Sounds from The Jerk

This is intended to be an ad hoc review of the sounds from The Jerk. These are lines, or exchanges, of dialog that I find stick with me, and contribute to my coming back to this film again and again. This presentation is intended only as cinematic criticism (and is therefore fair use under copyright law).

These sounds were sampled in mono, 8 bits, 11kHz -- for each, I've provided the length in seconds and the size of the .wav file.

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The Jerk

Directed by Carl Reiner

Written by Steve Martin, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias

Starring Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, & Jackie Mason


     "Huh? I am not a bum. I'm a jerk!"


     "I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautifulwoman. Now, I only have two things: my friends, and -- uh... -- my thermos."


     "Huh? My story? OK. It was never easy for me.I was born a poor black child...."


     "Say your prayers, half-breed!" [sounds of gunshots]
     "Hey Harry. Look at this. What's the matter with these cans?"
     "Die, milk-face!" [sounds of gunshots]
     [laughing] "These cans are defective! They're springing leaks! Come over here and look at this!" [sounds of gunshots]
     "Listen, you better run for cover, or you're gonna spring a leak!"
     "We don't have defective cans, we have a defective person out there!" [sounds of gunshots]
     "He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans!"
     "Die, gas-pumper!" [sounds of glass shattering]
     "Get away from those cans! [sounds of gunshots] There's cans in there too!
     "Run! Run!"
     [sounds of gunshots and glass shattering] "More cans!"
     "Die, you bastard!"
     [sound of glass shattering] "Aaah!"
     "He doesn't want to put holes in the cans, he wants to put holes in you!!"
     "What?!" [sounds of gunshots]


     "I know we've only known each other for 4 weeks and 3 days, but to me ... it seems like 9 weeks and 5 days. The 1st day, seemed like a week. And the 2nd day, seemed like 5 days ... and the 3rd day seemed like a week again. And the 4th day, seemed like 8 days. And the 5th day, you went to see your mother, and that seemed ... just like a day. But then you came back, and then later, on the 6th day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming ... like 2 days. So in the evening it seemed like 2 days, spilling over into the next day, and that started seeming like 4 days. So at the end of the 6th day, on into the 7th day, it seemed like a total of 5 days. And ... the 6th day, seemed like a week and a half. ... I have it written down, but I -- I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it."


     "Honey, guess what, I wrote a song for you this morning! [sings]
            Oh, I'm picking out a thermos, for you
            Not an ordinary thermos, for you
            But the extra-best thermos, you can buy
            With vinyl, and stripes, and a cup built right in
            I'm picking out a thermos for you
            And maybe a barometer too
            And what else can I buy, so on me you'll rely
            A rear-end thermometer too"


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