USED CARS 1980 (produced)
- Jack Ward plays a dual role as rival brothers in opposing car lots. WOO’s actors also had dual roles in Kansas and in Oz. See Joe vs. the Volcano.
- As in many early films, Spielberg favors the red and yellow combination for this one. I realize my pointing out these prevalent colors may read as snort-able triviality, but I urge you to watch for them yourself. They garnish the background like ketchup and mustard on a carnival hot dog! Perhaps at one time Spielberg considered making WOO’s signature Technicolor duo a personal trademark? Eventually, he grew out of it. See Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Schindler’s List, Jaws, 1941, Joe vs. the Volcano, Twister, Inner Space, Jurassic Park, Used Cars, Sugarland Express for more fun with red and yellow.
- A Toto-like dog name…Toby…repeated in Twister sixteen years later.
- At one point, one of the characters teases another who looks miserable by asking if he’s homesick.
- The camera pauses now and then on a Passport Scotch billboard with a sprawling rainbow.
- Another feature found in films like Sugarland Express and Twister is the cavalcade of vehicles at the end. Steven likes to amp up the excitement by using promenades like those that surround Dorothy in Munchkinland and Emerald City. See The Terminal, Joe vs.the Volcano, Twister, The Color Purple, Catch Me if You Can, Sugarland Express.
- Consummate car salesman Rudy Russo is reduced to selling used bicycles to kids, a funny gag, but also a means to squeeze a ‘bike’ into the picture, another detail Steven likes to repeat on a regular basis! See Munich, Adventures of Tintin, Amistad, 1941, Always, Super 8, War of the Worlds, Empire of the Sun, The Goonies, Sugarland Express, Jaws, Inner Space for bicycle moments.
- Rudy Russo steps in as the trickster. Thanks to his shady double-dealing, Barbara receives her rightful inheritance. See WOO’s charlatan Wizard/Professor Marvel as model for many other con artists appearing in Spielberg’s films: Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, Lincoln, Munich, Saving Private Ryan, A.I., Always, Goonies, Jaws, Catch Me if You Can. Schindler’s List, The Goonies, Joe vs. the Volcano.
- Barbara Fuchs is returning ‘home’ after ten years in a commune and her daddy is overjoyed. See Jaws, War Horse,The Terminal, A.I., E. T., The Color Purple, Sugarland Express, Close Encounters, Empire of the Sun, Catch Me if You Can, Saving Private Ryan, War of the Worlds, Super 8, 1941, Amistad, Minority Report, Munich, Hook, Poltergeist, for others who’ve learned “There’s no place like home.”