Top 5 Worst Car Salesmen from Movies
When most people think of a stereotypical used car salesman, they imagine a slimy grease ball that’s just trying to get as much money as possible. Over the years, many films haven’t necessarily helped this stereotype, with multiple characters representing the very worst qualities that many people abhor. After a recent viewing of the film Matilda, I decided to do some digging to find the top 5 ranked worst car salesmen from movies.
1. Harry Wormwood from Matilda
The 1996 film Matilda follows the life of an intelligent young girl whose parents mistreat her and believe she is more of a nuisance than anything else. Matilda’s father, Harry Wormwood, works as a used car salesman, constantly pulling fast ones on any sucker that’ll fork over some cash. Mr. Wormwood even went as far as selling a lemon to Matilda’s incredibly strict principal, Agatha Trunchbull, resulting in the menacing woman taking out her frustrations on Matilda at school. With the FBI on his tail for his illegal car deals, Harry and his wife Zinnia escape from prosecution, but not before allowing Matilda’s teacher Miss Honey to adopt Matilda. Phew!
2. Simon from True Lies
There are horrible used car salesmen, and then there’s Simon from the 1994 film True Lies. Secret agent Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is attempting to hide his double life from his unhappy and bored wife, Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis). One day while Helen is out at lunch, a man named Simon approaches her and says that he, himself, is a secret agent, hoping to seduce her. Harry does some reconnaissance of his own to get dirt on Simon, including taking a test drive in a classic Corvette with the used car salesman, where he ultimately punches Simon in the face. Later in the film, Harry ensures that Simon never tries to impersonate a secret agent ever again.
3. Rudy Russo from Used Cars
A young Kurt Russell portrays Rudy Russo, a state Senate hopeful, in the 1980 film Used Cars. In order to get a $10,000 campaign investment from used car lot owner Luke Fuchs, Rudy must help him sell some cars to keep his business up and running. While doing so, Rudy uses standard stereotypical used car salesmen techniques like cheesy commercials, fast talking, and pressure selling. He even baits a customer from a competing lot by using a $10 bill on a fishing line to get the man to cross the street. Oh, and don’t forget the time Rudy hired women to stand atop the cars and strip down to just pasties and glittery bottoms. That was classy.
4. Joey O’Brien from Cadillac Man
While the main plot of this 1990 film centers around a man (Tim Robbins) taking a car dealership hostage, the main character, Joey O’Brien (Robin Williams), showcases the epitome of used car salesmen prior to the upcoming chaos. Not only is he a sleaze in real life, cheating on his wife with a married woman, he even tries to sell a new car to a widow at her husband’s funeral. Another highlight of Joey’s true colors includes telling his coworker Donna to show some cleavage in order to keep a guy in the dealership. Wow, what a guy!
5. Don Ready from The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Trying
With an all-star comedic cast and the same producers as Talladega Nights, the 2009 film The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Trying focuses on cocky car salesman Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) trying to save a failing car dealership in Temecula, California. Don is a master of trickery and deception, providing customers with typical gimmicks for the 4th of July sale, including hot dogs and Uncle Sam on stilts. But things get even worse when he helps create a dishonest commercial, stating that the dealership owner has testicular cancer. To top things off, Don is constantly focused on hooking up with the women that visit the lot, rather than selling any of the cars.
Morgan [she/her] has lived all over the place and is now trapped living in Ohio. When she’s not writing about cars, she can be found spotting Canadian actors in film and television, testing her caffeine tolerance levels, or playing board games with her wife. See more articles by Morgan.