7.2/10
47,036
126 user 59 critic

The Jerk (1979)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
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:

From rags to riches... to rags. 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

Many movie posters featured the following blurb: "He was a poor black sharecropper's son who never dreamed he was adopted. Steve Martin in The Jerk (1979). A rags to riches to rags story." See more »

Goofs

When Navin first receives the glasses from Stan Fox, the part of the glasses that hook around the ears have almost no hook to them. After Navin installs the nose bridge handle (the opti-grab), the glasses have normal ear hooks. 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 The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) 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

 
Martin In His Wild & Crazy Days
11 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

A very popular movie in its day, watching it a couple of years ago wasn't the same. Oh, it was still funny but just not the "hilarious" movie I always remembered it as. Maybe its reputation and memory exceeded its value, or maybe it's funnier when you are younger.

Whatever, there is still a lot of good laughs in year, subtle and slapstick variety. Now I laugh more at the subtle things. Almost all the characters in here, beginning with Steve Martin's "Navin R. Johnson," are wacky. Bernadette Peters, by the way, never looked prettier. This was in the earlier days of the ratings system and that PG rating would be at least PG-13 today. It still fun to see it after a long absence. Martin was on a roll back in those days, "a wild and crazy guy," and it's good that he's still entertaining us -- years later, although in a more subtle way. Hey, he's getting older, too.


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