The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.

  • A small town in rural Australia (Paris) makes its living by causing car accidents and salvaging any valuables from the wrecks. Into this town come brothers Arthur and George. George is killed when the Parisians cause their car to crash, but Arthur survives and is brought into the community as an orderly at the hospital. But Paris is not problem free. Not only do the Parisians have to be careful of outsiders (such as insurance investigators), but they also have to cope with the young people of the town who are dissatisfied with the status quo.

  • Towing a caravan in which they live, brothers George and Arthur Waldo, who have no one else in the world, drive around Australia looking for work. George does all the driving as Arthur killed an elderly pedestrian a year ago with a car, and although not his fault, emotionally has not been able to get behind the wheel since. George has also taken care of Arthur since that incident, despite the two not particularly liking each other. One dark evening, George dies after crashing the car and caravan while driving off a winding rural road outside the small town of Paris, while Arthur is relatively unharmed. Arthur feels guilty as he feels George would still be alive if he was driving. Although he was asleep right before the accident, Arthur remembers seeing a blinding bright light just before George drove off the road, the light which he is uncertain if real or his imagination. Because of his emotional issues, which now includes feeling guilt over two deaths and not being able to drive, these issues which are supported by the medical evaluation of local doctor, Dr. Midland, Arthur is convinced by Paris mayor, Len Kelly, to live in Paris, and be part of his family. In his appointed jobs, first as an orderly in Dr. Midland's psych ward (named the Bellevue Ward) and then as the town's parking superintendent, Arthur learns of the town's many secrets, all orchestrated by the mayor, the resulting war brewing between the older and younger generations who have differing views of what they all get out of the mayor's scheme, and the reason why no one ever leaves town.

  • A man's car breaks down in a country town, somewhere in New South Wales. His brother has been killed, and his fear of cars has returned full-blown, yet accidents around here are more common than strict coincidence would allow, and just leaving the town becomes a problem all of its own. Especially when the various factions in town start a feud that has been brewing for a long time...


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