Car Wash (1976)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Written by Joel Schumaker and directed by Michael Schultz, this musical comedy/drama follows the goings-on of a Los Angeles car wash and the antics of it's multi-racial staff and customers.
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Studios

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George Carlin
as The Taxi Driver
Irwin Corey
as The Mad Bomber
Richard Pryor
as Daddy Rich
Ivan Dixon
as Lonnie
Sully Boyar
as Mr. B
Bill Duke
as Duane
Jack Kehoe
as Scruggs
Arthur French
as Charlie
Lorraine Gary
as Hysterical Beverly Hills Lady
Darrow Igus
as Floyd
Lauren Jones
as Marlene the Hooker
Henry Kingi
as Goody
Clarence Muse
as Snapper
Leon Pinkney
as Justin
Tracy Reed
as Mona
Pepe Serna
as Chuco
Ray Vitte
as Geronimo
Ren Woods
as Loretta
Carmine Caridi
as Foolish Father
Billy Bass
as Newscaster (voice)
Antonie Becker
as Charlene
Erin Blunt
as Lonnie's Son
Derek Schultz
as Foolish Father's Son
Jason Bernard
as Parole Officer
Jay Butler
as AM Disc Jockey
J.J. Jackson
as 2nd PM Disc Jockey
Sarina C. Grant
as Newscaster (voice)
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News & Interviews for Car Wash

Critic Reviews for Car Wash

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

Uses gritty humor to polish clean the souls of a lot of likeable street people.

Full Review… | June 4, 2008
Top Critic

Highly enjoyable.

February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A cheerful, somewhat vulgar, very cleverly executed comedy...

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The screenplay and the direction juggle the characters so adroitly, this is almost a wash-and-wax M*A*S*H.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Critics seemed to like this less than audiences; personally, I had a ball.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Car Wash marks the point at which defiant blaxploitation turned decisively into upbeat crossover entertainment.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Audience Reviews for Car Wash


Who knew that working at a car wash could be so much fun? Directed by Michael Schultz (Cooley High, The Last Dragon) from a screenplay by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, A Time to Kill), this one day in the life of an L.A. car wash is a buoyant episodic comedy. It's hard to say who's odder, the employees or the customers. The multi racial cast has a relaxed, friendly presence that really serves these lighthearted shenanigans well. Most of the actors are not widely known but a couple big names do pop up. Richard Pryor appears briefly as Daddy Rich, a colorful reverend of The Church of Divine Economic Spirituality. He's supported by the Pointer Sisters, who break into a joyous song that almost has you wishing this was an actual musical. Comedian George Carlin has a running bit as a cabbie looking for the woman who stiffed him of his fare. The meandering storyline has no real focus, but it is a carefree diversion. This tone is decidedly upbeat. The writing is amusing and there are several hilarious lines sprinkled throughout. Many belong to actor Antonio Fargas as flamboyant Lindy who delivers his every line with a lot of sass. Want an example? When put down by militant black nationalist Duane, er uh excuse me, Abdullah Mohamed Akbar, he shoots back with one of the most memorable lines in the film: "Honey, I'm more man than you'll ever be and more woman than you'll ever get."

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

Not quite what I expected from what I'd heard about it, but it's a good movie. It has some really funny scenes, and good music.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Take a whole bunch of lively characters, shove em in a bag, shake em up a bit and then dump em out in a car wash for a day, and this is what you get. Cracking good fun to watch, and of course a killer soundtrack.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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