Ernest Goes to School (1994) Poster

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Another good "Ernest" film.
dootuss7 October 2002
OK, maybe it's not the best of the "Ernest" films, and it's certainly not the worst (that title goes to "Ernest Goes to Africa" the only "Ernest" film that I thought SUCKED), "Ernest Goes to School" is still a great "Ernest" film. The movie has Ernest going back to school to get his diploma in order to keep his job as a school custodian. Along the way, he encounters a machine that makes him smarter, but problems soon begin for him. In the end of course, Ernest does what's right, and he once again pulls off another accomplishment.

Once again, Jim Varney does a great job as knucklehead Ernest P. Worrell, and the supporting cast does a good job too in this "Ernest" installment. While not the best, nor the worst "Ernest" film it's still worth checking out.
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Just hilarious
Ghenghy20 November 2002
I'd never heard of this movie before but after watching Next Friday tonite I figured what the hell.

This is one of the funniest movie's I've ever seen. The music room scene had me crying in laughter. Varney was a comedic genius but you actually have to possess a sense of humor to get it. Any dink that doesnt think this movie is funny must have run out of Vaseline. 9/10
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Ernest P. Worrell
The_Censored_Poster13 September 2008
If there is any one man walking the earth with a rain cloud over his head, it'd have to be Ernest P. Worrell. He lives by Murphy's Law (if it can go wrong, it will go wrong), and yet remains upbeat and optimistic. This is what makes audiences love this unfortunate do-gooder.

Ernest provides a style of slap-stick comedy that appeals to children and adults alike. He is known for his catch phase "Know what I mean" and addressing an off camera friend named "Vern" by looking directly into the camera. He also has a few reoccurring actors that play different roles but the same basic character in every movie.

The spirit of Jim Varney shows through his comedic acting, and there is no doubt that he loves what he does. Whether being doused with water, tripping, or making an easy task an extremely difficult feat, he seems as though he genuinely enjoys the business of making people laugh and smile.
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Ernest movies are true gems
patskelley3 December 2010
Ernest movies are a staple in my house. The priceless humor of Jim Varney is entertainment perfection for children of any age. My absolute favorite is Ernest goes to Africa, but honestly it has only slightly edged out the other titles.

As for critics, I do not see how Ernest humor differs much from such accepted classics as Lucille Ball or Jerry Lewis brand of slapstick or Mr. Bean's lame'o humor which I also enjoy. Ernest is not a dumb character set out for ridicule. He is an innocent sweetie with a giant heart who never lets life events get the better of him.

