5.9/10
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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:
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Jane
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Elaine
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...
Albert
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Max
...
Natalie
...
Jack Heintzel
...
Robert
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Gas Station Attendant
...
Bill Pike
...
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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Beat the High Cost of Living  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Byron Morrow. See more »

Goofs

Several closeups of the money ball clearly show that all the bills in it are dollar bills. See more »

Quotes

Elaine: [Louise has just jumped in the water to get the bag of money] I thought you said you couldn't swim!
Louise: [flailing her arms] I can't!
Elaine: [groans] Ok, You'll go get the money bag and I'll save the genius.
Jane: You know, we could split up the money right now...
Elaine: SWIM! NOW!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bill Murray/Delbert McClinton (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A buried minor treasure

This movie is swimming in 1970's economy humor, there's never enough money for everything. Bills can't get paid, and a radio announcer says with relief in his voice that the cost of living went up ONLY 2%.

The humor may date it for some and make it fly over people's heads that were too young to remember the economic malaise of the late 70's (I barely remember it, my being a kid back then).

But if you get past that, what you have here is a smart and entertaining caper film where the people pulling the caper are all female. June Curtain, Jessica Lange and Susan Saint James make up the team that conspires to make a heist.

Dabney Coleman proves he can actually play a sweet guy with his turn as a Police man which falls for Jane Curtain's character. Richard Benjimin has some great one-liners playing Jessica Lange's animal doctor husband. Garrett Morris has a great cameo.

I saw this at the movies when it first came out and found it to be very funny and enjoyable. Years later I sought it out and found that it has been out of print on video for a number of years. Finally, I found a copy to rent. You should try to find a copy too. It's a fun film


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