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How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980)

PG
105 min | Comedy, Crime

Oregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get married and if she wants privacy with her boyfriend, she...See moreOregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get married and if she wants privacy with her boyfriend, she has to sleep in the car. Even worse, her war veteran father comes to live with her to turn her life upside down. Louise lives a happy life with her veterinarian husband, Albert. She runs an antique shop on the side, but since it doesn't take in any profit, the IRS considers it a hobby. She needs to come up with the money to keep it going, or she will be trouble with the IRS. Elaine's husband has left her for another woman and without any money. She is in a constant struggle with banks, power companies, and gas stations. She needs money to get by and also catches the eye of police officer Jack. The local mall is having a contest that features a giant money ball that states it will help fight the inflation. Elaine comes up with a plan to steal the money out of it and split it three ways with Jane and Louise. Of course, one catastrophe after another tries to keep them from achieving their goal. Written by Pat McCurry See less
Read more: Plot summary
Writers
Robert Kaufman (screenplay) | Leonora Thuna (story)
Cinematographer
Casting Directors
Production Designer
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Box Office
Gross (US & Canada)
$7,500,000
Gross (World)
$7,500,000
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Release date
Jul 11, 1980 (United States)

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Cast

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53 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
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Jane Curtin
Elaine Elaine   See fewer
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Jessica Lange
Louise Louise   See fewer
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Cathryn Damon
Natalie Natalie   See fewer
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Dabney Coleman
Jack Heintzel Jack Heintzel   See fewer
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Fred Willard
Robert Robert   See fewer
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Art Metrano
Gas Station Attendant Gas Station Attendant   See fewer
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Ronnie Schell
Bill Pike Bill Pike   See fewer
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Sybil Danning
Charlotte Charlotte   See fewer
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Al Checco
Tim Lundy Tim Lundy   See fewer
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Garrett Morris
Power & Light Man Power & Light Man   See fewer
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David Lunney
Leon - Stage Manager Leon - Stage Manager   See fewer
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Michael K. Daly
Sheriff - Antique Store Sheriff - Antique Store   See fewer
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Byron Morrow
Charlie Goldring Charlie Goldring   See fewer
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James 'Izzy' Whetstine
Eddie - Bartender Eddie - Bartender   See fewer
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Jack Krupnick
Man in Chevy Man in Chevy   See fewer
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James Aday
Richard - Architects' Office Richard - Architects' Office   See fewer
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Sarah Leonard
Laurie Laurie   See fewer
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Robin Hickman
Singing Salesman Singing Salesman   See fewer
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Daniel Mayes
Shoe Salesman Shoe Salesman   See fewer
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Tom Morrison
Shoe Salesman Shoe Salesman   See fewer
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Jane Van Boskirk
Woman in Vets' Office Woman in Vets' Office   See fewer
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Jon Dickman
Donald - Garage Sale Donald - Garage Sale   See fewer
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Bill Ritchie
Festive Young Man - Garage Sale Festive Young Man - Garage Sale   See fewer
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Robert Canaga
Man - Garage Sale Man - Garage Sale   See fewer
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Stan Boyd
Card Cronie Card Cronie   See fewer
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Jerry Zinnamon
Card Cronie Card Cronie   See fewer
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Tom Gressler
Card Cronie Card Cronie   See fewer
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Philip Miller
Security Guard #1 Security Guard #1   See fewer
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Ralph Garrett
Security Guard #2 Security Guard #2   See fewer
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Robert W. Talbot
Security Guard #3 Security Guard #3   See fewer
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Harvey Lewis
Process Server Process Server   See fewer
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Nanci Westerland
Woman Civilian Woman Civilian   See fewer
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Joan Schumacher
Woman Civilian on Stage Woman Civilian on Stage   See fewer
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Scott Barkhurst
Man Civilian on Stage Man Civilian on Stage   See fewer
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Linda Hall
Woman Civilian on Stage Woman Civilian on Stage   See fewer
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Craig Jackson
Man Civilian on Stage Man Civilian on Stage   See fewer
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Larry Woodruff
Man Civilian on Stage Man Civilian on Stage   See fewer
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Colleen Murff
Lady at Garage Sale Lady at Garage Sale   See fewer
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Jonathan Schwartz
Shoe Salesman (as Jonathan Schwarz) Shoe Salesman (as Jonathan Schwarz)   See fewer
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Wendy Shawn
Assistant - Pageant Assistant - Pageant   See fewer
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Cindy Douglas
High School Student High School Student   See fewer
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Chris Strong
Follow spot operator Follow spot operator   See fewer
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David Castillo
Batter - Altercation Between Umpire and Parent (uncredited) Batter - Altercation Between Umpire and Parent (uncredited)   See fewer
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Dru Wagner Harris
Harriet (uncredited) Harriet (uncredited)   See fewer
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Daniel T. Holden Jr.
Electrician (uncredited) Electrician (uncredited)   See fewer
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Carmen Zapata
Mama (uncredited) Mama (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

6 / 10 | 1,166 votes