain level of money, this kind of thing probably does. I don’t know. I don’t know, though, as we were discussing earlier, I feel like there are so many times in this movie where women take off their top. There’s no apparent reason.
S4: Yeah, exactly. That was also a thing of the 80s.
S3: I mean, it was probably written into the contract somewhere like, you know, you can make a show up to Animal House, but that has to be like this many seconds of boobage. Otherwise, like no one’s going to watch a movie about derivatives trading. And that still goes on. I feel like, wasn’t it Halle Berry who got paid an extra million dollars or something to get her boobs out in swordfish? This is a little pop culture nugget that I have something.
S1: I guess one of the other things that we haven’t totally talked about, but just in terms of race, is that there also is the scene with black. Yes, yes. Yes.
S3: For that, we really can’t avoid mentioning the highly unfortunate blackface scene, which all you can say is what were they thinking?
S4: It’s so necessary. It’s like one of those things before you get too offensive. It’s like, but why? He could have been anyone. And it’s almost like now there’s no need for this.
S3: So in the train, everyone’s walking in in some kind of ludicrous ghetto. Apparently the bit about the Swede wearing lederhosen is totally ad libbed because Jamie Lee Curtis had no idea how to do an Austrian accent. You could only thing that’s coming join the party.
S10: And it was, you know, you would be from Austria. Am I right? No, I am Enga from Sweden. Sweet like a living. Later, Hosain. Yeah, for sure, from Sweden. Please to help me with my Zach.
S3: Oh, yeah, sure, why not? But they all come in and then the last of the hugs to the crew to come in, it’s Dan Aykroyd and what the hell is his disguise?
S4: Yeah, he’s so many levels of offensive. So he’s got clearly got shoe polish on his face, painted black, and he has some sort of supposedly Rastafarian wig and he just is called Jamaican. Is this just the whole thing? It’s one big why it’s a distraction from the silly humor of Eddie Murphy pretending he’s from Cameroon with some clothes, not from Cameroon. And Jamie Lee Curtis, where is the Swedish accent? I mean, only then pulls it off with the Irish priest, which of course, you can. Yes, it’s all silly, but Dan Aykroyd thing is not silly. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t make the movie any better or clever or funnier or until a point right at the beginning does kind of make the entire movie unwatchable.
S3: As a family Christmas movie, if if if all of the swearing in the nudity didn’t do it like that scene alone would do, it was the atkeson. But even if it’s not a family movie and it is clearly not a family movie for all of the reasons we’ve understood, is it the Christmas movie? Is that is that like a Christmas theme here? Was it what’s with all of the Christmas stuff?
S1: If it’s not a Christmas movie, you know, in a way could say it’s almost like an Easter movie because the Dan Aykroyd character, it’s kind of like he dies and rises again. Like I said, I’ll give you that stuff going here. They’re not quite as a Christ figure. I wanted to get this religious.
S4: You know, it starts with Thanksgiving, doesn’t it? It starts around Thanksgiving. So you could call it a holiday. We still saying that’s all we. I’m sorry. Are we back? And sometimes I can’t remember.
S3: I think you’re right. It definitely has a festive feel to it. There’s obviously the big New Year’s Eve scene on the train, which apparently there were like raging New Year’s Eve parties on Amtrak in the 80s.
S1: Who knew I missed the 80s with Joe Biden and Al Franken and Al Franken. You talk about two sentences with the bizarre guerrilla’s subplot, hysteresis that also seemed unnecessary. Well, you know, I agree. Yeah. That also got some unnecessary rape jokes that we also got this.
S3: You don’t think gorilla rape is something which we should put into a family Christmas movie?
S1: I actually very much remember watching this, but I’m pretty sure when I watched it, I was probably like six or seven around Christmas time with my family. So as did I 80s where we are. Yeah.
S4: I was wondering why I can remember so many slightly more grown up stuff, and I thought perhaps it’s because I’ve always just stopped to watch it on television and maybe a lot of stuff is being taken out. So I kind of over the years. Oh, forgot.
S3: This is actually a really good point that the reason it still has cultural currency is it still resonates. The reason if you mentioned trading places on Twitter, everyone will know exactly what you’re talking about is because it’s shown on the telly and the version you see on the telly is maybe not the version we just re watched.
S1: Definitely you are not going to see the scene at the party scene. That makes a lot of sense because I really I watch the how do I forget this is an important part of my development child and that’s it.
S3: That’s very American in its own way. Right. The kind of bowdlerised the mainstreaming of anything offensive into something which is just mainstream and fun.
S1: Well, especially at that time when people watched movies on like regular channels, it was before the rise of like cable.
S7: You also almost wonder why, to your point about the boob scenes and all this stuff and the bad language, almost like why, I guess movies were just made in a different way then.
S3: I kind of I don’t have a problem with the language. One of the running jokes in the movie is Eddie Murphy catching himself, swearing. I love that. Yes. I would not give that up because that’s a glorious thing that worked.
S1: But there definitely is. I mean, this is a period of time where you are getting these like Animal House is like the prototypical but like these like frat boy kind of movies and this frat boy sensibility. And you see this in a lot of films at this time. I think this was just what these guys thought was funny and they put in everything they thought was funny, makes perfect sense.
S3: And as I mentioned, John Landis was barely 30 when he made this movie. This is not made by some old film director. Like I actually have a harder time justifying the quantity of boobage in the wolf of Wall Street made when Martin Scorsese is like seventy nine. That one, you’re like, come on, you don’t need it. It starts becoming gratuitous. This one is like it was much more of a creature of its time made by a kid.
S1: If you give a 30 year old man a lot of money, you’re going to get boobs, probably a lot of drugs.
S3: I mean, you know that like John Jim Belushi, we’re not just sitting drinking club soda.
S1: That’s where the gorilla subplot came from. I didn’t realize it was that young. That’s crazy.
S3: So. A final verdict on trading places is a hold up. How do we rate it as a finance movie? And finally, the big question, which I want to ask is how does it rate as part of the mythos of finance, this idea of the young trader who manages to finally turn on the evil, grizzled, money grubbing old timer? Is this successful?
S7: Let me go with a general. How does it hold up? I have to admit, it was less of a movie than I remembered. Right. When I really out on, what, all the way through. But still a ton of fun. I still laughed. Yes. I suppose that some of the some of the scenes that I thought were, you know, not for this time are probably some of them were not for that time either, to be honest, any time. It’s funny sometimes you watch these things as to where you are now. And because I am the parent of young children now, my first thought is I love to watch this with. Oh, no, no, no. It’s also not a thing where I feel I’m going to call my friends and said we must watch trading places because it’s not that much of a great movie either. And in that sense, I still know all the key lines. I still think Eddie Murphy was as cool as anyone on the planet then everyone in finance as is closest to a great finance movie.
S3: Anna, is this is this as close as it gets to a great finance movie?
S1: Yeah. I mean, honestly, I really do think outside of obviously be very, very problematic things we discussed. I really do think this is one of the best financed movies. And I think partly because it’s almost like a fairy tale, you know, everything is exaggerated. But I actually feel like it gets that something in that exaggeration. And as I said, I think it gets at both the attraction and why it repels people at the same time in a way that I don’t know if I can really think of any other film that does that that.
S3: Well, excellent. I think that’s a perfect summer. Thank you very much. And thank you very much for joining us here.
S2: And we will come back in the New Year with more movies about business and finance. But this was a sneak preview, you might say, with a fabulous Christmas.