His movies always contain a good, positive message for all. I only have one question...When will Ernest Goes to School be published in R1?
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We Surrender!!
craigprescott18 July 2000
I have never written a comment before on this website. But after watching "Ernest Goes to School" I just have to. The reason is that this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life!! I did not find one funny joke, the acting was terrible, and the whole thing was extremly poorly done. Many times these kind of flims can be funny, in the wrong way, ( A bit like Australian Soaps) but this is just beyond it. After halfway through I surrendered and switched it off. You would think that if someone is going to make a movie you assume that some effort would be put in to it. Because if you don't then a steaming piece of tured called "Ernest Goes to School" is made.
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Same Old Thing
iwatcheverything22 January 2004
If you like Ernest movies then you will like this one. It is the same slapstick style comedy with your favorite character. I think I out grew this a while back though b/c I was not entirely impressed. That is about all I can say about this film.
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Where's the DVD version?
bug7625 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Jim Varney is a very poor man's Jim Carrey". I find that statement insulting and, well, downright stupid. Varney paved the way for comedians like Carrey. At least Varney kept it clean in his Ernest movies. I like Carrey but even his supposed 'kid-friendly' shows have profanity. "Liar Liar", while not for the very young, had Carrey taking the Lord's name in vain. I've never in my whole life heard Varney say that. Has society been reduced to thinking that movies have to be laced with profanity, the same old mindless sex scenes, violence and nudity? Why is it okay for trashy movies with absolutely no heart, no plot and no moral message be given a higher rating simply because that 'hot chick' can't keep her clothes on or an overly buffed steroid-using man that blows everybody away or beats on a woman? I guess most wouldn't consider a movie unless someone had their butts hanging out of their shorts. Have people today turned into zombies? It seems Hollywood has taken over your minds. Do you see the crap out there in Hollywood now? Movies today suck. I haven't been to a theater since 'Harry Potter 3'. I doubt I'll be back. I have 'Ernest Goes to School' on tape and unfortunately, I try not to play it much because I know I will wear it out. I wish they would put this out on DVD so I can enjoy this movie more often. Varney plays one of his characters I love to hate but still love to watch: Astor Clement. Varney pulls off this character(like all the others) extremely well. Astor is a hoity-toity know-it-all that thinks he is smarter than the whole world. Quite a difference from that lovable sweetheart, Ernest. Ernest is the janitor at Chickasaw Falls high school and never graduated. But, another school wants to merge with Chickasaw Falls and requires all employees have a high school diploma. Fortunately, Greta(Kash) and Bobby(Byrge) have developed a machine capable of making Ernest super intelligent. He tries out the machine and immediately becomes knowledgeable in every subject but unfortunately, the more he uses the machine, the more of a jerk he becomes, alienating his friends and co-workers. Some football bullies eventually find out what Ernest is doing and go in and trash the machine, leaving Ernest as Ernest before a big test. His friends still help him by tutoring him day and night. Before the big test, Greta and Bobby fix the machine but Ernest decides against using it because his friends worked so hard at tutoring him and he doesn't want to let them down. Ernest had it in him all along. Hard work does pay off and taking the easy way out is not always the smartest way out, 'KnoWhutImean?'
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Finally on DVD
Hollywood_Yoda15 July 2013
Rejoice, you fans of Ernest P. Worrell as "Ernest Goes to School" is finally on DVD. Released recently in Ernest's Wacky Adventures Vol. 2, you can now add this to your collection.

In this film, we find Ernest going back to school to graduate, if he can. Sarah Chalke (of "Roseanne" and "Scrubs" fame) also stars as Maisy, a girl that befriends Ernest.

If the film seems a little off compared to the other abundance of Ernest films, it is because the director of those, John R. Cherry, did not direct this particular entry. Coke Sams directs this sequel, he produced many of the other Ernest films.
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One of the better "B" Movies I've ever seen
Agent1022 May 2002
Ernest P. Worrell isn't just a man, but an icon. And to think, through all of his travails, he never had a high school diploma. While this film kind of embodies the childish nature of my favorite facial contortionist, this was nothing more than a silly "B" movie. Why couldn't anybody stop beating this concept on the head and let the series die for crying out loud! I've gone through enough pain experiencing the downfall of one of the most likable movie characters of all time, why couldn't they just let it be. The humanity!
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pooriaa31 August 2019
The schools are themselves a comedy of learning so many weak and diverse sciences. it's interesting how a comedian uses this place.
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It wasn't just Ernest that needed to go back to school
TheLittleSongbird8 July 2017
Just to make things clear, am not an Ernest detractor and actually consider most of the films imperfect but fun in a guilty pleasure sort of way. Watched 'Ernest Goes to School' with the same mindset as watching the previous five films (all better) and, while not terrible, still consider it one of the weaker 'Ernest' films.

'Ernest Goes to School' is certainly not without its redeeming qualities. The school setting is nicely rendered with a fun vibe, while the music is affectionate and full of breezy energy without being too loud. It's hard still not to relate to Ernest, the sort of character that is a well-intended serial bungler with a strong heart but always finding himself messing up.

Jim Varney does do a good job with what he has, he is enjoying himself and is a likable presence even though he overdoes it slightly in the mannerisms. Some of the dialogue while not exactly sophisticated is funny and there are a few scenes that raise a laugh, especially the music room scene.

However, too much of the humour is too childish, crude, overdone and recycled. Even for someone very quick to defend Ernest and his previous films, the dumbness was overkill and there is not a shred of originality or sharp timing. The football scene is pretty embarrassing.

