Pic is an artless, non-stop barrage of off-the-wall situations, funny and unfunny jokes, generally effective and sometimes hilarious sight gags and bawdy non sequiturs.

Pic is an artless, non-stop barrage of off-the-wall situations, funny and unfunny jokes, generally effective and sometimes hilarious sight gags and bawdy non sequiturs.

The premise of The Jerk can be found in one of Steve Martin’s more famous routines. Upon receiving the stunning news that he’s the adopted, not natural, son of black parents Martin leaves home with his dog to make his way in the world. Opening sequences with the family are among the best.

Martin’s odyssey through contemporary America sees him taking odd jobs, such as a gas station attendant for proprietor Jackie Mason and as the driver of an amusement park train, and taking up with women.

But lunacy is never strayed from very far, as Martin strikes it rich as the inventor of a ridiculous nose support device for eyeglasses. Hilarity ebbs during his decline and fall.

The Jerk

Production

Universal/Aspen. Director Carl Reiner; Producer David V. Picker, William E. McEuen; Screenplay Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias; Camera Victor J. Kemper; Editor Bud Molin; Music Jack Elliott; Art Director Jack Collis

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Steve Martin Bernadette Peters Catlin Adams Mabel King Richard Ward
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