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How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980)

PG | | Comedy, Crime | 11 July 1980 (USA)
Oregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane
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Elaine
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...
Albert
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Max
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Natalie
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Jack Heintzel
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Robert
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Gas Station Attendant
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Bill Pike
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Tom
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Charlotte
Al Checco ...
Tim Lundy
Susan Tolsky ...
Patty
...
Power & Light Man
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Storyline

Oregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get married and if she wants privacy with her boyfriend, she has to sleep in the car. Even worse, her war veteran father comes to live with her to turn her life upside down. Louise lives a happy life with her veterinarian husband, Albert. She runs an antique shop on the side, but since it doesn't take in any profit, the IRS considers it a hobby. She needs to come up with the money to keep it going, or she will be trouble with the IRS. Elaine's husband has left her for another woman and without any money. She is in a constant struggle with banks, power companies, and gas stations. She needs money to get by and also catches the eye of police officer Jack. The local mall is having a contest that features a giant money ball that states it will help fight the inflation. Elaine comes up with a plan to steal the ... Written by Pat McCurry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A new comedy for everyone who ever wanted to do to the System what the System's been doing to them. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Beat the High Cost of Living  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Byron Morrow's final movie. See more »

Goofs

A crew member is visible in a car bumper at the start of the garage sale scene. See more »

Quotes

Louise: Oh, I don't know, there's got to be some way we can make money.
Elaine: We can make porno films and all wear ski masks.
Jane: No, Robert and I got bombed out one night. We put a little "I love you" tattoo on my ankle.
Elaine: [to Jane] Ok, we'll wear masks, you wear socks.
Louise: Come on, let's get out of here.
Elaine: What do you think about a doggy bag for the butter?
See more »

Connections

References The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

funny 70s comedy
9 May 2001 | by (Weaverville, NC) – See all my reviews

After the success of NINE TO FIVE(another all-female lead comedy that took pot shots at the then-current economic malaise), the public was treated to HOW TO BEAT THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, a film that rides mainly on the comic efforts of Susan Saint-James, Jane Curtain, and Jessica Lange. All three women are facing various economic crises: Saint-James is a divorcee struggling with late child-support payments from her high-school coach ex; Curtain is a housewife dumped by her two-timing husband; and Lange is a dentist's wife whose side-line hobby of an antique store is breaking them. What to do? Plan a heist from a public relations gimmick at a local mall: a giant dome full of money that is the prize to a lottery. The comedy comes from the way these three bandits plan their rip-off. The film is full of various in-jokes about inflation and the energy crisis which used to look dated but now are becoming painfully relevant again. Garrett Morris takes a great cameo as an electric company worker whom Jane Curtain tries to hoodwink into turning her electricity back on. ("What's that mother? Your dialysis machine stopped going cur-chunk, cur-chunk? No, I'm not on the phone with Oral Roberts!")Not a masterpiece, to be sure, but a fun way to while away the time.


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