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
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


Meet car dealer Roy L. Fuchs: dishonest, disreputable, disgraceful, he's the bad guy. Across the street, his competitor Rudy Russo: dishonest, disreputable, disgraceful, he's the good guy. Walking into the middle of it is Barbara Jane Fuchs: moral, descent, honest, she's got a lot to learn. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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


Luke Fuchs: $10,000. Is that all it takes to be elected senator these days?
Rudy Russo: Well, that's more like a down payment. After I'm elected its 50-50 on all the graft I take.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


References Ben-Hur (1959) See more »


A City Built Four Square
Written by Dorothy Love Coates
See more »

User Reviews

"Hey, Fifty Dollars never killed anybody...."
26 May 2004 | by firehouse44See all my reviews

Entirely zany early work from talented director Robert Zemeckis about two car yards in direct competition with one another. Superb character actor Jack Warden plays dual roles as the owner of each business. The less glamorous yard is run by kindly Luke Fuchs, and the glitzy dealership is owned by his arrogant, loud mouth brother Roy L. Fuchs ! A youthful Kurt Russell & Gerritt Graham are the two fast talking, womanising car salesmen in the employ of Luke Fuchs, and there is nothing they won't do to increase business including cutting into football games & Presidential broadcasts with their own crazy ads !! Russell gets the bug to get into the big league by becoming a US senator and that's where the fun really starts...his mad schemes are aided by electronic experts Freddie & Eddie ( David L. Lander & Michael McKean aka Lenny and Squiggy from "Laverne & Shirley" )....and also by their foul mouthed mechanic, Jim (Frank McRae). The script is well paced, the actors very capable and funny in their roles, and you can see why talented director Robert Zemeckis went on to bigger and better projects such as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit & Forest Gump. This isn't high brow humour, but most anyone will be able to relate to this very funny swipe at the stereotypical image of the shady used car salesman.

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Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Used Cars See more »

Filming Locations:

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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