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Encyclopedia > Coming to America
Coming to America
Directed by John Landis
Produced by Leslie Belzberg
George Folsey Jr.
Mark Lipsky
Written by Eddie Murphy (story)
David Sheffield (screenplay)
Barry W. Blaustein (screenplay)
Starring Eddie Murphy
Arsenio Hall
Shari Headley
James Earl Jones
John Amos
Eriq La Salle
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) June 29, 1988 (USA)
Running time 116 minutes
Language English
Budget $28,000,000
IMDb profile

Coming to America is a 1988 comedy film directed by John Landis. The screenplay was written by David Sheffield, Barry W. Blaustein, and Eddie Murphy, based on an idea and an original script by Art Buchwald. Murphy was joined by James Earl Jones, Arsenio Hall and Madge Sinclair in starring roles.[1] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... John Landis (born August 3, 1950 in Chicago) is an American movie actor, director, writer, and producer. ... Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... Sheffield was one of the writers for the Nutty Professor David Sheffield is an American comedy film writer best known for his screen writing of The Nutty Professor and the Nutty Professor II: The Klumps films. ... Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... Arsenio Hall at the 1989 Emmy Awards Arsenio Hall (February 12, 1955) is an American comedian, talk show host, and actor. ... Shari Headley (born July 15, 1964 in Queens, New York) is an African-American actress. ... James Earl Jones (b. ... John Amos (born John Amos Jr. ... Eriq La Salle (born July 23, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American actor and director, best known for his portrayals of Darryl in the 1988 comedy film Coming to America and Dr. Peter Benton during the first eight seasons of the NBC drama series ER. Eriq La Salle directed... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... Reality television is a genre of television programming which presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and features ordinary people instead of professional actors. ... Victoria Beckham (née Adams), (born April 17, 1974 in Harlow, Essex, England) is an English singer, songwriter and fashion designer. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... Comedy film is genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humor. ... John Landis (born August 3, 1950 in Chicago) is an American movie actor, director, writer, and producer. ... Sheffield was one of the writers for the Nutty Professor David Sheffield is an American comedy film writer best known for his screen writing of The Nutty Professor and the Nutty Professor II: The Klumps films. ... Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... Arthur Buchwald (October 20, 1925 – January 17, 2007) was an American humorist best known for his long-running column that he wrote in The Washington Post, which in turn was carried as a syndicated column in many other newspapers. ... James Earl Jones (b. ... Arsenio Hall at the 1989 Emmy Awards Arsenio Hall (February 12, 1955) is an American comedian, talk show host, and actor. ... Madge Sinclair (April 28, 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica— December 20, 1995 in Los Angeles, California) was a Jamaican actress. ...

Contents

Plot summary

Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), the prince and heir to the throne of the fictitious African country, Zamunda, is discontented with being pampered all his life. The final straw is when his parents (James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair respectively) present him with a bride-to-be he has never met before, trained to and desirous of mindlessly obeying his every command. Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... James Earl Jones (b. ... Madge Sinclair (April 28, 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica— December 20, 1995 in Los Angeles, California) was a Jamaican actress. ...


Akeem concocts a plan to travel to America to find a wife he can both love and respect. He and servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall) settle on Queens, New York, and after several scrapes, find an apartment and begin working at a local restaurant called McDowell's, a blatant copy of McDonald's, passing themselves off as students. When he first meets Akeem and Semmi, owner Mr. McDowell (John Amos) explains all the minute differences between his place and McDonald's, ending with the line, "They use the sesame seed bun. My buns have no seeds." Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Arsenio Hall at the 1989 Emmy Awards Arsenio Hall (February 12, 1955) is an American comedian, talk show host, and actor. ... Queens County, often referred to as simply Queens, is the largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. It is home to New York Citys two major airports (John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia), the New York Mets baseball team, the USTA National Tennis Center, Silvercup... NY redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Coming to America. ... McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. ... John Amos (born John Amos Jr. ... Binomial name Sesamum indicum Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a crop grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds. ...


Akeem falls in love with Lisa (Shari Headley), the daughter of the restaurant's owner, Mr. McDowell. The rest of the film centers on Akeem's attempts to win Lisa's hand in marriage, while adjusting to life in America and dodging his royal duties and prerogatives. Shari Headley (born July 15, 1964 in Queens, New York) is an African-American actress. ...


