A hilarious comic salute to those super salesmen whose persuasive pitches transform rattling wrecks into pre-owned dream cars. Jack Warden is brilliant in a double role as two feuding brothers Luke and Roy L. Fuchs, who ow... more »n competing car lots and are trying to drive each other out of business. Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell) is Luke's ace salesman, a charming and conniving cheat and liar who is merely in training for his true ambition?politics. In one of Rudy's most outrageous advertising ploys, he hires a model (Penthouse Pet of the Year Cheryl Rixon) to strip on television, and they all wind up in a crazy automobile stampede involving 200 vintage cars in a high-speed chase that becomes a free-for-all demolition derby.« less
They Say [Money] Never Killed Anyone, but You'll Die Laughin
George McAdams | Alabama, USA | 03/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...when you listen to the audio commentary by Robert Zemeckis, Kurt Russell and Bob Gale! This movie has such little redeeming social qualities, one is almost tempted to never acknowledge having seen it, must less acknowledge that you laughed yourself silly when you saw it in 1980, but I've got to confess. Not only did I enjoy it the first 10 times I saw it, but now with the audio commentary by Zemeckis, Russell and Gale you will have your sides hurting from all your laughing. While Kurt Russell is the star of the movie and he gives a memorable performance, it's Jack Warden in the duo role of competing auto car dealership owners who steals it. I've never seen Warden give a bad performance, and in this movie you get two great performances. However, he's not the only actor who gives an over-the-top performance: Gerrit Graham as the suspicious co-conspirator/salesman is about as disrespectable a salesman as one would ever find, with a libido that would make one hesitant about introducing him to ones sister.Frank McRae plays Jim the mechanic, who along with the beagle that plays Toby, rounds out a cast of true misfitsThis DVD normally would be rated 4 stars, but with the audio commentary by Kemeckis, Russell and Gale you can multiply those by a 1.25 factor for a full 5 stars. One note: DO NOT TRY TO EAT OR DRINK WHILE LISTENING TO THE AUDIO COMMENTARY, cause you'll be laughing so hard you might accidentally choke on your food."
Rick | Las Vegas, NV | 06/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is incredibly funny! It's a movie that pulls no punches, and will hit you square onto your funny bone. Kurt Russell's best role, starring as Rudy Russo, a used car salesmen who's ambition is to run for congress. Rudy works for a guy named Luke Fuchs, who owns the used car lot. His brother, Roy Fuchs, owns another lot directly across the highway. There's one thing Rudy must do before going to the Capitol Building - he first must protect the used car lot he works at before Roy claims the property, which would ultimately be used as part of a new new highway, which would increase business for Roy's lot. Roy will stop at nothing, even murdering his own brother! The script is amazing, the plot is original, and you'll finally know the schemes a used car salesman will employ to get you to buy a total klunker. Toby the dog is a riot! The dog, alone, had me rolling on the floor. Jack Warden puts on a great, great dual-performance as the rival brothers. 'Lenny' and 'Squiggy' from "Laverne & Shirley" star as friends of Rudy's. Al Lewis, the beloved 'Grandpa' from "The Munsters", stars as a mean, tobacco chewing judge. If you are into great movies, don't rent this one... *BUY IT* as part of your video collection!"
A gut busting classic!
Joseph W. Hayes | mobile, alabama United States | 06/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"BEHOLD! PERHAPS THE GREATEST COMEDY EVER MADE,USED CARS IS A MUST HAVE ON DVD.I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THE BONUS FEATURES ARE NOT LISTED ABOVE SO HERE THEY GO:VINTAGE ADVERTISING GALLERY,AUDIO COMMENTARY:ZEMECKIS,GALE,RUSSELL, OUTTAKES,RADIO @ TV PROMOS,PRODUCTION NOTES AND A COOL THING FOR TRUE FANS OF RUSSELL,A TV AD FOR THE ACTUAL CAR LOT,WITH THE REAL OWNER INTRODUCING RUSSELL WHO THEN GIVES A SALES PITCH FOR A CAR ON THE LOT!"
"He thinks I'm lyin', Jim."
McGillicutty | The Sooner Nation | 09/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An uneven, but very funny film with some spectacular laughs. "Used Cars" emerges as the best of the big budget, overblown comedies that had run rampet in the late 70's/early 80's ("1941" stands as the ultimate budget-breaker of the time).
Kurt Russell is dead-on perfect as Rudy Russo, used car dealer and wannabbe local politician. His effort to raise $60,000 to "buy" a seat on the city council seems in peril when his boss (Jack Warden) unexpectedly (but hilariously) dies of a heart attack. The boss's no-good evil twin brother (also Warden) plots to take over the car lot. So Russell and his rag-tag bunch proceed to hide the body of the boss and made outrageous tv commercials in order to raise the money and save the lot.
The supporting characters range from underused (SCTV's Joe Flaherty as a lawyer) to drop-dead funny (Frank McRae as the oversized, single-minded Jim the Mechanic). But Gerrit Graham shines as the nuerotic Jeff whose phobias (such as his avoidence of the color red) are very funny indeed.
The funniest parts of the film deal with the three tv commercials Russell and crew produce. The first one takes place during a football game when Jeff discovers the car he's selling is red. The second one uses strippers and a "disco" theme which must've seemed quite odd to those watching the film at theaters since disco itself had "died" a year earlier. Still, it's pretty funny stuff.
