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- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 34 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 26, 2005
- Originally Released: 1979
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono - Spanish
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Surround - French
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: THE LOST FOOTAGE OF FATHER CARLOS LAS VEGAS DE CORDOVA
- Trailers: Theatrical Trailer
- Interactive Features:
- Learn How To Play "TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME"
- Text/Photo Galleries:
- Production Notes
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Steve Martin & Bernadette Peters|
|Performer:||Mabel King, Dick O'Neill, Jackie Mason, Maurice Evans, M. Emmet Walsh, Bill Macy, Sonny Terry, Helena Carroll, David Landsberg, Dick Anthony Williams, Pepe Serna, Brownie McGhee, Carl Gottlieb, Renn Woods, Catlin Adams & Carl Reiner|
|Directed by||Carl Reiner|
|Edited by||Ron Spang & Bud Molin|
|Screenwriting by||Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb & Michael Elias|
|Composition by||Jack Elliott|
|Story by||Steve Martin & Carl Gottlieb|
|Produced by||David V. Picker & William E. McEuen|
|Director of Photography:||Victor J. Kemper|
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"I was born a poor black child."
- Navin Johnson (Steve Martin), narrating the story of his life
"He hates these cans!"
- Navin, fleeing a madman (M. Emmet Walsh) with a gun
92 minutes of direct and sweet surrealism Full Review
[Martin] earned leading-man status in this un-PC classic...
Carl Reiner, who has made his own contributions to comedy with Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks and Dick Van Dyke, does little to set a mood or rhythm or even an aura of good feeling that will carry audiences over the slow spots. Full Review
Rating: 3/4 -- Basically a series of skits that are barely tethered to a plot, this works better than expected, thanks primarily to Martin's infectious performance. Full Review
Rating: 4.5/5 -- An oddball odyssey so strange, filled with non-sequiturs so funny, and decorated by a romance so sweet, it was an inevitable star-maker. Full Review
Bernadette Peters...nearly steals the show from Martin's over-the-top antics. It's sweet, and funny, and includes one of the most quotable exit lines in film history. Full Review
[The film] uses many of the bits Martin was doing in his standup act at the time.
Navin Johnson, a none-too-bright white boy raised by a family of black sharecroppers, somehow manages to reach adulthood without ever discovering he was adopted. His parents finally tell him the truth on his birthday and, shocked by the news, he decides to head off to the big city to seek his fortune. Although he embarks on his odyssey with Candide-like optimism, Navin soon learns the cruel ways of the world as his crazy invention--a device to stop one's glasses from sliding--leads him from rags to riches and back to rags. Steve Martin is riotous in this no-holds-barred broad slapstick comedy, with Bernadette Peters playing his accepting love interest. Jackie Mason, M. Emmet Walsh, and Bill Macy are excellent in small roles, but the focus is always on Martin, who is at his goofy best in a film loaded with hysterical sight gags and a dog whose name cannot be said on television.
Slapstick | Self-Discovery | Rags To Riches | Recommended | Wise Fools | Morons | Theatrical Release
- THE JERK is number 89 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Funniest Movies.
- There was a television movie remake of the film, produced by Steve Martin, called THE JERK TOO. It was directed by Michael Schultz and stars stand-up comedian Mark Blankfield. Mabel King played Navin's mother in both films.
- This film was Steve Martin's first starring role, made at the height of his immense popularity as a stand-up comedian. Previously he had small roles and cameos in three feature films: SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, and THE MUPPET MOVIE.
- Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters do all their own singing in the movie--including the ever-popular Thermos song.
- In the film shown to Navin by a charity representative, a disguised Martin plays a "cat juggler," billed in the end credits as Pig Eye Jackson.
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