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Used Cars

Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Produced by Bob Gale
John Milius
Steven Spielberg
John G. Wilson
Written by Robert Zemeckis &
Bob Gale
Starring Kurt Russell
Jack Warden
Gerrit Graham
Deborah Harmon
Music by Patrick Williams
Cinematography Donald M. Morgan
Editing by Michael Kahn
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) July 11, 1980
Running time 113 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8,000,000 (estimated)[1]
Gross revenue $11,715,321 (USA, 1980)[1]

Used Cars is a 1980 comedy satire film. It stars Kurt Russell, Jack Warden (in a dual role), Deborah Harmon, and Gerrit Graham.

Kurt Russell portrays a devious car salesman working for affable but monumentally unsuccessful used car dealer Luke Fuchs (Jack Warden). Luke's principal rival, located directly across the street, is his more prosperous younger brother, Roy L. Fuchs (also played by Warden), who is scheming to take over Luke's lot.

The supporting cast includes Frank McRae, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Al Lewis, Dub Taylor, Dick Miller, and Sarah Wills.

The movie was directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and his long-time writing partner Bob Gale with Steven Spielberg and John Milius as executive producers. The original music score was composed by Patrick Williams.

Filmed primarily in Mesa, Arizona, the movie was released on July 11, 1980. Although not a box-office success at the time, it has since developed cult film status[citation needed] due to its dark, cynical humor and the Zemeckis style. It is also marketed with the tagline "Like new, great looking and fully loaded with laughs."

It is the only Zemeckis film to be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America.



When elderly Luke Fuchs (Jack Warden), owner of the struggling New Deal Used Car lot dies of a heart attack, hot-shot salesman (and aspiring senator) Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell), decides to save the property from falling into the hands of Luke's ruthless younger brother and used-car rival Roy L. Fuchs (also Warden), whose own used car lot is under threat of demolition to facilitate the construction of a proposed new freeway exit. An all-out war breaks out between the competing car lots with Russo resorting to extremely outrageous customer-getting schemes in order to save Luke's lot, complicated even more with the arrival of Luke's daughter Barbara Jane Fuchs.


Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell) is the unscrupulous sales manager of New Deal Used Cars, owned by the kindly Luke Fuchs, whose brother Roy L. Fuchs (Jack Warden) is trying to put him out of business. Roy has been unsuccessful in buying out his brother, and has resorted to setting consumer agencies on him to try and force him out. Unknown to everyone but Roy, a new freeway exit ramp is coming through the area and will take Roy's lot through eminent domain.

Featured cast

Actor Role
Kurt Russell Rudolph 'Rudy' Russo
Jack Warden Roy L. Fuchs / Luke Fuchs
Gerrit Graham Jeff
Frank McRae Jim
Deborah Harmon Barbara Jane Fuchs
Joe Flaherty Sam Slaton
David L. Lander Freddie Paris
Michael McKean Eddie Winslow
Michael Talbott Mickey
Alfonso Arau Manuel
Al Lewis Judge H. H. Harrison
Woodrow Parfrey Mr. Chartner
Dub Taylor Tucker

Production notes

  • The movie was filmed at the working Darner Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in Mesa, Arizona. The actual dealership served as the setting for "Roy L. Fuchs Pre-owned Automobiles", while a vacant lot across the street served as the setting for "New Deal Used Cars". The vacant lot now has an apartment complex while the Chrysler Bankruptcy caused the Darner dealership to lose its Chrysler affiliation.[2]
  • Kurt Russell produced some commercials for Darner's inviting customers to come in and shop while the movie was still being filmed.
  • According to Bob Gale in an interview with the Opie and Anthony show, Jack Warden had initially passed on the role of Roy Fuchs but agreed to play the role under the condition that he be able to play Luke Fuchs, since he was interesting in playing both dual roles and the role of a dead man.


  1. ^ a b Internet Movie Database. Box office/Business for Used Cars (1980). Retrieved on April 18, 2009.
  2. ^

External links

Coordinates: 33°24′54″N 111°50′58.2″W / 33.415°N 111.8495°W / 33.415; -111.8495



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