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John G. Avildsen,
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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
New Yorkers contemporaneous with this film will recall how reflective of its time it is and how well cast and crew captured America, New York City of that era.
Norman Wexler's script delineates the different worlds the various sub groupings live in and Avildsen's direction brings out phenomenal performances all around. Peter Boyle's prodigious talent is on display as never before nor since. Clearly it is the best character portrayal the always likable Dennis Patrick ever accomplished.
What I will always remember about JOE is the feeling of having been in a virtual state of shock coming out of the theater. Knowing that what the screen portrayed was seething under the surface in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs of the City of New York.
This film needs to be remembered.
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