Coming to America

"When you think of garbage, think of Akeem!"

Eddie Murphy was riding high through the 80s. John Landis, on the other hand, had had a string of flops, not to mention a very difficult Twilight Zone trial. Considering their success together with Trading Places, Murphy thought Landis could use a boost and brought him on to direct his fairy tale film Coming to America. It was the hit Landis needed, and yet another film cementing that Murphy was king of the box office. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Eddie Murphy series with Landis’ 1988 film, Coming to America.

We talk about why the film doesn’t hold up that well for us now nearly 30 years after its release, even if it did seem to hold up more at the time. We chat about the script problems and director/actor relationship problems this film had, and how things ended up. We look at the talent and what they’re bringing to the table – Murphy, Arsenio Hall, John Amos, James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle and more. And speaking of talent, we discuss Rick Baker and his amazing effects work to transform Murphy and Hall into several other characters and how these not only hold up for us but also how they triggered an entirely new direction for Murphy’s career to head. And we talk about the music and how 80s it feels.

It’s a fun conversation about a film that neither of us connected with nearly 30 years after we first saw the film. But it’s still fun to watch and discuss, so check it out!

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