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Why are Stripes and The Jerk classics?

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Why are Stripes and The Jerk classics?

Old 08-11-05, 01:48 AM
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Why are Stripes and The Jerk classics?

I finally got around to watching these movies on TBS. I always had an idea what they were about and many people really enjoyed these movies. However, after watching them I could not understand why. I am a big fan of Bill Murray and Steve Martin. Stripes had the quotable line "That's the fact, Jack!" and the first 1/2 of it was good until Murray enlisted. I didn't find the rest of it all that interesting or funny. The Jerk has its moments. Martin can be really weird in a funny way at times. Overall, the movie wasn't that funny or cohesive. Still, these 2 movies are considered classic or cult comedies. Why?

Last edited by big whoppa; 08-11-05 at 01:51 AM.
Old 08-11-05, 02:35 AM
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The fact that you watched them on TBS negates your critique.

They're in the same vein that makes Caddyshack and Animal House and The Blues Brothers classics.
Old 08-11-05, 03:08 AM
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They're classics for the same reason any movie is considered a classic: They're representative of their time. The humor may not be the same today as it was then, but we see the movie and remember it being funny then, and even why; it brings back memories.
Old 08-11-05, 03:15 AM
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i find it funny because

I Was Born a Poor, Black Child.

the reason that you don't find it funny is

You never had anybody give you the Aunt Jemima treatment.
Old 08-11-05, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by big whoppa
I finally got around to watching these movies on TBS.
Good job evaluating the merits of two R-rated movies by watching the heavily edited versions on basic cable. I can hardly wait to hear your take on the airplane version of "Blazing Saddles."
Old 08-11-05, 04:58 AM
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It depends on how strict your definition of the word "classic" is.
Old 08-11-05, 06:24 AM
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Perhaps these would be more to your liking:
Old 08-11-05, 06:59 AM
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The term "classic" is tossed about pretty loosely. It basically means "timeless" in the sense that audiences, readers, listeners(depending on the media) can relate to the experience the same as when it was new when introduced to it for the first time. Nostalgia doesn't count. I wouldn't consider Frankenstein a classic horror film. It originally scared the **** out of people in 1931 but today is too scientifically absurd to be scared by. It can still be appreciated as a character study of Frankenstein and his creation if viewed that way. On the other hand, "The Haunting" will scare you over forty years after it was made. A classic. I have a problem with films that are too contemporary for the time they were made labeled as classic. WWII films made during the war with all the gun ho, we're all in this together don't hold up. They can still have a great story and be enjoyed but more as a historical record. "Easy Rider" is a another example. A great film but no more than a historical snapshot of it's time. Classic should not be confused with "old" or "good". A film can be great but not a classic, or old but not a classic. On the other hand a movie can be terrible and be a classic. If a film stunk when it was released, and everybody still thinks it sucks, then it is a "classic stinker". Comedies always hold up best. Funny is funny.
Old 08-11-05, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Good job evaluating the merits of two R-rated movies by watching the heavily edited versions on basic cable. I can hardly wait to hear your take on the airplane version of "Blazing Saddles."
Old 08-11-05, 08:27 AM
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They might be considered better than they really are because both were the beginning of two very talented comedians' movie careers.
Old 08-11-05, 08:51 AM
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I love both movies, but watching on them on TV, you hardly saw the actual movies we all love. I think Stripes has a classic performance by Murray but the last act is a bit of a letdown. The Jerk on the other hand is one of my favourite movies of all time. Steve Martin gives one of the funniest performances ever put on film, not to mention having endlessly quotable lines and some great physical gags as well.

I use the Jerk as a lithmus test when I meet new people...if they don't find the jerk funny... Reminds me of a great episode of Freaks & Geeks where Sam takes Cindy to see the Jerk and she doesn't laugh once.

Go out and pick up the DVDs of these movies and give them another shot!

MATT
Old 08-11-05, 08:56 AM
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You do have to watch them unedited, alot of comedies: Animal House, Bad News Bears, Slap Shot, Midnight Run are butchered on regular cable.

The Jerk is funny, but I don't think it passed the test of time to be a classic. However, Stripes to me 24 years later is still hilarious. It is such a great cast: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Judd Reinhold, John Larroquette, and whoever played Sgt. Hulka was great.

I am not nostalgic, but comedies today go for the cheap laugh and try to shock you, and that is why in 10 years the movies they will seem outdated. Stripes was made in the heyday of comedies, the late 70's/early to mid 80's. Also John Candy steals every scene he is in the movie.
Old 08-11-05, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Good job evaluating the merits of two R-rated movies by watching the heavily edited versions on basic cable. I can hardly wait to hear your take on the airplane version of "Blazing Saddles."

