Joe (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe (1970)

Joe (1970)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Peter Boyle delivers a strong and raw performance as Joe Curran, a racist factory worker who hates "hippies and niggers." The film deals with New York City advertising executive Bill Compton (Dennis Patrick), who kills Frank (Patrick McDermott), the junkie lover of his daughter Melissa (Susan Sarandon, in her film debut), when she ends up in a mental hospital after suffering an overdose of speed. Stunned by his rage, Bill goes into a bar and comes upon Joe, who discovers the murder and holds Bill in great esteem for his killing of the long-haired drug pusher, congratulating Bill on a job well done. The two begin a class-spanning friendship. When Melissa escapes from the hospital, after finding out that her father killed her boyfriend, Bill and Joe comb Greenwich Village to find her. When they come upon a hippie pot party, the two reactionaries snap, pull out their guns, and go on a killing spree.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Norman Wexler
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 16, 2002
Cannon Group

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Peter Boyle
as Joe Curran
Dennis Patrick
as Bill Compton
Susan Sarandon
as Melissa Compton
Patrick McDermott
as Frank Russo
Audrey Caire
as Joan Compton
K Callan
as Mary Lou Curran
Tim Lewis
as Kid in Soda Shop
Estelle Omens
as Woman in Bargain Sto...
Bob O'Connell
as Man in Bargain Store
Marlene Warfield
as Bellevue Nurse
Mary Case
as Teeny Bopper
Jenny Paine
as Teeny Bopper
Reid Cruickshanks
as American Bartender
Rudy Chumey
as Man in Bar
Rudy Churney
as Man in Bar
Robert Emerick
as TV Newscaster
Frank Moon
as Gil Richards
Jeanne Lange
as Phyllis
Perry Gerwitz
as Hippie on Street
Morty Schloss
as Waiter in Guitar Joi...
Frank Vitale
as Hippie in Group
Al Sentesy
as Poster Shop Propriet...
Gary Weber
as George
Max Couper
as Ronnie
Patrick O'Neal
as Bartender at Ginger ...
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News & Interviews for Joe

Critic Reviews for Joe

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

well acted melodrama, directed by Joe Avildsen before he made the Rocky movies, starring Peter Boyle as a racist and Susan Sarandon in her very first film.

Full Review… | February 25, 2012

Starting with a murder and ending with a massacre, this bleak portrait of America shows a dream turned sour and a country at odds with itself.

Full Review… | January 5, 2009

Cliched melodrama was a cultural landmark; Boyle is superb

May 12, 2005
Film Journal International

I admire the film's gusto to look at the hippie era, but its shock factor is more of a bail out rather than letting the story reach a meaningful conclusion.

Full Review… | September 9, 2002
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Joe

Two guys who hate everyone who's different from them finally take some action, violent action, and in the end begin to question their beliefs. This is a brilliant movie, and I highly recommend it. Plus, watch for Susan Sarandon in her first movie!

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Granted, the character that Peter Boyle is given in "Joe" is an interesting one, but the film simply doesn't do enough with him. We just watch as he exists and spouts racist and homophobic lines with none of it ever leading anywhere. Norman Wexler's script is decidedly good, but would've made for a better movie under someone else's direction.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

Extra half star for the fish-bowl full of pills. Movies don't actually become 'dated' - except this one! Dumb.

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