Joe Gould's Secret (2000)

R  |   |  Drama  |  26 May 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,374 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 43 user | 48 critic | 23 from

Around 1940, New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund and who is writing a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Gould
Joe Mitchell
Therese Mitchell
Elizabeth Mitchell
Patrick Tovatt ...
Alice Neel
Vivian Marquie
Harry Kolis
Jerry Mayer ...
Minetta Bartender
Tamar (Hostess)
Ron Ryan ...
Francis McCrudden


Around 1940, New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund and who is writing a voluminous Oral History of the World, a record of 20,000 conversations he's overheard. Mitchell is fascinated with this Harvard grad and writes a 1942 piece about him, "Professor Seagull," bringing Gould some celebrity and an invitation to join the Greenwich Village Ravens, a poetry club he's often crashed. Gould's touchy, querulous personality and his frequent dropping in on Mitchell for hours of chat lead to a breakup, but the two Joes stay in touch until Gould's death and Mitchell's unveiling of the secret. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief nudity | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crônica de uma Certa Nova York  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$38,760 (USA) (7 April 2000)


$641,117 (USA) (7 July 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Joe Mitchell: In my home town, I never felt at home. In New York, New York City, in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks, and the misfits, and the one runners, and the has-beens, and the might-have-beens, and the would-bes, and the never-wills, and the God-knows-whats, I have always felt at home.
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Featured in Edge of Outside (2006) See more »


Sans Amour
Music by Cécile Chaminade (uncredited)
Lyrics by Charles Fuster (uncredited)
Performed by Josephine Baker
Courtesy of DCC Compact Classics
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User Reviews

Stunning, but not for everyone.
8 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just caught this "little" gem on the IFC. They are currently showing it in heavy rotation, around the dinner hour.

Other reviews have given a great overview, so no need to repeat. If you enjoy intelligent movies that actually have something to say, DO NOT pass this one up. -And don't worry, this is not a dry, artsy-fartsy movie. There is quite a bit of subtle comedy. In fact, the movie could correctly be classified as a comedy, although miles away from any Jim Carrey effort.

If you are a huge fan of said Mr Carrey, then you will likely hate this movie. It is quite deep, and demands a lot of attention and thought from its audience.

One thing I want to mention, that I haven't seen written previously, is how brilliant I think the whole concept of Joe's "oral history" is. This concept is spot-on. Formal history is simply a glorified, selective record written by the powers that be. It's written by the winners and often bears little resemblance to the truth. True history is the collective thinking, over time, of the general masses. What we think is what is, and that's different for everyone. Wonderful.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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