The story lacks the lively pacing to make up for its paper-thinness, the direction is close to inept and the film is one of the cheaper-looking films in the series (we're talking amateur cheap here). Of the cast only Varney works. The rest are either barely trying or annoy the heck out of you, the younger cast members do grate.

Overall, one of the weaker 'Ernest' films and one of the more difficult ones to defend. 5/10 with sincere apologies. Bethany Cox
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Absolutely Horrible
louli8913 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie and honestly, it was pure torture. From reading the summary, I thought it might be really interesting, so I kept watching in the hopes that the movie might redeem itself. No such luck! It is not at all funny. The football scene was so incredibly stupid and desperate. All the gags and pranks were so beyond the real-world laws that they were just plain boring. Jim Varney's facial expressions nauseated me. I almost cried during the whole movie - it was about as funny as a horror movie, and just as scary.

I think the only movie that can compare to this one in terms of being purely horrible is 'Shark Boy and Lava Girl' and even that is better than this. I would not recommend this movie to anyone, except as punishment.
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Very unfunny and childish – even by the standards of a child's film
bob the moo31 July 2002
With a school threatened with closure to merge with another school, the staff are all told they must have graduated high school. This is no problem for all except janitor Ernest who returns to class to get his diploma. Despite some problems Ernest discovers a machine that makes him smart – but will it create more problems than it solves.

This was my first Ernest film – I have since watched several more (sucker for punishment). As this was my first I came to it with no preconceptions except that I knew it was going to be a silly comedy. In the first 30 seconds we have Ernest dragging a cart across the campus knocking people down as he goes – that sets the mood for the comedy right away. The plot is absurd – the basic set up about him returning to school is daft but when the whole thing about the machine that makes him smart come in it really just gets dumb!

However lets ignore the plot – it's all about the laughs isn't it? Sadly this has very very few good laughs – it has a handful of smiles but no real laughs. Most of the jokes involve someone getting hurt or Ernest mugging around. Really the level of comedy never gets above serving young children. It could easily have served adults too but this is far too basic for that to happen.

Varney himself is a very poor man's Jim Carrey – nothing but mugging and silly voices. The only other cast member that is worth mentioning is a brief appearance by Sarah Chalke who played Darlene in Roseanne and is now in Scrubs.

Overall – if you are between 4 and 11 then this will probably appeal to you. If you are outside of this demographic then you'll be as bored as I was. Another review said `it's a classic comedy like Police Academy 6' – yeah! That's about right…..I rest my case.
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Uh...not quite.
edgewelle21 April 2001
People, let's not get carried away praising this movie. I, too, have been known to enjoy the "Ernest" films, but this one was weak, at best. First and foremost, it had the production quality of a "Saved by the Bell" season finale. It's almost embarrassing to watch some of the gags and the canned music that accompanies it. No, check that, it IS embarrassing to witness many parts of this movie. That football game at the end of the movie existed so far outside the known laws of physics that no gag contained within that sequence could be funny; it could only come across as desperate. Sorry, Jim Varney, rest in peace. But seriously dude, what made it ok for you to do this movie?
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This is a riot of a film
romeovaldez13 May 2000
This film is so funny. The Ernest is a very funny man who makes funny faces and goes to the school with children. This movie had me in laughter for about three days after watching it. I highly reccomend you buy this movie. It is a classic comedy like Weekend at Bernie's and Police academy 6.
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Worst of the bunch
ericstevenson4 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I found out that this was ranked as the worst Ernest movie in the series and I think I can see why. It's so bad even people who liked the other movies hated it. What can I say for someone who isn't a fan at all? The Ernest character started off in commercials and those are rarely made into good things. Seriously though, ten movies? This film uses the tired cliché of a dumb character becoming smart.

Obviously, he starts acting like a jerk and everyone wants him back. There's this machine that makes him smart and later he learns to do his school work without it. It becomes hypocritical because at the end of the movie when the characters are played football, they use the machine again. Wasn't it just said that was cheating? The only good joke was when Ernest was asked who shot Abraham Lincoln and he replied, "Some guy with a gun". I guess the Ernest films were mostly harmless, but they were pretty dumb. *1/2
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