The Jerk (1979)
This flawed and unruly comedy was Steve Martin's cinematic debut, and whether it works or not is all down to whether you accept Martin's intense deadbeat persona. His performance is closely related to the often hailed and funny work he would do over the next ten years as Martin rose to a position as one of Hollywood's leading funnymen. The film is in many ways reminiscent of (but significantly inferior to) Jim Carrey's breakthrough Ace Ventura a decade and a half later. In The Jerk, Martin has some of his funniest moments as he and Carl Reiner construct a universe of absurd, adventurous situations and scenarios. Some of the best: Martin's encounter with M. Emmett Walsh at a gas station and Martin and Peters inside a caravan.