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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had originally developed the script for Universal, but when that studio passed on it they took it to Columbia Pictures, which was the co-production company of 1941 (1979), which Zemeckis and Gale had written. Columbia head Frank Price loved the script and quickly green lit the film. Steven Spielberg, who was directing "1941" at the time, would go on to Executively Produce this film. See more »
Jeff pulls up sharply next to the tow truck in front of the train, and proceeds to fiddle with the tilt tray controls to roll the car on the back off, yet the driver of the truck fails to react in any way. See more »
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 »
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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