7.2/10
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127 user 66 critic

The Jerk (1979)

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

Director:

Carl Reiner

Writers:

Steve Martin (screenplay), Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Helena Carroll ... Hester
Renn Woods ... Elvira (as Ren Wood)
Pepe Serna ... Punk #1
Sonny Terry Sonny Terry ... Blues Singer
Brownie McGhee 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:

From rags to riches... to rags. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Easy Money See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Super 8-version in 2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Halliwell's states that the movie had "aspirations to be a modern Candide." See more »

Goofs

When the first oil can is punctured by the sniper, a tube can be clearly seen inserted through the bullet hole. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The sniper shooting at Navin. His dialog is changed to remove some profanity on broadcast TV and standard cable TV showings of the movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Eats: Good Wine Gone Bad: Vinegar (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Pick A Bale Of Cotton
Sung by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (as Brownie McGee)
Words and Music by Leadbelly (as Huddie Ledbetter)
Collected and Adapted by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Steve Martin is the funniest man ever. Period.
15 January 2002 | by dirtydan1See all my reviews

I am 16 years old. Therefore, i was not even around when this movie was made. The one day, though, i was walking through the movie store, and i saw a sign that said 2 movies for ten dollars. So, with my dads advice, i bought this movie. I watched it, and couldn't stop laughing the whole way through. I realized that Steve Martin is the funniest man ever. Period. Second to none. This movie was the funniest movie I've ever seen, and it got me hooked on other Steve Martin movies. Since then, I seen Planes Trains and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the Father of the Bride movies, and i can't get enough of him. I can only hope that he starts to act in more comedies, because i haven't seen him in any for a while. My rating for The Jerk is ten out of ten, two thumbs up, and five out of five stars. Thank you, Steve Martin.


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