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'Trading Places' turns 30: Five things you didn't know about the greatest Wall Street movie of our time

When I say Trading Places, what do you think of first? Eddie Murphy in the jail scene? "I'm a karate man! Karate man bruises on the inside!" Or maybe it's Dan Aykroyd in possibly the best movie role of his career. "Those men wanted to have SEX with me!" Or more likely it's the image of Jamie Lee Curtis standing in front of the mirror ... Yeah, that's it.

If you ask, they'll say it's the lessons of the stock market and commodities they remember most. The website called this 1983 masterpiece by John Landis "the greatest Wall Street movie ever made." Really? Even above the self-titled flick starring Chuck Sheen and Mikey Douglas? Go figure.

Here are five things we learned by's oral history of Trading Places:

1. The original name of the movie was Black & White. Landis recalls it was based on the Frank Capra screwball economy flicks of the 1930s. It was originally developed for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. …

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It's an Ark of the Covenant coffee table. ... Are you sure?

Pretty sure.

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John Cusack turns 47: Here are his top 47 movies

June 28 always sneaks up on me. It's John Cusack's birthday, a holiday for all '80s fans as we honor the patron saint of our decade ... even if it's a time Cusack himself would prefer to ignore.

These days, Cusack is practically going from role to role. He has 10 films listed in as either completed (but not released), filming, in pre or post production. The one I'm most interested in? Cusack as President Richard Nixon in The Butler. That's due out Aug. 16. In it, he'll appear for the first time with another '80s icon, Forest Whitaker.

A few years ago, on Cusack's 42nd birthday, I ranked his top 42 films. Well, Johnny's been busy since then, so I'll add five more movies to the ranking and republish it here today.


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Friday lost and found: Franke and the Knockouts 'Sweetheart'

The seeds to Lost and Found were sown over a decade ago when songs that I loved from the ‘80s no longer were played on the radio and finding copies of old cassettes and CD reissues proved fruitless. Back in the ‘90s, one of those songs that I thought I might never hear again was a Top 10 hit in 1981 for Franke & the Knockouts called Sweetheart.

But by the turn of the 21st century, the world changed with the explosion of the internet, mp3 music files and websites like Youtube and I finally had my mp3 copy of Sweetheart. The video features lead singer Franke Previte strutting around the boxing ring with his porn mustache. 

Hailing from New Jersey, the band would tally three Top 40 hits before disbanding in 1986. In the early ‘80s, Previte also co-wrote a few songs that the band recorded but failed to make the cut on any of the three Knockout albums. Those songs were (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life and Hungry Eyes that would later become monster hits on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and earned Previte a Grammy.

While not the drummer on Sweetheart, the Knockouts later hired Tico Torres who would later find better success with Bon Jovi.

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Great Scott! A 'Back to the Future' DeLorean made entirely from Legos

Still angry that Mom wouldn't buy you that Back to the Future lunch box or OUTATIME license plate? Maybe a DeLorean Lego set will stop the angry voices inside your head. ("Whoa. That's heavy.")

Actually, it's not heavy at all, because this is indeed made from Legos. It's the first officially approved Back to the Future set. Just 30 years too late for some of us, right?

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What? There's ANOTHER 'In The Name of Love' hit from the '80s?

In August 2008, the '80s Regeneration Tour made its way to Clearwater, Florida and introducing Naked Eyes on stage was none other than a gentleman named Steve Spears. While Always Something There To Remind Me is the go-to Naked Eyes song for radio programmers, the duo of Pete Bryne and Rob Fisher did amass four Top 40 hits during their run. Their last single was (What) In the Name of Love that climbed to No. 39 in the fall of 1984.

The video tells the tale of the boys working a con job at a resort for the wealthy and features Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Lisa Vanderpump as one of the young starlets. Vanderpump can also be seen as the object of desire in the ABC video for Poison Arrow.

Naked Eyes split up later in 1984 and Fisher died in 1999. You can catch Naked Eyes in person this summer at various ‘80s music tours, including the Lost '80s Tour on Aug. 10 in Las Vegas, where Spears and Stuck in the '80s co-host Brad Williams will be holding court again. Join them!

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Back to the Future comic book reinstates Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly

I'm not sure I can say it any more clearly than the headline does: A Back to the Future comic book has, yes, reinstated Eric Stoltz (yeah, the guy from Mask) as Marty McFly. Stoltz was originally cast in the part and even played Marty for the first four weeks of filming. But eventually the filmmakers decided Eric wasn't the right Marty, and reshot the scenes with Michael J. Fox.

ANYHOO ... Slashfilm reports that David Guy Levy‘s comic Back to Back to the Future has gone the other way and features Stoltz as the animated McFly.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Levy says he's never met Stoltz, but called both him and Fox "talented actors." After consulting with attorneys about parody and fair use law, Levy went to work on the comic book. Go to this link to download an issue for free.

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Lost and found: Juice Newton's 'Can't Wait All Night'

Between the short period of 1981 to 1983, Juice Newton ruled the charts collecting seven Top 40 hits, including four Top 10 appearance and two gold singles with Angel of the Morning and Queen of Hearts. In the late summer of 1984, Juice Newton released the beach video for Can't Wait All Night.

The upbeat rocker, written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, peaked at No. 66 on the pop charts and marked Newton's last appearance on the pop charts. When pop stations abandoned Newton and her harder sound, she switched gears in 1985 and returned to her country roots and began to score No. 1 hits on the country charts.