Lighten up, Francis.
Old 08-11-05, 09:34 AM
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I think The Jerk is great on cable. Like that part where he names his dog "Stupid". Or how about when he writes that letter to his family where he says Patty has promised him a "job". And the little kid with the T-shirt that says "Bull" on it. Doesn't that make you people laugh?
Old 08-11-05, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Doughboy
I think The Jerk is great on cable. Like that part where he names his dog "Stupid". Or how about when he writes that letter to his family where he says Patty has promised him a "job". And the little kid with the T-shirt that says "Bull" on it. Doesn't that make you people laugh?
Those mellonfarming cable censors!
Old 08-11-05, 10:03 AM
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I'm mixed on this. I never thought Stripes was a laugh riot, although I always thought it was a fun movie (and the boobs and mud wrestling were always a when I was growing up). But The Jerk, that movie never fails to get me laughing.

I understand some of the OP's thoughts here, though. Comedies are possibly the most subjective genre, and the most likely to be built up as classics based on nostalgia. I didn't see Animal House until two years ago. While I enjoyed it and it had some laughs, I didn't find it to be anywhere near as funny as others make it out to be.

I'm sure a lot of this stems from the trickle-down effect... so many movies stole its ideas and jokes over the years that by the time I saw "the real thing" it wasn't as fresh as it was in 1979. I think this effect also hurts movies like Halloween, as I've heard complaints about that film from younger friends that it's "just like every other slasher movie".
Old 08-11-05, 11:58 AM
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Stripes had the quotable line "That's the fact, Jack!" and the first 1/2 of it was good until Murray enlisted.[/QUOTE]

First half!!?? Doesn't he enlist in the first 10 minutes of the film? TBS must have REALLY edited it!
Old 08-11-05, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Doughboy
I think The Jerk is great on cable. Like that part where he names his dog "Stupid". Or how about when he writes that letter to his family where he says Patty has promised him a "job". And the little kid with the T-shirt that says "Bull" on it. Doesn't that make you people laugh?
The Big Lebowski is great on cable too...nothing like seeing John Goodman beat the hell out of a corvette while yelling, "This is what happens when you meet a stranger in the Alps!"
Old 08-11-05, 12:02 PM
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The Jerk does have some of my all-time favorite quotes though...

He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans.
I'm picking out a Thermos for you. Not an ordinary Thermos for you. But the extra best Thermos that you can buy, with vinyl and stripes and a cup built right in.
I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it.


Man...if you can't see the humor in this movie, it's not the movie's fault.
Old 08-11-05, 12:07 PM
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To this day, I celebrate the same way when the new phone book arrives.
Old 08-11-05, 12:08 PM
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Guess ya had to be there dude!

I've spent half of my life quoting those two films.

"(whomever we are talking about) is gonna be dead, and you're gonna say you've been listening to him for years."
"Monday seemed like..5 days, then ya went to your mother's on Tuesday and that was just like a day....then.."
Gave my wife the Aunt Jemima treatment.
Said it wouldnt be so bad if I hadn't drank so much cough syrup.
When someone same damn this __ I point and say 'I damn thee"
Heck..when I see the phonebooks on my stoop I've even exclaimed "the new phonebook's here, the new phonebook's here!"

I'm sure folks younger than me have the same feeling for Dumb and Dumber or Something About Mary.

Watching the REAL R rated film may help a lil, but maybe not.

Timing.

Last edited by BassDude; 08-11-05 at 12:10 PM.
Old 08-11-05, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BassDude
Guess ya had to be there dude!
That pretty much sums it up. I won't even bother to watch these films because I'm pretty sure I won't find them funny. Much like Animal House which I found to be pretty lame.

I just accept it and enjoy the movies that I enjoy. Airplane is hilarious though!
Old 08-11-05, 03:19 PM
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I remember when I bought The Jerk on VHS back in the day. I couldn't decide whether or not to buy it, and I read on the back of the box something like "Navin Johnson (Martin) is a poor, black sharecropper..." then I turned toward the cashier tape in hand. And that is why it is a classic.
Old 08-11-05, 10:27 PM
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So, I only missed some foul language watching it on TBS?

Actually, I thought Bill Murphy was great in "Groundhog's Day" and Steve Martin was great with Lily Tomlin in "All of Me."
Old 08-11-05, 11:14 PM
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So, I only missed some foul language watching it on TBS?
It's not like they are just bleeping out the profanity, they are editing out jokes.

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