Cast

Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ... Arsenio Hall at the 1989 Emmy Awards Arsenio Hall (February 12, 1955) is an American comedian, talk show host, and actor. ... James Earl Jones (b. ... John Amos (born John Amos Jr. ... McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Coming to America. ... Madge Sinclair (April 28, 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica— December 20, 1995 in Los Angeles, California) was a Jamaican actress. ... The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is one of the largest media and entertainment corporations in the world. ... Mufasa, Simbas father The Lion King is the Walt Disney Companys 32nd animated film, and one of its most successful. ... Shari Headley (born July 15, 1964 in Queens, New York) is an African-American actress. ... Eriq La Salle (born July 23, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American actor and director, best known for his portrayals of Darryl in the 1988 comedy film Coming to America and Dr. Peter Benton during the first eight seasons of the NBC drama series ER. Eriq La Salle directed... Frankie Faison, often credited as Frankie R. Faison is one of those actors which many people may recognise, but not know his name. ... Vanessa Bell Calloway (born Vanessa Bell on March 20, 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) is an African-American actress. ... Anderson hosting Family Feud. ... Jake Steinfeld (born February 21, 1958) is an American actor and fitness personality. ... Calvin Lockhart (October 18, 1934 - March 29, 2007) was a Bahamian actor, who was born and died in Nassau, Bahamas. ... Midori and Crystal Knight Michele Evette Watley (stage name: Midori) was born on July 19 , 1968 in Durham, North Carolina , USA and is the younger sister of Grammy Award winning R&B singer Jody Watley. ... Cuba Gooding, Jr. ... Ralph Rexford Bellamy (June 17, 1904 – November 29, 1991) was a Tony Award-winning American actor with a career spanning sixty-two years. ... Dominic Felix Ameche (May 31, 1908 – December 6, 1993) was an American actor. ... This is an article on the 1983 movie. ... Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American actor. ... Helen Hanft (born April 1, 1937) is an American actress. ... Clint Smith (December 12, 1913 in Assinioia, Saskatchewan - July 4, 1990) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played for the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. ...

Production

Because of the obvious name similarity, the film's producers had to obtain permission from McDonald's before using the name McDowell's. The scenes in McDowell's were actually filmed at a Wendy's restaurant located at 8507 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens. McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. ... Wendys is an international chain of fast food restaurants founded by Dave Thomas that sells primarily hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries and beverages. ... A view down Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. ... Queens Boulvard in Elmhurst, Queens NY. Macys and Queens Center Mall can be seen in the background. ...


Like many of Eddie Murphy's films, Coming to America features Murphy in several different roles, this time paired with Arsenio Hall, who also plays multiple roles. For example, Hall plays Reverend Brown, who introduces Randy Watson (Murphy) and his band Sexual Chocolate, who perform a terrible rendition of Whitney Houston's song "Greatest Love of All" at the "Black Awareness Rally." In the barbershop scenes, Murphy and Hall (heavily madeup) play the elderly barbers Clarence and Morris, who engage in a furious debate with Sweets about the boxing skills of Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano rather than attending to Akeem's hair. The barber scene is especially notable because Murphy plays both Akeem and Clarence simultaneously, effectively giving himself a haircut. Murphy also plays the old Jewish man in the barbershop who calls Akeem "Kunta Kinte", the Roots character played by LeVar Burton. Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American pop and R&B singer, songwriter, actress, film producer, and former model. ... Greatest Love of All is the fourth and final single from Whitney Houstons self-titled first album, Whitney Houston, released in April 1986. ... Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), best known as Joe Louis and nicknamed The Brown Bomber, a native of Lexington, Alabama, is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champions of all time. ... Rocky Marciano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969), born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was the heavyweight champion of the world from 1952 to 1956. ... Kunta Kinte (or Kunta Kunte) is the central character of the first half of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, and of the television mini-series Roots, based on the book. ... Categories: Literature stubs | 1976 books | American novels | Books starting with S ... Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. ...


