Coming to America

Paramount Pictures Released 1988




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Movie Summary

John Landis

In Zamunda, Joffer is fed up with being treated like royalty by his parents King Jaffe and Queen Aeolon so he sets his sites for Queens, New York. Akeem, along with his servant Semmi, settle in Queens under assumed identities of students to help Akeem find his future queen. Akeem and Semmi get jobs at the local McDowell's restaurant and Akeem soon finds himself seeking the hand of Cleo McDowell's daughter, Lisa. Akeem then proceeds to attempt to woo Lisa and make her his bride. The king and queen of Zamunda are soon alerted to Akeem's plan, however, and they take it upon themselves to travel to America and see that it is stopped. Lisa finds out that Akeem is not who he says he is and becomes angry. She leaves Akeem forcing him to return to Africa and marry his arranged bride.


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Though Coming to America is a romantic comedy the director steers the film more often toward quick, in-and-out comic situations and gags that are only mildly funny. In part this is...

  • 10


    Coming to America starts on a bathroom joke, quickly followed by a gag about private parts, then wanders in search of something equally original for Eddie Murphy to do for another ...

  • 10

    Los Angeles Times Sheila Benson

    James Earl Jones proves that he is probably the only actor in America who can wear the skin of a full-grown lion-jewels in its eyes, its tail in its mouth-over street clothes and n...

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy

Prince Akeem / Clarence / Randy Watson / Saul

Arsenio Hall

Arsenio Hall

Semmi / Extremely Ugly Girl / Morris / Reverend Brown

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

King Jaffe Joffer

John Amos

John Amos

Cleo McDowell

Madge Sinclair

Madge Sinclair

Queen Aoleon

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Production Budget - $39,000,000
      Domestic Gross - $128,152,301 (3rd)
      Worldwide Gross - $288,752,301 (3rd)

      Domestic Adjusted for 2013 - $254,433,765
      Worldwide Adjusted for 2013 - $573,289,240

    • Filming Locations include:
      Simi Valley, California
      Brooklyn, New York
      Elmhurst, Queens
      Manhattan, New York
      Los Angeles, California
      New York City

    • Taglines:
      1. This summer, Prince Akeem discovers America
      2. The Four Funniest Men in America are Eddie Murphy

    • Music:
      Coming to America
      Written by Nile Rodgers and Nancy Huang
      Performed by The System
      Addicted to You
      Written by Gerald Levert, Eddie Levert and Marc Gordon
      Performed by Levert
      All Dressed Up (Ready to Hit the Town)
      Written by Jonathan Phillip Moffett
      Performed by Chico DeBarge
      Better Late Than Never
      Written by Freddie Washington and Allan Scott
      Performed by The Cover Girls
      Come Into My Life
      Written by Paul Chitten and Pamela Phillips-Oland
      Performed by Laura Branigan
      Comin' Correct
      Written by Dr. Dre
      Performed by J.J. Fad
      The Greatest Love of All
      Written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed
      Performed by Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate
      I Like it Like That
      Written by Michael Rodgers and Lloyd Tolbert
      Performed byMichael Rodgers
      I Got It
      Written by Nile Rodgers and Nancy Huang
      Performed b yEddie Murphy
      Livin' the Good Life
      Written by Nile Rodgers and Gardner Cole
      Performed bySister Sledge
      OOO Baby Baby
      Written by William Robinson and Warren Moore
      Performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
      Mbube (Wimoweh)
      Written by Soloman Linda
      Performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
      Pride and Joy
      Written by Norman Whitfield, Marvin Gaye and William Stevenson
      Performed by Marvin Gaye
      That's the Way It Is
      Written by Stock, Aitken and Waterman
      Performed by Mel & Kim
      To Be Loved
      Written by Tyran Carlo, Berry Gordy jr and Gwendolyn Gordy
      Performed by Jackie Wilson
      Written by Allee Willis and Danny Sembello
      Performed by Nona Hendryx
      You're A Wonderful One
      Written by Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland
      Performed by Marvin Gaye

    • Academy Awards Nominations:
      1. Costume Design
      2. Makeup

    • Other Production Companies:
      Eddie Murphy Productions


More Info About This Movie


Comedy, Drama