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Billy Ray Valentine

This character at the beginning of the film is no more than a too bit con and crook. Two wealthy commodity speculators find Billy Ray in prision and plan to use him to settle a dispute they are having between which is more important nature or nurture. Bill Ray is set up in a fine house which used to be Louis Winthorpe's and then given a position at a commodity brokerage house. After a short while Billy Ray is giving out advice people want to hear, and is acting responsibly in every way. To the two brothers that placed Billy Ray in his position his success proves that environement is a huge factor in determing how far one goes in life.

Louis Winthorpe III

Louis is a commodity broker that believes he is on top of his game in every way. He works at the firm of Duke and Duke until the Duke brothers decide to settle a bet about how environment effects success versus genetics. Louis is a guiena pig experimented on to prove their respected points. Louis is stripped of his jobs, framed for selling drugs, and his own butler is paid off to pretend he doesen't know Louis. After a string of bad luck Louis resorts to robbing a Christmas party in a Santa outfit and taking up room and board with a prostitute. By the movie's end Louis figures out the trick that has been played on him and plans his revenge.

Randolph Duke and Mortimer Duke

Randolph and Mortimer are the owners of the Duke and Duke commodity brokerage firm. They make money placing trades for others in markets such as oranges and coffee. They bet between themselves contantly and for a bet of $1 they change Louis Whinthorpe's life from good to bad and watch the outcome for their own academic research on human sociology. By the film's end they have tried to illegally obtain a Federal Crop report before it is released to the general public and they face Louis Whinthorpe who seeks revenge for the way the Duke's mistreated him.


Ophelia played by Jamie Lee Curtis is a working girl that agrees to take care of Whinthorpe at first just for a bit of cash. When Ophelia finds out he can't pay she still lets him stay with her largely out of sympathy.


Coleman is the perfect proverbial Jeeves like Butler that serves Louis Whinthorpe faithfully for years. But when the Duke brothers offer him a lot of money he takes on a new master the former con, Billy Ray Valentine and he pretends to not know Louis Whinthorpe at all from that moment on all for money.

Clarence Beeks

Clarence Beeks is played by the actor that played the principal in the Breakfast Club. In this film the character Clarence is a shady individual that obtains advance reports about crop conditions from the Agriculture Department which he plans to sell to the Duke Brothers. When Louis Whinthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine switch the crop reports with fakes the Duke brothers are ruined.

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