One of Steve Martin's proto-characters, The Jerk isn't quite what his name suggests, he's really more of an idiot than a jerk. "Born a poor black man," the film follows his misadventures from the sharecrop farm to the big city, the circus, Hollywood, and ultimately fabulous wealth and bankruptcy, oblivious all the way. Ultimately he really does turn from sheer ignorant to wilfully awful, so maybe he's a jerk too... but that's beside the point. Martin's one-liners are pretty funny, very dry, and awfully quotable. Bernadette Peters, as the love of his life, appears in one of her most memorable roles, too.