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:

He was a poor black sharecropper's son who never dreamed he was adopted. 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

According to his book "Born Standing Up," Steve Martin's favorite line in the movie is ad libbed. When his character is hitchhiking, a man in a truck stops and asks "St. Louis?" - to which Martin replies, "No, Navin Johnson." See more »

Goofs

When Navin is being pursued by the sniper at the gas station, the sniper fills up the car's rear end with bullet holes. Later, after Navin escapes in the car without rear tires, there are no bullet holes visible on the car's rear end. 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 original theatrical and premium cable showings of The Jerk have an added scene when Mr. Hartounian offers Navin a place to stay. He gets excited about renovating Hartounian's gas station bathroom. Hartounian says, "Navin, it's in here." He opens the door to a storage room. On most edited prints, after Hartounian says he has a place he wants Navin to see, it doesn't show the bathroom dialogue, but instead the conversation picks up in the storage room where Navin says, "It's perfect! I won't have to change this at all!" 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

 
Lord loves a workin' man; don't trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it.
10 June 2001 | by ajdagreatSee all my reviews

Why is the rating for "The Jerk" so low? Every comment said that this movie was hilarious! Hey, anyone out there who gave "The Jerk" a low rating, come write a comment! I don't even know what's not to like about this movie. The script is extremely funny. The naive, ambitious Navin Johnson is the role that Steve Martin was born to play. This is one of the funniest movies ever (any fans of my comments know that I say that often, but I really mean it!).

P.S. If you're a worried parent wondering if this movie is okay for your child to see, let him / her see it. It's actually pretty tame. I couldn't tell what made it an R-rated movie.


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