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Music & Entertainment

Steve Martin’s Top Movies

Written by MasterClass

Dec 21, 2018 • 4 min read

Steve Martin was born in 1945 and raised in Inglewood, California. An imaginative youth, Steve nurtured a love for performing at an early age and became a talented musician and magician in college before turning his focus to comedy.

He began writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour while in college, and in 1969 won an Emmy Award for his work on the show. Steve cultivated a small but dedicated fanbase in the 1970s for his stand-up routines, but it wasn’t until his 1976 appearance hosting Saturday Night Live that he became a renowned comedian. Following his breakthrough, Steve transitioned from stand-up to acting and cemented a reputation as a blockbuster movie-star with over 45 films (and he’s written 11!).

See below for Steve Martin’s filmography, including ten of his most beloved blockbusters.


Written by MasterClass

Dec 21, 2018 • 4 min read

1. The Jerk (1979)

Steve’s first turn as leading man in a Hollywood blockbuster was in this comedy. He wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb and Michael Elias, and played Navin R. Johnson, a rhythmless and clueless member of a black family of sharecroppers. When Navin realizes he’s white, he goes on an increasingly ridiculous journey of misadventures to find himself, only to end up back home where he finally feels like he belongs.

The Jerk (1979) Steve Martin

2. Father of the Bride (1991)

A runaway hit, this classic comedy has Martin in the role of overprotective father who just can’t let go—and almost destroys his daughter’s wedding in the meantime. The all-star cast features Diane Keaton, B.D. Wong, Martin Short, and others.

Father of the Bride (1991) Steve Martin

3. Bowfinger (1999)

Broke, out of luck, and hoping for a big break, Steve Martin’s aspiring filmmaker character Bobby Bowfinger has a crazy idea: make the movie of his dreams, starring the biggest celebrity in Hollywood (Kit Ramsey, as played by Eddie Murphy)—without letting Ramsey in on the scheme.

Bowfinger (1999) Steve Martin

4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

A holiday classic, this comedy of errors (and detours) flings a control-freak Steve Martin through Midwestern United States in his quest to get home to Chicago—with an unexpected travel companion (John Candy), who annoys him at every turn.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) Steve Martin

5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Steve Martin and Michael Caine play wannabe casanovas with a bet: the first to swindle a mark out of $50,000 wins. Their mark is a wealthy heiress (Glenne Headly) who has a surprising secret of her own. Will the men get to her riches before another famed con artist in the region does?

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) Steve Martin

6. Roxanne (1987)

This romantic comedy features a lovelorn C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) vying for astronomy student Roxanne’s affections (played by Daryl Hannah) via a handsome fireman named Chris. The film, written by Martin, is an adaptation of a modern Cyrano de Bergerac.

Roxanne (1987) Steve Martin

7. Three Amigos (1986)

Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short play a trio of cowboys who lose their gig after their latest movie flops. Desperate for a comeback, they jump at the opportunity to perform at a village in Mexico. But instead of their traditional act, they find themselves playing the unwitting heroes, on a hunt to stop a bad guy named El Guapo.

Three Amigos (1986) Steve Martin

8. Sgt. Bilko (1996)

Adapted from a popular ‘50s television series The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Bilko follows con-man and gambler Bilko (Steve Martin) as he attempts to win back his fiance from an unscrupulous nemesis (Phil Hartman).

Sgt. Bilko (1996) Steve Martin

9. L.A. Story (1991)

A bored weatherman in Los Angeles, Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) begins taking hints from a freeway sign, which directs him to affairs with several women, including a journalist (Marilu Henner) and spokesmodel (Sarah Jessica Parker). This film blends together romance, fantasy, and satire and is considered one of the best films set in LA of the last half century.

L.A. Story (1991) Steve Martin

10. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

This neo-noir blend of mystery and comedy makes fun of typical pulp movies while also paying subtle homage in a clever, collage-style film. Steve Martin plays a sly private investigator hoping to solve a murder on a tip.

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982) Steve Martin

Steve Martin’s full filmography:

Another Nice Mess (1972)
The Absent-Minded Waiter (1977)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The Kids Are Alright (1979)
The Jerk (1979)
Pennies from Heaven (1981)
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
The Man with Two Brains (1983)
The Lonely Guy (1984)
All of Me (1984)
Movers & Shakers (1985)
Three Amigos (1986)
Lucky Day (1986)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Roxanne (1987)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Parenthood (1989)
My Blue Heaven (1990)
L.A. Story (1991)
Father of the Bride (1991)
Grand Canyon (1991)
Housesitter (1992)
Leap of Faith (1992)
And the Band Played On (1993)
A Simple Twist of Fate (1994)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
Father of the Bride Part II (1995)
Sgt. Bilko (1996)
The Spanish Prisoner (1997)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
The Out-of-Towners (1999)
Bowfinger (1999)
The Venice Project (1999)
Fantasia 2000 (1999)
Joe Gould's Secret (2000)
Novocaine (2001)
Bringing Down the House (2003)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)
Shopgirl (2005)
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years (2005)
The Pink Panther (2006)
Baby Mama (2008)
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
It's Complicated (2009)
The Big Year (2011)
Home Captain Smek (2015)
Love the Coopers (2015)
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016)
The American Epic Sessions (2017)

Steve Martin

Teaches Comedy: A comedian walks into a classroom...

One of Steve’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy to the next level.

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