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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
22. JOE (drama, 1970) Joe (Peter Boyle) is a racist factory worker who's known to hate "hippies and ni**ers". He meets Bill, a businessman who has just murdered the lover of his drug addict young daughter Jill (Susan Sarandon). Jill runs away and joins a hippie commune at the outskirts of town. Bill turns to Joe for help. Their search leads them through the seediest parts of town where both men's inner hatred and loath is furthered tested.
Critique: This was director John G. Avildsen's first sleeper-turned smash hit (an amazing run which included: 'Rocky', 'The Karate Kid', 'Split-Image', 'Weekend at Bernie's'). Film is interesting enough in that it served to encapsulate the themes and ideas of the turbulent 60s (Vietnam War, black power, women's lib etc.). It also has a good performance from Peter Boyle as Joe, one of the cinema's first antiheroes. He's always been good at playing creepy, bossy heavies whose abstract ideas are enforced by his intimidating presence (he would play the Frankenstein monster in Mel Brook's spoof Young Frankenstein). He reminds me of a little kid trapped in a big, dumb, awkward body. Film has a weak script (the meeting of Joe and Bill, for instance, is a bit coincidental), but it has a particularly gruesome, post-Taxi Driver ending.
QUOTE: Title Song: "I saw a fella selling junk to children. He gets nervous every time I pass Cause he knows that if I catch him I'm gonna kick his head and kick his fat a$$."
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