DVD 94 mins IMDB 6.8 (8,451 votes)
The Jerk
Universal Studios (1979)
In Collection

My Rating:

Seen It:
(2004 )
USA  /  English

Steve Martin Navin R. Johnson/Cat Juggler/Pig Eye Jackson/Engineer Fred (also as Pig Eye Jackson)
Bernadette Peters Marie Kimble Johnson
Catlin Adams Patty Bernstein
Mabel King Mother
Richard Ward Father
Dick Anthony Williams Taj Jonson
Bill Macy Stan Fox
M. Emmet Walsh Madman
Dick O'Neill Frosty, Navin's Boss
Maurice Evans Hobart, Navin's Butler
Jackie Mason
Helena Carroll Hester
Ren Woods Elvira Jonson (as Ren Wood)
Pepe Serna Punk #1 in Blue Chevy
Sonny Terry Blues Singer
Brownie McGhee Blues Singer (as Brownie McGee)

Director Carl Reiner
Producer William McEuen; David V. Picker
Writer Steve Martin; Carl Gottlieb; Michael Elias
Cinematography Victor J. Kemper
Musician Jack Elliott
User Credit 1 Bud Molin
User Credit 2 Theadora Van Runkle

Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin (who co-wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb) in this gag-laden comedy about an idiotic white man, raised by a poor family of black sharecroppers, who doesn't realize he's not black. Navin R. Johnson (Steve Martin) is told the horrible truth when he finds himself instinctively tapping his feet to an easy listening tune on the radio, instead of a low-down blues. His mother (Mabel King) tells him he's white and Navin takes to the road (in a World War II bomber helmet and goggles) to start a new life in St. Louis. A filling station owner, Harry Hartounian (Jackie Mason), give Navin his first break, hiring him to pump gas. One day at the station, Navin has a brainstorm, concocting an invention called "The Opti-grab," a combination handle and nose-brace for eyeglasses. But Navin runs into trouble when a crazed killer (M. Emmet Walsh) picks out his name at random from the telephone book and tries to kill him. Navin escapes to a traveling carnival, where he wrangles a job as the "guess-your-weight" man. At the carnival, he discovers his sexual nature, thanks to stunt rider and S&M enthusiast Patty Bernstein (Catlin Adams). But Navin meets the beautiful Marie (Bernadette Peters) and he quickly falls in love. In the meantime, the "Opti-grab" has taken off and soon Navin is a millionaire. — Paul Brenner

Edition Details
Barcode 025192021428
Region Region 1
Chapters 16
Release Date 3/5/2002
Packaging Snap Case
Screen Ratio Standard 1.33:1 Color
Subtitles Spanish
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono
Layers Single Side, Single Layer
No. of Disks/Tapes 1

Color Closed-captioned
Personal Details
User Lookup 1 DVD Copy
User Text 2 From rags to riches... to rags.
Links IMDB
Amazon US
All Movie Guide
DVD Empire

Trivia: Steve Martin's favorite scene involves M. Emmet Walsh, shooting the cans at the gas station. (more)

Goofs: Continuity: When Navin fills up the tank of the lowrider's car, he leaves the hose in the car and leaves. When he returns, the hose has been replaced back on the gas pump. (more)

[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.