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And when you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

—Friedrich Nietzsche
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Ernest Goes to Jail [1990]

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Director:John R. Cherry III
Writer:Charlie Cohen
Composer:Bruce Arntson
Kirby Shelstad
Length:81 minutes
(1 hour 21 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Suggested Event Use:April Fools
Sorting Category:Comedy
IMDB Rating:4.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:13%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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  • Comedy
  • Kids
  • Action
  • Family
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Synopsis: Bumbling Ernest P. Worrell is assigned to jury duty, where a crooked lawyer notices a resemblance with crime boss Mr. Nash, and arranges a switch.


Reaction: Silly and energtic.


Personal Rating: 7/10

Select Cast and Crew
John R. Cherry III => Director
Charlie Cohen => Writer
Bruce Arntson => Composer
Kirby Shelstad => Composer
Andy Stahl => Jerry (as Andrew Stahl)
Barbara Tyson => Charlotte Sparrow (as Barbara Bush)
Barkley => Rimshot
Barry Scott => Rubin Bartlett
Bill Byrge => Bobby
Charles Napier => Warden
Dan Leegant => Oscar Pendlesmythe
Gailard Sartain => Chuck
Jackie Welch => Judge
Jeffrey Buckner Ford => Defense Attorney (as Buck Ford)
Jim Conrad => Eddie
Jim Varney => Auntie Nelda / Mr. Felix Nash / Ernest P. Worrell
Melanie Wheeler => Prosecutor
Myke R. Mueller => Vinnie (as Myke Mueller)
Randall 'Tex' Cobb => Lyle

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • There were a few extended and deleted scenes that were not featured in the original version of the movie, but were in some made-for-TV versions. 1. There was an extended scene where Ernest was washing himself in a washing machine, and was staggering after he stepped out. 2. A scene where Ernest was trying to sneak out of jail and was found by the searchlights. Then, he was making shadow puppets. 3. An extended scene where Nash (as Ernest) was in Mr. Penalsmythe's office negotiating the clerk job. 4. A deleted scene where Ernest was working as a bank clerk.
  • Among the famous eccentric actors whom Ernest imitates in jail when trying out for "Mr. Nash", are James Cagney, Walter Brennan, Humphrey Bogart, Barry Fitzgerald, Sylvester Stallone, and James Mason. Of those, Stallone is the only one who was not a classic one at the time. He is the only actor who was still alive and who was still acting in movies during and after the time this movie was made.