IMDb > The Jerk (1979)
The Jerk
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The Jerk (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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The Jerk -- A complete imbecile struggles to make it through life on his own, until a strange invention makes him unbelievably wealthy.


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7.2/10   40,842 votes »
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Steve Martin (screenplay) &
Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Jerk on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 December 1979 (USA) See more »
From rags to riches... to rags. See more »
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(113 articles)
‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members
 (From Variety - Film News. 11 November 2015, 9:46 PM, PST)

The Jerk
 (From Trailers from Hell. 27 September 2015, 10:00 PM, PDT)

Home Alone... 5? The Jerk Too? 8 unbelievable straight-to-tv sequels
 (From Digital Spy - Movie News. 19 September 2015, 1:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Steve Martin Carries the Film to the Top See more (118 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steve Martin ... Navin / Cat Juggler (as Pig Eye Jackson also)

Bernadette Peters ... Marie

Catlin Adams ... Patty Bernstein

Mabel King ... Mother
Richard Ward ... Father

Dick Anthony Williams ... Taj

Bill Macy ... Stan Fox

M. Emmet Walsh ... Madman

Dick O'Neill ... Frosty

Maurice Evans ... Hobart
Helena Carroll ... Hester

Renn Woods ... Elvira (as Ren Wood)

Pepe Serna ... Punk #1
Sonny Terry ... Blues Singer
Brownie McGhee ... Blues Singer (as Brownie McGee)

Jackie Mason ... Harry Hartounian
David Landsberg ... Bank Manager
Domingo Ambriz ... Father De Cordoba
Richard Foronjy ... Con Man
Lenny Montana ... Con Man

Carl Gottlieb ... Iron Balls McGinty
Clete Roberts ... Announcer
Frances E. Williams ... Grandma Johnson
Lydia McGhee ... Cleotis Johnson
Niko Denise Holmes ... Satch Johnson
Shawn Harris ... Pierre Johnson
Nyles Harris ... Leroy Johnson (as Niles Harris)
Susan Denise Harrison ... Lisa Johnson
Douglas S. Close ... Fireman
Sharon Johansen ... Mrs. Hartounian

Trinidad Silva ... Punk
Alston Ahern ... Bride
Lawrence Green ... Father of Bride
Ken Magee ... Carnival Rube
Tom J. Delaney ... Tourist
Alfred Dennis ... Irving
Marc Loge ... Farm Boy
Jon Leichter ... Billy
Lillian Adams ... Tillie
Joe Lynn ... Voodoo Dancer
Maurice Marsac ... French Waiter
Gene LeBell ... Con Man (as Gene Lebell)

Fred Lerner ... Con Man
Jerry G. Velasco ... Man in Garden
Kimberly Cameron ... Disco Party
Elizabeth Macey ... Disco Party
Richie Reiner ... Disco Party
Daniel Trevor ... Disco Party

Carl Reiner ... Carl Reiner The Celebrity (as Carl Reiner The Celebrity)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luis Contreras ... Extra in 'Cat Juggling' Scene (uncredited)

Larry Hankin ... Circus Hand (uncredited)
Flower Parry ... Bag Lady (uncredited)

Rob Reiner ... Truck Driver Picking Up Navin (uncredited)

Gailard Sartain ... Guy with Cracked Airplane Seats (uncredited)

William Schallert ... Judge M.A. Loring (uncredited)

Directed by
Carl Reiner 
Writing credits
Steve Martin (screenplay) &
Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) &
Michael Elias (screenplay)

Steve Martin (story) &
Carl Gottlieb (story)

Produced by
Peter Macgregor-Scott .... associate producer
William E. McEuen .... producer
David V. Picker .... producer
Original Music by
Jack Elliott 
Cinematography by
Victor J. Kemper (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bud Molin 
Ron Spang 
Casting by
Geno Havens  (as Gino Havens)
Penny Perry 
Production Design by
Jack T. Collis 
Set Decoration by
Richard C. Goddard (set decorations) (as Richard Goddard)
Costume Design by
Theadora Van Runkle 
Makeup Department
Del Acevedo .... makeup artist
Barbara Lorenz .... hair stylist
Production Management
Peter Macgregor-Scott .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Newt Arnold .... first assistant director (as Newton Arnold)
Ed Milkovich .... second assistant director
Art Department
Joseph E. Hubbard .... set designer (as Joe Hubbard)
Ed Karas .... construction foreman
Johnny Lattanzio .... paint foreman (as John Lattanzio)
Dennis J. Parrish .... property master (as Dennis Parrish)
Sound Department
Gordon Daniel .... sound effects editor
Marvin I. Kosberg .... loop dialogue editor
Gilbert D. Marchant .... sound effects editor (as Gil Marchant)
William L. McCaughey .... sound rerecording
Hoppy Mehterian .... sound rerecording
Eddie Nelson .... sound rerecording
Anthony Palk .... sound effects editor (as Tony Polk)
Keith Stafford .... sound effects editor
Charles M. Wilborn .... sound
Robert Nichols II .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Henry Millar .... special effects
Debbie Evans .... stunts
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator (as Conrad Palmisano)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt double: Steve Martin
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
David S. Cass Sr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Jeannie Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Diane Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
Rick Seaman .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Earl Gilbert .... gaffer
Rhio Haessig .... best boy
Robert Marta .... assistant cameraman
Gaylin P. Schultz .... key grip (as Gaylin Schultz)
Bernie Schwartz .... best boy
Robert C. Thomas .... camera operator (as Robert Thomas)
Stephen Vaughan .... stills
David Augsburger .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
April Ferry .... costume supervisor
Michael J. Harte .... costume supervisor
Music Department
Jack Elliott .... conductor
Milton Lustig .... music editor
Jon Charles .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Craig Pinkard .... transportation captain
'Bud' Williams .... transportation co-captain (as Bud Williams)
Other crew
Betty Glickman .... assistant to producer
Dow Griffith .... location manager
Terry Robertson .... production secretary
Bill Rodenbaugh .... accountant (as William Rodenbaugh)
Marshall J. Wolins .... script supervisor (as Marshal Wolins)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies
  • Aspen Film Society (as An Aspen Film Society William E. McEuen David V. Picker Production)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1980) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL (orginal rating) | Norway:12 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:12 (2013) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (2000) | USA:R | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Debut produced feature film screenplay of Steve Martin who was one of the movie's screen-writers.See more »
Continuity: The telephone is visible and off the hook when Navin runs toward the garage to call in the stolen credit card.See more »
[first lines]
Navin R. Johnson:Huh? I am *not* a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and... uh... my thermos. Huh? My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi...
See more »
Movie Connections:
You Belong To MeSee more »


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39 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Steve Martin Carries the Film to the Top, 13 April 2001
Author: tfrizzell from United States

Steve Martin's out-of-this-world performance is the main calling card of this hilarious comedy. Martin stars as a moron who has been raised by a poor African-American family. One night after hearing some music on the radio, he decides that it is time for him to go find his place in the world. What follows is a poor man's "Forrest Gump". Martin gets into some odd situations and goes from the bottom of the social ladder, to the top, and then to the bottom again. This is a flat-out comedy that is a laugh-a-minute romp. 4 stars out of 5.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (118 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Jerk (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Guys who rob the gas station hskerfanlife
Oh, I'm picking out a Thermos for you... james_powers
PIZZA IN A CUP endoendo
Gas Station Owner Pirate_Patch
Was Nathaniel adopted by a rich family? nishivijay
Funniest Scene? mdtracie
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