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Gridlock (1980)

In Los Angeles, there is the Golden Triangle Freeway Interchange. The 5, 405, and 10 all crossover each other. As long as the traffic can move through the Triangle, the commute runs smooth.... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Buzz Gregory
Long Hauler (as Bill Bryant)
Rod Burton ...
Mayor Julio Escontrerez
Louise Gregory
General Caruthers
Senor Smooth (voice)
Joel Lawrence ...


In Los Angeles, there is the Golden Triangle Freeway Interchange. The 5, 405, and 10 all crossover each other. As long as the traffic can move through the Triangle, the commute runs smooth. On this faithful morning, 3 accidents happen, simultaneously, causing all of Los Angeles to gridlock, trapping cars on the freeways for the entire day. A TV Movie in the style of Love Boat and Fantasy Island, multiple stories intersect with each other. Funny scenes, cute stories. Written by David

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Plot Keywords:

traffic jam | See All (1) »


A Freeway Full of Superstars!




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Release Date:

2 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great American Traffic Jam  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Howard Hesseman plays the voice of the morning Drive time DeeJay, Senor Smooth. He later became a star playing morning DeeJay Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati. See more »


Robbie Reinhardt: [Speaking urgently on the phone] Hello, my name's Reinhardt, I'm trying to find a woman, my wife, she's pregnant!
Speed-O: That's a switch. Most guys are looking for a woman that isn't pregnant.
Floyd 'Snake' Kraslowski: [Speaking urgently on the radio] Speed-O, this woman's having a baby in my cab! I don't know anything about having a baby!
Speed-O: Calm down Snake! You sound like Butterfly McQueen!
[Thinks for a moment]
Speed-O: Snake, this is Mr. Reinhardt, I think you two better get to know each other!
See more »

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User Reviews

All Star Television Cast. I thought it was Funny.
6 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

When a series of auto mishaps cause several traffic jams, John Beck must save the day or run the risk of his wife, Shelly Fabares, and the kids running off on vacation without him.

The accidents alone were amusing. Abe Vigoda as a crash helmet-wearing driver instructor to student Nedra Volz ("There's a hole. Should I go in there?"); Wink Martindale as a frustrated golfer who takes his revenge out on the interstate when two truckers drive by and ruin his game (Martindale's calm demeanor as he sends those golf balls out into the traffic was hilarious.) and finally the truckers themselves wreck, one carrying vodka and the other oranges. Guess what they ended up doing?

The stories involve Desi Arnaz trying to get to his pregnant wife (Christopher Norris) who is being driven to the hospital by a cab driver named Snake (Vic Tayback); Ed MacMahon and Rue McLanahan as a wealthy, unhappy couple (odd casting, but they all but stole the show); the unhappy band with LIsa Hartman as a lead singer and ubiquitous acting staple Larry Hankin as the guitarist, and Fabares and Beck's unhappy marriage.

All end up stuck in the traffic mishaps, with Beck trying to find Fabares with the kids in the camper, Arnaz borrowing the band's car phone to call the cab company to find Norris, and McLanahan trading her fur for a better spot in line to use the port-a-potty. Hands down, the McLanahan-McMahon resolution, while nice and neat, is terribly cute, especially with ol' Ed on that motorbike at the end.

With guest appearances galore, from Lyle Waggoner as the incompetent traffic controller to Marcia Wallace all but reprising her 'Bob Newhart' role as the traffic division secretary, this movie watches like a less cliched episode of Love Boat without the problem-solving crew, except for Beck, that is.

And yes, the band performance at the end was the perfect conclusion to this light-hearted bit of fun.

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