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Duke Brothers is rich and greedy makes a decision to wager a bet for born loser Valentine who could become as successful as the priggish Winthorpe. He has enough money to make that circumstance happen, however, Valentine teams up with Winthorpe to change what Winthorpe wants.
It's all outrageously contrived, and only surprising restraint by director John Landis makes it work. The writing is superb, too, leaving the two funnymen free to do the most inspired textured portrayals either has managed in movies.
This blatant, unacknowledged reworking of The Prince and the Pauper is a rattling comedy showcase for the unique talents of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, who have seldom recaptured the form they show here.
This 1983 film re-creates a screwball comedy format and then eliminates everything but the crudest audience-gratification elements; any incursions into the more morally complicated side of the genre are quickly curtailed.