Joseph Mitchell encountered Joe Gould, an eccentric, erudite tramp, drunk and rogue, in the 1940s, and later wrote about him in two beguiling, time-separated investigative essays for the New Yorker. The pieces asked whether the bum's claim to have composed, in the form of a massive unpublished oral history, one of the most profoundly important books of all time held up to inspection. The tale had colourful characters, decent themes - fame and neglect; loyalty, faith and betrayal; creativity and destructivenes - and the ring of truth. Tucci's well-meaning but staid simplification is clumsily sentimental, with a horribly indulged 'larger than life' turn from Holm as the boho derelict, who, incidentally, is one of the most fragrantly clean tramps ever to grace a cinema screen. After The Impostors, this calls into question the promise shown by Tucci (or was it Campbell Scott after all?) with Big Night.
Joe Gould's Secret
Cast and crew