The Jerk|Steve Martin
The Jerk
Steve Martin and Ren Woods
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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.


Main Cast & Crew:
Carl Reiner - Director
Steve Martin
Bernadette Peters
Catlin Adams
Mabel King
Richard Ward
Dick Anthony Williams
Carl Reiner
Bill Macy
M. Emmet Walsh
Dick O'Neill


    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD (Anniversary Edition)
  • Run Time: 104
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 025192734021
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Release Date: April 1998

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.

"...Martin proves himself -- often hilariously -- to be nobody's fool....Funny, vulgar and backhandedly clever..." - 12/14/1979 New York Times, p.C12

"...Martin's first major lead is a wonderfully excessive line-up of physical gags and puerile, sitcom-style set-pieces..." - 03/01/2001 Total Film, p.95

"[The film] uses many of the bits Martin was doing in his standup act at the time." - 04/01/2004 Premiere, p.60

"[Martin] earned leading-man status in this un-PC classic..." - 07/29/2005 Entertainment Weekly, p.54