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Ernest Goes to Jail (1990)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Family | 6 April 1990 (USA)
Bumbling Ernest P. Worrell is assigned to jury duty, where a crooked lawyer notices a resemblance with crime boss Mr. Nash, and arranges a switch. Nash assumes Ernest's job as a bank ... See full summary »

Director:

(as John Cherry)

Writer:

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bill Byrge ...
Bobby
...
Charlotte Sparrow (as Barbara Bush)
Barry Scott ...
...
Dan Leegant ...
...
Warden
Jim Conrad ...
Eddie
...
Judge
Melanie Wheeler ...
Prosecutor
Jeffrey Buckner Ford ...
Defense Attorney (as Buck Ford)
Daniel Butler ...
Waiter
Charlie Lamb ...
Another Con
Mac Bennett ...
Con
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Storyline

Bumbling Ernest P. Worrell is assigned to jury duty, where a crooked lawyer notices a resemblance with crime boss Mr. Nash, and arranges a switch. Nash assumes Ernest's job as a bank employee, while Ernest undergoes Nash's sentence to the electric chair. But instead of killing him, the electrocution gives Ernest superhuman powers, enabling him to escape from jail and foil Nash's attempt to rob the bank. Written by Mark Hettler <markh@nstl.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Guilty of Maximum Fun in the First Degree!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Family

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ernesto pierde su puesto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,143,372 (USA) (8 April 1990)

Gross:

$25,029,569 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the famous eccentric actors whom Ernest imitates in jail when trying out for "Mr. Nash", are James Cagney, Walter Brennan, Humphrey Bogart, Barry Fitzgerald, Sylvester Stallone, and James Mason. See more »

Goofs

Right after the waiter gives the menus to Ernest and Charlotte, the camera angle changes and you can see him walking away, and hear him saying "I'll give you a minute to look over your menus" as if he was still standing there. See more »

Quotes

Ernest P. Worrell: Mr. Poodle-Smurf is lucky to have me. One day, I'm gonna walk into his office and I'll say: 'Oscar Babe'.
Oscar Pendlesmythe: WHAT?
Ernest P. Worrell: Oh good morning Mr. Poodle-Smurf, Puddle-Smit, Smiddle-Poot...
Oscar Pendlesmythe: Pendlesmythe you idiot!
See more »

Connections

Follows Hey, Vern, It's Ernest! (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Nash Sleaze
Music and Lyrics by Bruce Arntson
Performed by Bruce Arntson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ernest the jail bird
8 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With the 'Ernest' film series, there are people who get much entertainment out of them and finds a lot of appeal in Ernest. There are also people who dislike, or even outright hate, the films and find the character annoying.

For me, while they are not great films, the 'Ernest' films are mostly silly harmless fun that don't try to be any more than they need to be. They're mostly uneven but entertaining in a guilty pleasure sort of way, and Ernest is the sort of the character one can relate to easily. The sort of character that is a well-intended serial bungler with a strong heart but always finding himself messing up. 'Ernest Goes to Jail' is the third of the series, after 'Goes to Camp' and 'Saves Christmas' (both uneven but fun too), and is one of the better ones too.

'Ernest Goes to Jail' may not be great. It does look cheap and does betray low-budget. Some of the slapstick once again gets a bit childish and overdone. It's not hard to figure what goes on next in the story, such is its predictability. Lastly, the ending is overblown and insultingly dumb, Ernest films are not known for their logic but this ending throws it out the window and urinates on it.

Varney however is immensely likable and a lot of fun as Ernest, while also excelling surprisingly well on villain duty and as Auntie Nelda. The supporting cast are much better than the one in 'Ernest Goes to Camp' (though not on the same page as Douglas Seale in 'Saves Christmas'), with a scene stealing Gailard Sartain and Randall "Tex" Cobb charming in a good guy role.

The music is an energetic nostalgic delight, and most of the gags and dialogue while admittedly silly are a range of making one amused to having one in hysterics, all done harmlessly and with no signs of distaste. Good too that the sentimentality was quite a bit less here. Despite being predictable, the story in 'Goes to Jail' feels like there actually is one at least and it goes at a zippy pace, the best paced of the series so far at this point.

In summary, guilty pleasure fun. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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