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Used Cars (1980)

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.


Robert Zemeckis

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1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Rudy Russo
Jack Warden ... Roy L. Fuchs / Luke Fuchs
Gerrit Graham ... Jeff
Frank McRae ... Jim the Mechanic
Deborah Harmon ... Barbara Fuchs
Joe Flaherty ... Sam Slaton (as Joseph P. Flaherty)
David L. Lander ... Freddie Paris
Michael McKean ... Eddie Winslow
Michael Talbott ... Mickey
Harry Northup ... Carmine
Alfonso Arau ... Manuel
Al Lewis ... Judge Harrison
Woodrow Parfrey ... Mr. Ghertner
Andrew Duncan ... Charlie
Dub Taylor ... Tucker


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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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 »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mit einem Bein im Kittchen See more »

Filming Locations:

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,715,321, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film features the comic pairing of Michael McKean and David L. Lander , famous for their roles as Lenny and Squiggy in the television series Laverne & Shirley (1976), which was still in production at the time of this film's release. See more »


After Toby is "run over", Jeff (Gerrit Graham) picks him up, but the rock he had pushed under the left rear wheel to simulate the dog being run over is now gone. Additionally, the tire track for the "left wheel" is only a few feet from the next row of cars, far too close for the Vista Cruiser to pass on that side. See more »


Judge H. H. Harrison: For uttering those contemptuous words in my presences, I'm goin' to have your balls in a sling.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's closing credits state: "The producers wish to thank the governor, people and motion picture office of the State of Arizona for their cooperation in the production of this motion picture." See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 7 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »


References Grease (1978) See more »


The Stripper
Music by David Rose
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User Reviews

The Most Underrated, Overlooked Comedy EVER!
2 January 2016 | by valleycapfanSee all my reviews

This classic was largely overlooked back in 1980, due to a botched release and competition from Airplane! Even 35 years later, it still provides huge laughs and is a great vehicle for a then-young Kurt Russell. Truly raunchy, but not gratuitously so, this is definitely a movie for guys (and maybe some women who have a good sense of humor) and takes advantage of the era before political correctness took over(think Blazing Saddles). The supporting cast is terrific (including "Toby" the dog), the faux commercials are priceless, and the wild ending unforgettable, regardless of the silliness of it all.

One last thing: if you get the DVD, definitely watch the movie with the commentary by Kurt Russell, Bob Gale, and Bob Zemenkis. It's by far the best commentary I've seen for any movie and is nearly as funny as the movie itself. The fact that it was made 20 years after the movie was released means they have fun pointing out the films technical flaws and back stories.

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