Car Wash (1976)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Car Wash (1976) Poster

A comedic take on the daily life of car-wash employees, chronicling their hopes, fears, joys, dreams, and tribulations, and meeting some eccentric customers along the way.




  • Henry Kingi and Ray Vitte in Car Wash (1976)
  • Leonard Jackson in Car Wash (1976)
  • Car Wash (1976)
  • George Carlin and Lauren Jones in Car Wash (1976)
  • Car Wash (1976)
  • Leonard Jackson in Car Wash (1976)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

20 February 2005 | wtcouncil
| It is what it IS
If you like funny....pointless.....sophomoric humour, then this is the film for YOU! I have to admit I saw it when I was 11 years old and just fell in love with it! So, if you have a young child's memory of the film...see it...if you are over the age of 13 seeing it for the first time.....then it is what it is.

Given the fact it was even made in 1976 with a largely African-American cast says volumes. Yes, it has some buffoonery and a little step-and-fetchit, but then....these people were STILL working! Whose working now? And, as what? Final Word. It is light-hearted family entertainment and it could begin a dialogue in the family...something to which many of today's films won't ever aspire.

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Did You Know?


DVD and home videocassette covers claim that this was the first ever disco movie. This is due to the movie's soundtrack, as it's not a disco dance picture as such. One of the DVD covers declares that it is the "first 'disco slacker' movie".


AM Disc Jockey: Hey, hey, L.A., L.A., it's a brand new day! Wot you say, Babe? If you want to get down, you got to get up! And l'm your wake-up man, baby! The J.B. is here rappin' in your ear. lf J.B.'s not on your radio, your radio's not really on. Too hot for you...


(around 55 min.) The camera crew is reflected on a station wagon's wing mirror.

Crazy Credits

The principal cast members are all spoken out at the end of the film by J.J. Jackson, one of the film's deejays.

Alternate Versions

The TV network version has all of the raunchy scenes, including the ones with the drag queen Lindy, cut and many more added which include:

  • Hippo first arriving at the car wash and parking his moped in the back lot where he meets Chuco, the Latino worker, getting off a flatboard truck that he is riding in with other Latinos going to work and they whistle at two women passing by.
  • The first scene with Slide ariving and parking his blue Cadillac down the streen, saying "Hi" to T.C. combing his huge afro hairstyle in front of a store window, and putting an LAPD Out of Order cover on the parking meter rather than paying for it. (This explains Slide's arrest later in the movie for 37 parking tickets.)
  • The first scene in the locker room has Lonnie, Hippo and Chuco getting into their work clothes while listing to the radio about a bombing by the Mad Pop Bottle Bomber, and Charlie walks in coughing and Hippo comments on Charlie's cough.
  • Snapper arriving for work and meeting Earl a.k.a.: Mr. Clean getting out his car and removing a polisher from the trunk.
  • A scene at Big Joe's Dog House next door to the car wash with Joe (Danny DeVito) arguing with Terry (Brooke Adams) about her looking at another guy while parked at a stoplight on their way to work.
  • Another scene at Big Joe's with Joe aruguing with Terry about the work they do while planing breakfast for the first customers.
  • The montage of washing cars has some scenes with Marsha putting on more makeup and hairspray in place of the shots of Irwin smoking pot in the mens room and Goody walking in on him.
  • The scene where Earl talks to the Oldsmobile owner is extended with Earl offering to polish the man's car and offers $18.50 for the job which will last four hours, and the car owner finally agrees.
  • A scene where Irwin sees a plate danish pastries and takes one which his father Mr. B, tense and worried about everything, takes it away and chases him away. While Mr. B is talking to Marsha about an obituarry of a friend dying, Irwin returns and takes the entire plate of danish away to the pinball room to eat them.
  • A shot of the hooker in the ladies room looking at her self in another fashion with a brunette wig, she decides she does not like it and begins changing into another fashion.
  • A scene at Big Joe's where Terry is talking to two policemen about her and Joe seeing the movie "Carrie" the other night, the mailman Barney arriving with Joe's mail, and Joe telling the policemen that the coffee they are drinking is 70 cents with their dounuts. One cop balks saying that Terry gives them coffee for free. Terry is somewhat embarrased and Joe angrilly sweezes a jelly dounut so hard that the jelly splurts out.
  • More dialouge between the Hysterical Woman outside the ladies room while Scruggs gets her ill son a bucket for him to throw up in.
  • While Marsha is chating with Lindy outside the ladies room, Terry is handling a customer, and Joe delivers Mr. B's lunch where he asks Joe if the meat is lean.
  • The first scene of the litharo Kenny is at Big Joe's where he pays Terry for his coffee and kisses her hand much to her shock, Joe sees this and angrilly storms out of the place with Terry following after him. (They are seen in the background by Marsha as she eyes Kenny aproaching her.)
  • Terry arriving back at the hamburger stand in tears where she is comforted by Maureen the hooker who tells her about her troubles with a man named Joe too.
  • A scene which comes after T.C. pushes Terry away from the phone booth for him to call and win the radio contest, Terry enters the phone booth after T.C. leaves and calls her mother and asks if Joe is there with her.
  • A scene where Terry is closing down Big Joe's for the day, Joe returns and as Maureen the hooker watches, he and Terry kiss and make up.
  • Marsha's storyline ends on a more downbeat note as while waiting for Kenny to pick her up, she says goodbye to Chuco as he board the same flatboard truck with the other Latino workers heading for home, Kenny arrives with his date, a more attractive woman, as well his obnoxious friend Benny as Marsha's date. Marsha is crushed but has no choice but to accompany them for their evening out.
  • More dialogue between Justin and Snapper, his grandfather, while they are waiting for the bus where Loretta arrives and Justin says hi to her before going back to Snapper and tells him that he's going to get a ride with her.


You're On My Mind
Music by
Henry Garner, Lyrics by Jobe 'Duke' Lequeint
Performed by Rose Royce, Orchestra conducted by Paul Riser


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama | Romance

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