7.2/10
49,909
135 user 71 critic

The Jerk (1979)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
A simple minded, sheltered country boy suddenly decides to leave his family home to experience life in the big city, where his naivety is both his best friend, and worst enemy.

Director:

Carl Reiner

Writers:

Steve Martin (screenplay), Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,100 ( 308)
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

Gross USA:

$73,691,419

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

The film's title grew out of conversations between Martin and Reiner. Some of the working titles were: Money to Burn, The Jerk (A Wild and Crazy Movie) and Easy Money. Rodney Dangerfield released a comedy called Easy Money (1983) in 1983. See more »

Goofs

The telephone is visible and off the hook when Navin runs toward the garage to call in the stolen credit card. 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

Other TV prints simply edit the theatrical release which omits Navin "spinning" at the amusement park, don't show the Texas Millionaire scene,and no added extra line by Navin said to Mr. Hartounian at the gas station. "You'll pay me, $1.10, if I work here an hour?" No conversation between Navin and the man with the "unpleasant photographs" exists in this version. Suggested sexual dialogue by Patti when he is visiting her trailer is often left intact. Navin's dog is simply named "Head" in this version. Billy's profanity T-shirt is not obstructed by camera angles, but the offensive word is "Whited Out." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Father of the Bride (1991) 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

Dont trust whitey, see a doctor and get rid of it...got it!
7 April 2004 | by jc1305usSee all my reviews

The Jerk (1979) stars Steve Martin as Navin R Johnson, the adopted son of

black sharecroppers...problem is, he has no idea he's adopted! Some really

funny scenes, especially with Jackie Mason, M Emmit Walsh, and the girl at the circus...Bernadette Peters looks GREAT btw...Its a shame Steve Martin is "Mr. Serious" now, would love him to make a screwball comedy again...mindless fun, with some very funny lines "You should not call that dog lifesaver, you should call him sh*thead!" worth checking out... Recomended


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