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Sunday June 23rd 2024

The Jerk | 1979

The Jerk filming location: Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
The Jerk location: the grounds of Navin's estate: Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Steve Martin’s first starring role, as Navin Johnson, the dorkish white son of black sharecroppers who makes and then loses a fortune, remains one of his best. It wasdirected by the great Carl Reiner, long-time collaborator with Mel Brooks, who achieved ridiculously late onscreen fame as Saul Bloom in the Oceans 11+ movies.

As inventor of the Opti-Grab, that indispensable device to stop spectacles sliding down your nose, he becomes unexpectedly rich.

The millionaire mansion he buys used to stand at 9561 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

It achieved notoriety in 1978 when the then-owner, Sheikh Al-Fassi, stopped the traffic by having its classical nude statues painted in anatomically correct colours (oh, use your imagination). Badly damaged by fire in 1979, the mansion was subsequently demolished. The site, at the junction of Sunset Boulevard and North Alpine Drive, now houses two separate properties, with the address 9577 Sunset Boulevard.

The house’s grounds used for the film still exist but, unless you’re extremely well-connected you’re not likely to see much of them.

They belong to 1011 North Beverly Drive – also in Beverly Hills – familiar as the estate of movie producer Woltz in The Godfather as well as that of diva Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. It dates from the 1920s, and was once owned by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate on whose career the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane was based.

All you can see from the road are the gates and that high pink wall.

This is a basic entry and due to be expanded.

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