Used car salesman Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell) needs money to run for State Senate, so he approaches his boss Luke (Jack Warden). Luke agrees to front him the $10,000 he needs, but then encounters an "accident" orchestrated by his brother Roy also played by Warden, 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 <email@example.com>
Estimated Laugh Count: 287 City, 410 Highway. Use these numbers only for comparison. Your actual laughs may vary depending on how you feel about used car salesmen, nude women, spectacular car stunts, and the President of the United States. See more »
The scene where Rudy's commercial in the parking lot of the football game was re-shot because Columbia Pictures executives were appalled by the "Dicknose" glasses that Gerrit Graham wore in the scene. Snippets of it could be scene in the final cut of the film when Kurt Russell holds the glasses at the camera for an instant as his scenes were not re-shot. See more »
When Roy Fuchs approaches Rudy, Jeff and Jim as they are just finishing the burial of the Edsel with Luke in it, Jeff dumps a shovelful of mud on Roy's white shoe. When Roy walks away later, his shoes are both clean. See more »
Don't let the little head do the thinking for the big head.
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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.
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