Ask the Best and Brightest: Who Is the Best/Worst Cinematic Car Salesman

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Caution: The sycophancy and silicone in this paint-by-numbers preview may make you want to hurl. Note to Mr. Piven: those who went before salute you, albeit with a single digit. Yes, the silver screen (or flat panel HDTV) has a long history of amoral, blood-sucking, lying, cheating, scumbag car salesman. As Slate’s Matthew DeBord points out, “Don Ready” isn’t the usual sad sack salesman. A distinction without a difference? Anyway, DeBord has a nice little rundown on nine (I’ve subtracted four) automobile-selling assholes. So which one was your fave? Any additions? And have you ever met a real world car salesman to rival any of these?

Robin Williams as Joey O’Brien in Cadillac Man – MD: “His Brooklyn dealer has wife troubles, mistress troubles, and, once hostage-taking Tim Robbins shows up, guy-with-an-AK-47 troubles.” RF: If only Williams had walked away form the coke bowl.

William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo – MD “Who can forget a desperate Bill Macy trying to obscure Oldsmobile VIN numbers on a fax to his loan officer while scheming to have his wife kidnapped?” RF: Not me.

Danny DeVito as Harry Wormwood in Matilda – MD: “Harry is straight out of Used-Car Dealer 101: Everything he does is corrupt. If you’re looking for a defining example, albeit one from a British sensibility, this is it.” RF: Harry relaizes his daughter is a prodigy when she adds up the profits her Dad makes by ripping-off customers. Priceless!

Kurt Russell as Rudy Russo in Used Cars – MD: DeBord’s got nothing. RF: Ditto.

Richard Crenna as Phil Brody in The Flamingo Kid – MD: “He’s seduced by car salesman Crenna, who offers a mythical lifestyle that features … flashy imported sports cars!” RF: Not literally, ’cause that would have been WAY more interesting.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Marc_m Marc_m on Sep 02, 2009

    @FreedMike Thanks allot for the update, I really appreciate it. After reading your post, I watched "The Goods". Your post was funnier do:) Thanks again for sharing your life experience with the rest of us. Best regards, Marc.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 02, 2009
    njdave : September 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am You forgot Bill Paxton as Simon in True Lies. That scene where Tom Arnold shoots at his feet to make him leave and he wets himself is classic! OMG, that was funny... "The 'Vette gets 'em wet!" "I'm nothing. I'm navel lint. I've got a tiny's pathetic. "
  • Akear I am counting the days when Barra retires. She has been one long nightmare for GM. People don't realize the Malibu outsells all GM EVs combined.
  • Redapple2 you say; most car reviewers would place it behind the segment stalwarts from Honda and Toyota,........................... ME: Always so. Every single day since the Accord / Camry introduction.
  • Akear GM sells only 3000 Hummer EVs annually. It is probably the worst selling vehicle in GM history.
  • Amwhalbi I agree, Ajla. This is theory, not reality - hence my comment that Americans don't like hatchbacks. But one of my neighbors bought one of the last Regal hatchbacks that were available for sae, and it is a darn nice car. I still think the idea makes sense, even if history is proving me wrong. And my sister does have a Legacy, which rides a bit higher than my Sonata, and that also is an excellent driver. Even if the general public doesn't concur with me.
  • Hermaphroditolog The tycoons and Nazis hid the IMPLOSION ICEs and propagated the compression ICEs to consumers.GEET engines are more IMPLOSION than compression. Also the ICEs of the Shell-ecomarathon. Classic hot-bulb ICEs are more IMPLOSION than compression - Ford assembly lines do not accept to produce tractors with these simple ICEs.