Famed South African chorus, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, sings Mbube during the opening sequence (the song is known as The Lion Sleeps Tonight in America). The group has gone on to record several different versions of Mbube; however, the version heard in Coming to America has not been released on its soundtrack or on CD as of 2006. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a Grammy Award-winning male group from South Africa that sings in the vocal style of isicathamiya and mbube. ... The Lion Sleeps Tonight began as a 1939 African popular music hit Mbube that, in modified versions, also became a hit in the US and UK. Mbube (Zulu for lion) was first recorded by its writer, Solomon Linda, and his group, The Evening Birds, in 1939. ... The Lion Sleeps Tonight began as a 1939 African popular music hit Mbube that, in modified versions, also became a hit in the US and UK. Mbube (Zulu for lion) was first recorded by its writer, Solomon Linda, and his group, The Evening Birds, in 1939. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


John Landis' calling card/easter egg, See You Next Wednesday, appears on a science-fiction movie poster in the subway station after Lisa storms off the train and Akeem follows her. See You Next Wednesday is a fictional film that is the trademark of film director John Landis. ... Science Fiction redirects here. ...


Lawsuit

The film was the subject of the Buchwald v. Paramount civil suit, filed by Art Buchwald in 1990 against the film's producers on the grounds that the film's idea was stolen from a 1982 script that Paramount had optioned from Buchwald. Buchwald won the breach of contract action and the court ordered money damages. The parties later settled the case before an appeal. Buchwald v. ... Arthur Buchwald (October 20, 1925 – January 17, 2007) was an American humorist best known for his long-running column that he wrote in The Washington Post, which in turn was carried as a syndicated column in many other newspapers. ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... Breach of contract is a legal concept in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other partys performance. ...


In popular culture

References to the movie in later pop culture:

  • There is a Bulgarian band, called Zamunda Banana Band that performs covers of evergreens with humorous Bulgarian lyrics. It is a duo of two Bulgarians from Plovdiv that pretend to be Africans and speak broken Bulgarian with a funny accent.
  • In a song by Dipset rap duo S.A.S., called Coming to America, one of the members says "Now we're coming to America like Eddie Murphy".

In their 2006 single "That's that," Snoop Dogg and R. Kelly allude to a scene in the movie wherein Akeem is being bathed by topless, female servants, extracting the line "The royal penis is clean, Your Heiress." Additionally, the melody used for “That’s that” is extrapolated from the background music during this scene. Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Coming to America is a 1988 romantic comedy film directed by John Landis. ... Samuel L. Jackson wearing a Jheri curl in Pulp Fiction. ... Family Force 5 (often abbreviated as FF5, formerly known as The Phamily and The Brothers) is a Christan band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. ... Solomon Olds (also known as Soul Glow Activatur) is the lead singer of the Christian rock band Family Force 5. ... Plovdiv (Bulgarian: ) is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, with a population of 341,873([1]). It is the administrative centre of Plovdiv Province in southern Bulgaria, as well as the largest and most important city of the historical region of Upper (or Northern) Thrace, famous for its... The Diplomats are a Harlem, New York-based hip hop group who are more commonly known as Dipset. ... SAS may be: Airlines and Hotels Scandinavian Airlines, an airline company in Denmark and Sweden SAS Braathens, an airline company in Norway SAS Group, an airline and hotel company in Europe, based in Stockholm, Sweden. ... Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ...


References

  1. ^ Thane Rosenbaum wrote, "In 1995, the syndicated columnist Art Buchwald prevailed after a seven-year legal battle against Paramount Pictures, claiming that he had submitted the idea, and the original script, for the Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America, without ever being properly compensated or acknowledged for his efforts. The trial court eventually agreed with Buchwald, although the damage award that he received was considerably less than what he had sought, and even less than what he eventually had to pay out in legal fees. The Myth of Moral Justice, page 182.

Arthur Buchwald (October 20, 1925 – January 17, 2007) was an American humorist best known for his long-running column that he wrote in The Washington Post, which in turn was carried as a syndicated column in many other newspapers. ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... Edward Eddie Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York City[1]) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Coming to America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (798 words)
Coming to America is a 1988 romantic comedy film directed by John Landis.
Faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage to a woman he has never met, Akeem pleads with his father, the King (James Earl Jones), to be allowed to go to the America to find a bride of his own choosing.
King Jaffe tells her that Akeem had just come to "sow his royal oats" and had a bride waiting back in Zamunda, which upsets her even further.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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