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

5.8
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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
...
Elaine
...
...
Albert
...
Max
Cathryn Damon ...
Natalie
...
Jack Heintzel
...
Robert
...
Gas Station Attendant
...
Bill Pike
...
Tom
...
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 hilarious new comedy for everyone who ever wanted to give the oil companies gas pains, turn off the power companies lights and make the banks stand in line for a change. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1981 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

How to Beat the High Cost of Living  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Valley River Center, where the film's "mall scenes" are set, is indeed a thriving part of Eugene, OR, culture. However, the story is set during the commemoration of the "first anniversary of the Valley River Center." In actuality though, the Valley River Center had already been open for ten years as of the filming of this movie. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Elaine: This is an emergency!
Power and Light man: It always is.
Elaine: [Lying] No, I am serious. My mother is a very sick woman. She's in the bed next to me with her kidney machine, which has kept her alive for seven years. This wonderful 84-year-old woman!
Elaine: [pretending to talk to "mama"] What's that mama? The machine isn't going "ta-pocketa ta-pocketa ta-pocketa" anymore? Oh my God! No, I'm not talking to Oral Roberts on the phone mama, it's too late for that. But the man on the other end of the phone cares. You do care, don't you...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Bad News Bears (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Du rififi chez les femmes
3 May 2006 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Believe it or not, this movie actually has some resemblance with Jules Dassin's famous heist classic. OK, it's not Paris, France here. But Eugene, Oregon is a nice place, too. People who are familiar with the town probably will have a few extra laughs. The actual heist in a shopping mall is really well filmed and not entirely implausible. Contrary to the men's rififi the women work their way up from below, but I do not want do disclose more.

How to Beat the High Co$t of Living is based on quite a good and easily digestible script, although some of the jokes are predictable or fall a little flat. The first part of the movie deals with the individual reasons of the three women of different social backgrounds to plan and execute the heist. This gives some insight in the economic situation in the USA in the late 1970s.

Jane Curtin is great in the leading role, she has a terrific screen presence and can bare her teeth like no one else. Her job during the heist is to divert the attention of the crowd from the treasure while it is taken away and she really has some wonderful scenes. I also liked Richard Benjamin, Eddie Albert and Dabney Coleman as male support.

I can recommend this movie as a light yet insightful entertainment.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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On THIS network this morning... samrose66
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Catchy Patrick Williams score with R+B/funk overtones. swr2777-1

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