Used Cars (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  11 July 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,106 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 61 critic

When the owner of a struggling used car lot is killed, it's up to the lot's hot-shot salesman to save the property from falling into the hands of the owner's ruthless brother and used-car rival.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Deborah Harmon ...
Sam Slaton (as Joseph P. Flaherty)
Andrew Duncan ...


Used car salesman Rudy Russo needs money to run for State Senate, so he approaches his boss Luke. Luke agrees to front him the $10,000 he needs, but then encounters an "accident" orchestrated by his brother Roy, who runs the car lot across the street. Roy is hoping to claim title to his brother's property because Roy's paying off the mayor to put the new interstate through the area. After Luke disappears, it's all out war between the competing car shops, and no nasty trick is off limits as Rudy and his gang fight to keep Roy from taking Luke's property. Then Luke's daughter shows up. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mit einem Bein im Kittchen  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Kurt Russell on the DVD Commentary, he kept having trouble saying the line "Best salad bar in town: Airport Lanes!". After constantly flubbing the line, Robert Zemeckis had to mouth the line to Russell so he would get it right. See more »


When the judge measures the 1974 Mercury Montego, he says "You're two inches short." Jack Warden laughs and strikes the trunk lid, and the license plate drops, showing the gas cap. The gas cap on a 1974 Montego is really above the rear bumper, between the tail lights, behind a door. See more »


Rudy: Margaret, let's take a look under the hood, shall we?
Margaret: WHAT!
See more »


References Ben-Hur (1959) See more »


The Stripper
Music by David Rose
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User Reviews

4 January 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

******************SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!******************************

There are not many American films made any more which are as inherently cynical and as satirical as this. I know Rudy gives up his chance of becoming Senator to help Barbara but the last image we see is him giving the spiel to an old woman. The makers knew they wouldn't be able to get away with making a film which didn't have some sort of phoney closure so they stuck in the big finale, but they mean for us to be aware of Rudy's true identity; once a hustler, always a hustler.

It is also incredibly funny, packed with incidental pleasures as well as the foregrounded plot. In many ways the film could have been improved if they had just concentrated on the machinations of the rival dealerships but I think the film did need something more concrete to hang the narrative on. The last half an hour is a little disappointing but given that the preceding hour and a bit was so good, one can forgive them this.

There are so many things to mention I think I'll just list a few: Toby the dog, the two guerilla broadcasters, Rudy's first commercial, Jeff conning a customer into thinking he has killed the dog. There are so many great moments I can't think why this film isn't better known than it is.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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