Around 1940, The New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character, who is writing a voluminous Oral History of the World, a record of twenty thousand conversations he's overheard.

Director:

Stanley Tucci

Writers:

Joseph Mitchell (books), Howard A. Rodman (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Holm ... Joe Gould
Stanley Tucci ... Joe Mitchell
Hope Davis ... Therese Mitchell
Sarah Hyland ... Elizabeth Mitchell
Hallee Hirsh ... Nora Mitchell
Celia Weston ... Sarah
Patrick Tovatt Patrick Tovatt ... Harold Ross
Susan Sarandon ... Alice Neel
Patricia Clarkson ... Vivian Marquie
John Tormey ... Harry Kolis
Jack O'Connell ... Chef
Jerry Mayer ... Minetta Bartender
Nell Campbell ... Tamar (Hostess)
Ron Ryan Ron Ryan ... Jack
Allan Corduner ... Francis McCrudden
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Storyline

Around 1940, The 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 twenty thousand 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 break-up, but the two Joes stay in touch until Gould's death, and Mitchell's unveiling of the secret. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true story from Mitchell's book, Up in the Old Hotel (1992). The book is a collection of stories of oddball characters in New York City from the mid-20th century. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 5 October 2006 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wearing of the Green
Traditional
Performed by Bunny Berigan
Courtesy of Drive Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Dealing with our delusions
26 January 2005 | by busterkeaton11731See all my reviews

This is a well made and acted adaption of Joseph Mitchell's two pieces on Joseph Ferdinand Gould,a New York character from the 20's into the early 50's who claimed to be writing the "longest book in the English language,Joe Gould's Oral history." He haunted Village bars and coffee houses cadging drinks and handouts to sustain his existence.He says "We all suffer from delusions,his is the delusion that he is Joseph Ferdinand Gould.Tucci is excellent as Joseph Mitchell,but Ian Holm steals the show as Joe Gould,although he looks a little too well fed.Trivia:early in the film when Tucci is in the Minnetta Tavern,we see a painting of the REAL Joe Gould! What a shame this movie didn't get a wider audience,which it richly deserves.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joe Gould's Secret See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,760, 9 April 2000

Gross USA:

$468,684

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$494,150
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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