Trading Places movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Trading Places filmed?

1983

About Trading Places

The opening Trading Places film scene introduces two brothers named Randolph and Mortimer Duke. The two men share ownership of a brokerage firm located in Philadelphia. The men engage in an argument about the effects of nature versus nurture. They decide to place a bet and conduct an experiment: they will take two people from very different backgrounds and switch their lives and record the effects. The winner will receive one dollar.

The brothers notice an exchange between their managing director Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) and a homeless black man (Murphy) named Billy Valentine. Valentine is placed under arrest when Winthorpe accuses him of robbing him. The Dukes make the decision to make these two men the subject of their experiment.

Winthorpe is accosted by Clarence Beeks, an employee of the Dukes’. He is pegged as a drug dealer and is subsequently fired from the Dukes’ firm. Upon his dismissal, he loses all access to his bank account, and he is thrown out of his home. Winthorpe becomes friends with a prostitute named Ophelia (Curtis.) Ophelia agrees to help Winthorpe for later financial gain.

The Dukes pay Valentine’s bail and give him the keys to Winthorpe’s home. He makes an effort to learn the business and becomes very successful, making use of the knowledge he gained from a life on the street.

The brokerage holds a Christmas party during which time Winthorpe inserts drugs inside Valentine’s office desk. He uses a gun to escape the building. The Dukes settle their bet with the exchange of $1. They intend to restore Valentine to his place on the streets but decide to leave Winthorpe where he is. Valentine hears the men talking and tries to find Winthorpe.

During a news broadcast, the group discovers that Beeks is in possession of a top-secret document on the future of orange crops. Winthorpe and Duke make the connection to Beeks and substantial payments from the Duke brothers to him. They suspect that the Dukes have paid to view the document in advance.

The group steals the forged report and takes it to the Dukes. Based on the false report, the Dukes make a firm financial commitment to future contracts. Several other traders follow suit, and the price of the stock begins to rise. Valentine and Winthorpe sell as many stocks as they can at the inflated price.

The correct crop report is released, and the price of orange juice concentrate dramatically drops.

As the stock plummets, Valentine and Winthorpe buy it to ensure maximum profit for themselves. When the stock closes, the two men tell the Dukes they made a bet as to whether or not they could get rich and bankrupt the Dukes at the same time. Winthorpe hands Valentine $1, sealing the deal. The Dukes are left unable to pay for the stocks they have pledged to buy and are bankrupted to cover their debt.

City Locations

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York City, New York, St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Location Types

Mansions, Banks, Clubs/Bars, House, Police/Jails

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Limo, Luxury, Old Hollywood

Trading Places Locations

Filmed in 1983, Trading Places is a beloved American comedy that was directed by the famed filmmaker John Landis. The all-star cast for this popular movie includes Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Don Ameche, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Trading Places traces the tale of an affluent commodities broker and a street hustler who meet when the two are selected as the test subjects for a bet as to the outcome when their lives are completely swapped.

Considered to be a commercial success, Trading Places was highly praised for its cast and unique brand of comedy. The score for the film was nominated for an Academy Award. In subsequent years, the movie has undergone further scrutiny. While some laud it as one of the best Christmas comedies ever made, others are incensed by its frequent racial jokes and profanity.

The filming locations for Trading Places are primarily found in Philadelphia, Pennysylvania with a few scenes shot in New York City. One of the most unique Trading Places film sets is St. Croix, the Virgin Island where the final sequence of the movie was filmed.

Is slapstick comedy your favorite genre? Consider yourselves a Trading Places fan? Why not treat yourself to a trip to visit the filming locations for Trading Places? You’re sure to have a ball!

Fun Fact:

Trading Places was originally written for the comedy duo Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder.

Valentine cons people on the street scene in Trading Places

Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This Trading Places location opens on Valentine kneeling on a cart, pushing himself down the city street while he pretends to be both blind and legless. He runs across two policemen who suspect he is not actually handicapped or blind. One of the policemen stops his cart with his foot. Valentine, still playing blind, asks who it is. The policemen tell him they have had some complaints about people in the area claiming to be crippled and blind when they in fact are not. The following conversation ensues in one of many funny scenes in Trading Places.

Valentine: Oh, I’d love to help you man, but I ain’t seen nothing since I stepped on that landmine in Vietcong back in ’72. It was rough, very painful.

Policeman #2: You were in ‘Nam? So were we. Where?

Valentine: I was in Sang Bang, Dang Gong. I was all over that place, basically a lot of places, a lot of places.

To visit this Trading Places production location, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to public transit options. If traveling by bus, the following lines all have stops at Rittenhouse Square: 16, 2, 21, 27, 4, 402, 409, 42, and 44. Subway routes BSL and MFL also lead here. Rittenhouse Square can be reached by train from the following stations: Airport, Manayunk/Norristown, Media/Elyn, Paoli/Thorndale, Patco, and Warminster.

Valentine struggles to accept his new life scene in Trading Places

Private Residence - 2014 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In this classic Trading Places scene, Valentine is in Winthorpe’s old home. He is dressed in a suit, and he’s finding it difficult to believe his sudden reversal of fortune. He starts juggling a vase and accidentally drops it on the ground, destroying it. He apologizes to the Duke brothers, and the men engage in this conversation together:

Randolph: Perfectly alright, William, it was your vase.

