Joe (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes


Joe (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Joe Photos

Movie Info

Peter Boyle delivers a strong and raw performance as Joe Curran, a racist factory worker who hates "hippies and blacks." The film deals with New York City advertising executive Bill Compton (Dennis Patrick), who kills Frank (Patrick McDermott), the junkie lover of his daughter Melissa (Susan Sarandon, in her film debut), when she ends up in a mental hospital after suffering an overdose of speed. Stunned by his rage, Bill goes into a bar and comes upon Joe, who discovers the murder and holds Bill in great esteem for his killing of the long-haired drug pusher, congratulating Bill on a job well done. The two begin a class-spanning friendship. When Melissa escapes from the hospital, after finding out that her father killed her boyfriend, Bill and Joe comb Greenwich Village to find her. When they come upon a hippie pot party, the two reactionaries snap, pull out their guns, and go on a killing spree.

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Peter Boyle
as Joe Curran
Dennis Patrick
as Bill Compton
Susan Sarandon
as Melissa Compton
Patrick McDermott
as Frank Russo
Audrey Caire
as Joan Compton
K Callan
as Mary Lou Curran
Tim Lewis
as Kid in Soda Shop
Estelle Omens
as Woman in Bargain Store
Bob O'Connell
as Man in Bargain Store
Marlene Warfield
as Bellevue Nurse
Mary Case
as Teeny Bopper
Jenny Paine
as Teeny Bopper
Reid Cruickshanks
as American Bartender
Rudy Chumey
as Man in Bar
Rudy Churney
as Man in Bar
Robert Emerick
as TV Newscaster
Frank Moon
as Gil Richards
Jeanne Lange
as Phyllis
Perry Gerwitz
as Hippie on Street
Morty Schloss
as Waiter in Guitar Joint
Frank Vitale
as Hippie in Group
Al Sentesy
as Poster Shop Proprietor
Gary Weber
as George
Max Couper
as Ronnie
Patrick O'Neal
as Bartender at Ginger Man
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Critic Reviews for Joe

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

A raw, tough movie of enormous power, with a riveting performance from Peter Boyle as the avenging devil.

June 8, 2020 | Full Review…

Joe clearly illustrates in its own dramatic way how this seemingly disparate forms of political identity can form under one umbrella.

October 29, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

a fascinating and frustrating cinematic experience ... a mishmash of incongruities, confusion, and cynicism

July 4, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

well acted melodrama, directed by Joe Avildsen before he made the Rocky movies, starring Peter Boyle as a racist and Susan Sarandon in her very first film.

February 25, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Starting with a murder and ending with a massacre, this bleak portrait of America shows a dream turned sour and a country at odds with itself.

January 5, 2009 | Full Review…

Cliched melodrama was a cultural landmark; Boyle is superb

May 12, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Joe


Granted, the character that Peter Boyle is given in "Joe" is an interesting one, but the film simply doesn't do enough with him. We just watch as he exists and spouts racist and homophobic lines with none of it ever leading anywhere. Norman Wexler's script is decidedly good, but would've made for a better movie under someone else's direction.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

Two guys who hate everyone who's different from them finally take some action, violent action, and in the end begin to question their beliefs. This is a brilliant movie, and I highly recommend it. Plus, watch for Susan Sarandon in her first movie!

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Joe Quotes

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