Newton still continues to perform and has a full slate of shows in 2013.

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And ... Wham! George Michael turns 50 years old

It took his constant cameos on TV's Eli Stone before I truly could appreciate the work of George Michael, but I'm happy as hell to wish him a happy 50th birthday today.

The UK's Telegraph is celebrating the big Five-Oh! in a clever roundup of "number" items. Click here for the full list, but my favorites:

5: The number of times Michael has been arrested (four accounts of cannabis possession and driving under the influence, and one for public indecency).

16: Number of years Wham festive single Last Christmas has consecutively entered the German singles chart.

20 million: Copies of Faith sold.

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Every Molly Ringwald outfit in 'Pretty in Pink' ... and a pop quiz

Andie was a fashion icon, or so they say, in Pretty in Pink. But how well do you remember each outfit that Molly Ringwald wears in the John Hughes classic? Buzzfeed has an excellent blog item recapping her entire wardrobe. And yet, they fail to answer the biggest question of all? What's up with the navy blue jump suits they're forced to wear for gym class?

While you ponder that, see if you can answer these five Pretty in Pink trivia questions:

1. What excuse does Blane give for canceling the prom date with Andie?

2. The movie was dedicated to Alexa Kenin and Bruce Weintraub. What was their relationship to the movie?

3. Name the band that plays in the bar scenes but doesn't appear on the movie's soundtrack. (Hint: Ringwald's character in Sixteen Candles has their name written on the school notebook she carries around.)

4. If You Leave by OMD was not the original song intended for the end of the movie. What OMD song was supposed to end the flick, before the script was rewritten?

5. In recent interviews, Molly Ringwald has theorized that one of the Pretty in Pink characters would have come out as gay if the story was projected into the future. Which character did she "out?"

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Searching for today's '80s Lost and Found? 'Don't Look Any Further'

You might look at the name Dennis Edwards and say you don’t know this guy at all. But while the name and face may not ring a bell, trust me, you have heard Edwards voice many times. For many years, Edwards was the lead singer of The Temptations and was the voice of such classics such as Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.

In 1984, Edwards had a solo R&B hit with Don’t Look Any Further that reached No. 2 on the soul charts and No. 72 on the pop charts. The video is a delight starting with a close up of Edwards smacking his lips and then the appearance of a mysterious set of red-gloved hands. The magic hands belong to Siedah Garrett, whose vocals are also featured on fellow glove-lover Michael Jackson and the No. 1 hits Man in the Mirror and I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.

The video fun climaxes when Edwards shows how cool a dude he is and busts out the dancing moves at the 2:20 mark.

Edwards continues to perform under a splinter act called The Temptation Review.

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'Family Ties' creator Gary David Goldberg dies at age 68

Gary David Goldberg, who created '80s TV classic Family Ties, died Saturday at age 68. Mr. Goldberg had been fighting brain cancer.

Other TV shows that Mr. Goldberg created Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. He also produced feature films, including 1989's Dad (with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson), 1995's Bye Bye Love and 2005's Must Love Dogs, with Diane Lane and John Cusack.

But perhaps Mr. Goldberg was best known for Family Ties, which lasted from 1982 to 1989 on NBC and made a star out of Michael J. Fox. Ironically, Mr. Goldberg didn't want Fox to play the role of Alex P. Keaton; he preferred Matthew Broderick, the New York Times reports. It was only through the persistence of the show's casting director that Fox won the role.

"From that point on he was a tireless defender of me," Fox said in a recent interview with Times. "Gary is one of those guys who has no guile in him. His work is a celebration, of life, of relationships, of small family moments."

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Yes, there's actually an '80s song called 'The First Day of Summer'

Welcome to the first day of summer! OK, technically the first day was Friday, but what’s a few days when you’re all you need is some tasty waves and a cool buzz.

While you may remember Tony Carey from his work with Rainbow and Planet P Project, you probably remember him best for the Top 40 smash A Fine, Fine Day. The First Day of Summer was his follow up single and in the summer of 1984 it peaked at No. 33 on the pop charts. The First Day of Summer also appeared in the 1985 movie Secret Admirer.

The video is the forerunner of many a Coors beer commercial as Artic inhabitants suddenly find themselves amongst beauties in bikinis through the magic of video.

This month Carey has released his latest album under Planet P entitled Steeltown.

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National Lampoon Vacation's campsite could be destroyed by Colorado's fires

Remember Kamp Komfort ... where it was $37 for three tents? Well, the landmark camping set from National Lampoon's Vacation is in peril. Stuck in the '80s correspondent Chase Squires says the property is in south Colorado, near the town of South Fork. And firefighters think they may lose the whole town.

Time to find the family truckster and cart some water to Colorado. Griswold!

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On the first day of summer, Martha Quinn wants you to watch this video

Martha Quinn pretty much controls the ebb and flow of the '80s universe, so if Martha says you need to watch this video on the first day of summer -- Blotto's I Wanna Be a Lifeguard -- then YOU WATCH IT!

Blotto formed in 1978 in Albany, N.Y., the offshoot of Star Spangled Washboard Band, which also mixed humor with music. Like so many bands of their genre, Blotto rose to fame thanks to the Dr. Demento Show. The video itself was produced by students at the State University of New York in Albany and has the rare priviledge of being one of the videos shown on the very first day of MTV.

Blotto is still around, in some shape or form, and played earlier in 2013 at an Albany radio station anniversary.

Special thanks to Martha for suggesting this video today on her Facebook page.

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