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Eddie Murphy, who played Billy Ray Valentine
Eddie Murphy, who played Billy Ray Valentine

Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The plot focuses on commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III, played by Dan Aykroyd, and street hustler Billy Ray Valentine, played by Eddie Murphy (pictured), who are the subject of a bet to test how each man will perform when their lives are swapped. Trading Places was the fourth-highest-grossing film of 1983 in the United States and Canada and received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the cast and the film's revival of the screwball comedy genre. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score and won two BAFTA awards. The film has been praised as one of the greatest comedy films and Christmas films ever made, but retrospective assessments have criticized its use of racial jokes and language. In 2010, the film was referenced in congressional testimony concerning the reform of the commodities trading market designed to prevent the insider trading demonstrated in Trading Places. (Full article...)

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Ruddigore is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy operas and the tenth of fourteen comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan, and was first performed by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre in London on 22 January 1887. The first night was not altogether a success, as critics and the audience felt that Ruddygore (as it was originally spelled) did not measure up to its predecessor, The Mikado. However, after it was revived by D'Oyly Carte in 1920, the work was reassessed more positively. This illustration was created by the British illustrator H. M. Brock for the 1921 revival of Ruddigore at the Prince's Theatre in London. Published in the October 29 issue of The Sphere, it depicts a scene from the opera in which the ghosts of Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd's ancestors step out of their picture frames and accuse him of not having committed a crime every day in accordance with the family curse.

Poster credit: H. M. Brock; restored by Adam Cuerden

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