Joe (1970)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  15 July 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,793 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 21 critic

Bill, a wealthy businessman, confronts his junkie daughter's drug-dealing boyfriend; in the ensuing argument, Bill kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa Compton
Patrick McDermott ...
Frank Russo
Tim Lewis ...
Kid in Soda Shop
Estelle Omens ...
Woman in Bargain Store
Bob O'Connell ...
Man in Bargain Store
Marlene Warfield ...
Bellevue Nurse
Bill Compton
Audrey Caire ...
Joan Compton
Mary Case ...
Teeny Bopper
Jenny Paine ...
Teeny Bopper
Reid Cruickshanks ...
Rudy Churney ...
Man in Bar
May Lou Curran (as K. Callan)
Robert Emerick ...
TV Newscaster


Bill, a wealthy businessman, confronts his junkie daughter's drug-dealing boyfriend; in the ensuing argument, Bill kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at a bar. There he runs into a drunken factory worker named Joe, who hates hippies, blacks, and anyone who is "different", and would like to kill one himself. The two start talking, and Bill reveals his secret to Joe. Complications ensue. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | commune | bar | rifle | new york | See All (46) »


I'm the "Joe" everybody's talking about. See more »


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gap  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$106,000 (estimated)


$19,184,330 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Boyle wrote a screenplay for a proposed sequel where Joe gets released from jail and has to deal with his hippie-like son. In the '80s, Cannon Pictures kept announcing each year for several years that the project was in "pre-production", though the project was ultimately scrapped. See more »


Microphone briefly visible over Joe's head in phone booth. See more »


Joe: The niggers, the niggers are gettin' all da money. Why work, tell me, why the fuck work, when you can screw, have babies, an' get paid for it?
See more »


Referenced in The Yum Yum Girls (1976) See more »


You Don't Know What's Going On
Written & Sung by Exuma
See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps the ultimate 60's generation gap exploitation film ...
27 April 2004 | by (NYC, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

... "Joe" captures the spirit, fears, angers, and prejudices of the time as perhaps no other film does. Joe Curran, as played by Peter Boyle, is a super-malevolent Archie Bunker to the n-th degree. He makes the Carroll O'Connor - Norman Lear TV character seem as loveable and cuddly as Tickle Me Elmo by comparison. In contrast to Bunker, Joe Curran most definitely would burn a cross on your front lawn, instead of just toasting a marshmallow on one he found already burning there, to borrow the words of young Lionel Jefferson, spoken to Sammy Davis Jr. about Archie Bunker. Released hard on the heels of the Kent State University "massacre", and the CSNY track "Ohio", and the Isley Bros. medley of "Ohio" and Jimi Hendrix's "Machine Gun", it's as hard-hitting as the probably by now mostly forgotten CBS TV play, "The People Next Door". Bill Compton's ironic comment about the vacuity of much upper-echelon white-collar work, "All we do is sit around all day making little paper airplanes and sail them up people's asses !" is as relevant today as it was then. Equally memorable is the retort of the hippie girl Joe has just had sex with, "How could I lie to you ? You just balled me !" Free love as a hippie litmus of truth ? The film is as much a part, and sign of,its times, as Altamont, "Gimme Shelter", "Putney Swope", and "M.A.S.H." and "Patton" playing on the same bill in many theaters in 1971. Joe Curran's "42 % of all liberals are queer !" is a worthy companion prejudice to Archie Bunker's "England is a fag country !"

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