The third one, perhaps the most hilarious single scene ever filmed (well, that's a bit much, but still...), takes place during President Carter's address to the nation. In it, Jeff proceeds to destroy the evil brother's cars as Marshall Lucky. As testiment to how funny this scene is, I've seen no fewer that ten people actually drop to the floor and pound the carpet with their fist in histerics...and that includes my mother.
"Used Cars" also has countless great lines, a wonderful turn by "The Munsters" Al Lewis as an honest, if tough judge, and the beautiful Deborah Harmon as the boss's daughter who unexpectedly shows up and throws a kink into Russell's plans.
The only problem with the film, and it's a fairly big one, is the final twenty minutes which dissolves into an uninspired car chase across the desert and a tacked on "happy" ending. Still, "Used Cars" is really funny and for those of you over 18 (this is not for the kids), a really enjoyable experience.
Note: Look for a scene in which Kurt Russell gets out of bed to answer his phone (the first time, after the "disco" commercial). He points "Elvis-like" to a cheap, two-foot statue of Elvis that he has on his headboard. Kurt Russell played Elvis just two years before on network tv.
What have I done to the children?
A. Gyurisin | Wet, Wild, Wonderful Virginia | 09/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When cineophiles think of classic 80s comedies, I would only hope that Used Cars makes their list. I had the unique opportunity to watch this film, and it took me back to a time when bathroom humor and gross sexual jokes were not needed to create hysterical comedy. It reminded me of a time when spontaneity and simplicity allowed for more laughter than imagined. This was the case with Used Cars. As I am a man in the used car business, I was a bit nervous about watching this film and perhaps seeing myself muddled in the middle. Needless to say that after watching this movie, I believe that every used car salesman (or anyone in sales for that matter) should watch Used Cars for not just Zemeckis' silly look at the profession, but because it actually does cover the true basis needed to run a successful dealership. As I watched this film, I couldn't think that Zemeckis made Russell and Graham's characters into very creative individuals, sometimes bending the law to assist in gaining a stronger customer base. They were smart, shrewd, and clever when it came to making the customer feel comfortable buying a car from them, which opened the door to more laughs per mile than most modern day comedies. Used Cars is a staple in the comedy genre, demonstrating that you can spoof a career, reinvent an age old story, and use mathematics (1 mile of cars = 250 cars) all to make a viewer laugh. It is a film that will make me laugh again and again, proving that it sustained well over the test of time.
I genuinely miss these types of comedies. Used Cars reminded me of a combination of The Blues Brothers, Police Academy, and License to Drive. It reminded me of a time when comedy was funny because of the language, actions, and final result. Sure, it followed a pattern that can be seen in nearly every film from this decade, but it was a tactic that worked well for those looking to make simple audiences laugh with simple jokes. You cannot find this in today's movies at all. What made Used Cars stand out initially is Kurt Russell's obvious enjoyment of his role and his character. Sometimes in films like these you have comedians going through the motions, but overall it doesn't feel as if they are they for anything more than the paycheck. That is not the case with this cast. Either due to the direction of Zemeckis or the obviously funny script by Bob Gale, the entire cast seemed to fall neatly in place. What made this film reach even further was the idea that each of these characters had a separate life. They were not your cliché characters that fell into the same mold. I love that Russell wanted to run for US Senate (a great sequel could have been spawned with this idea) and that Graham's superstitions were true (enough to help Russell in a tight space). I loved the use of McKean and Lander, obviously playing off their characters from Laverne & Shirley. Could you imagine this film today using television stars in different roles? It wouldn't work. Zemeckis pulled together a great cast and Russell fit the part of the used car salesman perfectly. I especially loved the dual role of Jack Warden, who continued to make me laugh again and again with his ancient family feud. This film worked because of the characters and while each are flawed within the film, the actors playing them are as close to comedic perfection as you can get.
With such a strong cast in place, one would imagine that Zemeckis wouldn't have to worry about a strong story. You couldn't be more wrong. The 80s were a time of underdogs moving up and genuinely tangent plans coming together at the last minute. What other film could you find 250 cars running to the desert, all helmed by high school sophomores, each bought by the evil villain from Three Amigos? I miss these types of films. You knew what was going to happen before it did, but you went along for the ride anyway because it was fun. Today's comedies are only half-way there. You watch them knowing how they will end, but the ride just isn't as fun any longer. Used Cars uses the "Keep it Simple, Stupid" technique which created lifelong comedy and a possible cult film amongst salesmen. I thought that the entire premise between Russell and Warden was nearly like watching a cartoon, i.e. the old Bugs Bunny vs. Yosemite Sam. The commercials that Russell and Graham pull off are comic genius adding more to the story and the overall zaniness of the situation. Again, this isn't rocket science comedy, this is simple. It is easy to laugh at the words, the characters, and even the situation because it can be related to you. You, as an audience member, can see the used car salesman, you can laugh at the technique, and you can even find yourself rooting for him closer to the end. It is a story about being passionate about your job, even if it means you have the bottom of the barrel career.
Overall, I thought this film was hysterical. I was ready to watch a dated film that felt like a time warp back to the 80s, but instead what I discovered was huge laughter and crazy characters that I wouldn't mind re-exploring again. Russell was the perfect choice for the role, demonstrating to us that he can move past his "Disney" image and give us something more robust, more comical, and definitely more adult. If you had to watch this film for one person, it would be Jack Warden. His blend of comedy is superb. He is the epitome of the evil car salesman, but does it with the finesse of comedy that his actions are immediately laugh-out-loud funny. Zemeckis has created a gem that will take you back to the greatness of 80s comedy, but also will make you laugh at today's standards. This is a truly funny film that will be enjoyed in this household for years to come!