Joe deals with a NY ad agency exec (Dennis Patrick) who murders his daughter’s junkie lover after the girl winds up in Bellevue suffering from an overdose of speed. Through a somewhat implausible coincidence, he is found out by a hardhat factory worker, the Joe of the title (Peter Boyle), who applauds his action as a blow struck for God and country.
The two begin a class-spanning relationship which brings them nervously together in the realization that the American dream has somehow turned sour for them.
Pretty, it’s not. By concentrating on the extremist fringes of the various social elements involved, Norman Wexler’s script makes audience identification well-nigh impossible and at the same time abstracts the questions in a way that gives the pic real importance.
1970: Nomination: Best Original Story & Screenplay