Valentine: That’s a cheap vase, man. That was a fake, right?

Randolph: I think we paid $35,000 for it. But I seem to remember we estimated its value at $50,000 for the insurance company. {He laughs} You see, Mortimer? William has already made us a profit of $15,000.

{The men all laugh}

Valentine: You want me to break something else?

The men: NO!

This Trading Places scene takes place in a private residence in a suburb of Philadelphia. To visit this site, take John F Kennedy Blvd, turning left onto N 20th Street. Make another right onto Market Street and a left onto S 21st Street. Turn left onto Delancey Place, and the former film set can be seen on the right-hand side.

Winthorpe is bailed out by Penelope scene in Trading Places

NYPD 45th Precinct Station House, Bronx, New York City, New York

This Trading Places film set is a local police station where Winthorpe’s bail has been posted by his fiancé Penelope. Penelope waits in a crowded lobby for Winthorpe’s release. The man next to her stares at her, leaving her feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Winthorpe comes through the door looking disheveled and dressed in strange attire.

He calls out her name and runs to her, trying to embrace her, but Penelope resists. Penelope tells him that she is embarrassed by his appearance, and Winthorpe starts to enumerate the things he has been through since his imprisonment. In one of the most memorable lines from this movie, Winthorpe points and yells out, “Those men wanted to have sex with me!”

To visit the infamous city jail where Winthorpe spent a night in prison in Trading Places, follow FRD Drive to I-278 E, taking exit 54 for Bruckner Boulevard. Continue on this route until you reach your destination at Barkley Ave/Marge Jeffries Way.

Valentine proves to be a valuable team member scene in Trading Places

The Seventh Regiment Armory--The Colonel's Reception room, 643 Park Ave, New York City, New York

In one of the best scenes in Trading Places, Valentine sits at the head of the boardroom table in the Dukes’ brokerage firm. He has just advised the brothers about a less-than-wise financial investment in pork bellies. He tells the brothers that pork bellies are going to drop in price, and Randolph asks him why he thinks this. Valentine addresses the brothers, showing an excellent grasp of the financial market is saying.

Valentine: Pork belly prices have been dropping all morning. Which means everybody’s sitting in their office and they’re waiting for them to hit rock bottom, so they can buy cheap and go long. People that own the pork belly contracts are going bat sh*t ‘cause they’re thinking, “Hey, we’re losing all our d*mn money, and Christmas is around the corner, and I ain’t gonna have no money to buy my son the G.I.Joe with the kung fu grip. Okay? And my wife ain’t gonna f—my wife ain’t gonna make love to me cause I ain’t got no money, right?” So, they sitting there panicking. They screaming, “Sell! Sell!” Cause they don’t want lose all their money, right? They out there, panicking right now. I can feel it. They out there. They’re panicking. Look at them.

Just a short distance from NYPD 45th Precinct Station House, you can reach this Trading Places filming location by taking FDR Drive to exit 12 for E 61st street. Turn onto Park Avenue and just up the road, you will discover the Park Avenue Armory.

Winthorpe spots the Dukes, Valentine, and Penelope out for dinner scene in Trading Places

The New York Chamber of Commerce Building - The Great Hall, 65 Liberty Street, New York City, New York

In this scene from Trading Places, the Duke brothers, Penelope, and Valentine are out for dinner with business associates of the brokerage firm. They enjoy a meal in an elegant eatery. It is pouring rain outside, and Winthorpe walks past, stopping when he notices the group in the dining room. Valentine is asked for his opinion on one of the businessman’s ideas.

He tells him he has three reasons why his plan is not sound. His final point is, “And three, judging from all these jewels around your girlfriend’s neck, you’re going to need every penny you’ve got just to keep her happy.” The room falls silent with everyone staring at Valentine. The businessman bursts into laughter, and the group happily continues on with their meal.

Though this stunning building is now closed to the public, you can still view the outer façade at its location on Liberty Street. You can easily access the New York Chamber of Commerce Building by following the short path from Federal Hall which takes approximately three minutes in total.

Valentine finds out about the bet scene in Trading Places

The Seventh Regiment Armory--The Colonel's Reception room, 643 Park Ave, New York City, New York

Valentine is in the bathroom smoking a joint when he hears the Duke brothers enter his office. Randolph gets on his knees to see if Valentine is hiding under the desk. Satisfied that Valentine is not present, he says, “Pay up, Mortimer! I have won the bet.” Mortimer hands him his prize: a single dollar bill. Saying, “Here, one dollar.” They continue in this conversation.

Randolph: We took a perfectly useless psychopath like Valentine and turned him into a successful executive. And during the same time, we turned an honest, hardworking man into a violently deranged would-be killer. {He laughs} Now, what are we going to do about taking Winthorpe back and returning Valentine to the ghetto?

In the same filming location that was used for other scenes in the Dukes’ main offices at Duke and Duke, you will find this former film set within the Park Avenue Armory on New York City’s iconic and elegant Park Avenue.

Conclusion

One of the most beloved slapstick comedies of its time, Trading Places has earned a place in the hearts of people from all over the globe. With most of its scenes shot in Philadelphia or New York City, the urban landscape is quite familiar to moviegoers everywhere. If it’s among your goals to visit Trading Places locations, our comprehensive guide to the various film sets is a great place to start when planning your vacation.