7.2/10
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127 user 59 critic

The Jerk (1979)

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

Director:

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,381 ( 780)

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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

The souped-up car driven by the gang members who pull into Navin's gas station is a 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. It's outfitted with hydraulic lifts to adjust the height. See more »

Goofs

When the family is sitting around the table for Navin's (Steve Martin) birthday, the family congratulates him and his brother says "That's great Steve!" 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...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Way We Were (1973) 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

 
One of Steve Martin's best films
25 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

I honestly cannot decide which Steve Martin film is my favourite between The Jerk, Man with Two Brains and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, because I love all three and he is wonderful in all three. As for Navin Johnson, he takes on the role of a simple-minded and naive man to perfection. The film looks good, has a funny script, good direction and a lovely story. And the jokes are heavenly, particularly the one where he makes a fortune inventing an absurd nose support for spectacles. Bernadette Peters, looking gorgeous by the way, matches him every step of the way. Overall, there is very little I can say that hasn't been said already, other than to say The Jerk is one of Martin's best and funniest. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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