7.2/10
47,057
126 user 59 critic

The Jerk (1979)

An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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3,138 ( 392)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Navin / Cat Juggler (as Pig Eye Jackson also)
... Marie
... Patty Bernstein
... Mother
... Father
... Taj
... Stan Fox
... Madman
... Frosty
... Hobart
Helena Carroll ... Hester
... Elvira (as Ren Wood)
... Punk #1
Sonny Terry ... Blues Singer
Brownie McGhee ... Blues Singer (as Brownie McGee)
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Storyline

Navin is an idiot. He grew up in Mississippi as adopted son of a black family but on his 18th birthday he feels he wants to discover the rest of the world and sets out to St. Louis. There everyone exploits his naivety, but then a simple invention brings him a fortune. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A rags to riches to rags story See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Easy Money  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,935,025, 16 December 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$73,691,419
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Super 8-version in 2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of four films that actor Steve Martin made with director Carl Reiner. The other movies are All of Me (1984), The Man with Two Brains (1983), and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). See more »

Goofs

During Catlin Adams's stunt where she falls off the bike after going through the flaming wall, the wire used to snag her off the bike is obviously visible during her ride towards the wall. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Crazy Credits

Pig Eye Jackson - Cat Juggler (Steve Martin) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Hostiles and Calamities (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

You Belong To Me
Sung by Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin
Music by Lee David
Lyric by Billy Rose
See more »

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User Reviews

Steve Martin Carries the Film to the Top
13 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

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.


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