Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennie Gordon|
|Produced by||Robert Simonds|
|Written by||David Spade
|Music by||Michael Lloyd
|Cinematography||John R. Leonetti|
|Editing by||Peck Prior|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 11, 2001|
|Running time||97 minutes|
Joe Dirt is a 2001 American comedy drama film starring David Spade, Dennis Miller, Christopher Walken, Brian Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Jaime Pressly, Erik Per Sullivan, Adam Beach and Kid Rock. The film was written by Spade and Fred Wolf and produced by Robert Simonds.
Joe Dirt (David Spade) works as a custodian at a Los Angeles radio station and lives in a boiler room in the basement of the facility. When a producer at the station discovers Joe getting bullied in the hallway, the producer finds Joe's natural white trash demeanor too extravagant to be believed, and insists he be brought into the studio to talk live on the air with famous disc jockey named Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller). Joe tells his life story, beginning with him being inadvertently left behind by his parents at the Grand Canyon when he was eight years old. After growing up in a series of bizarre foster homes, Joe finds himself living in the outskirts of the village of Silvertown where he pursues a love interest, Brandy (Brittany Daniel). The local bully Robby (Kid Rock) also has a crush on Brandy.
After a bizarre twist of events leads to the death of Brandy's beloved dog, Charlie, Joe feels the need to seek out his parents. The search leads Joe on a series of adventures, meeting colorful characters like Kicking Wing the Native American fireworks salesman and Charlene the gator farm owner. All the while, he lives by working odd jobs. Parodying the lotion scene from The Silence of the Lambs, Joe narrowly escapes death when captured by Buffalo Bob (Brian Thompson). He then ends up in New Orleans where he works as a high school janitor/handyman with a former mobster in the Witness Protection Program, Clem Doore (Christopher Walken). While Zander and the listening audience are initially amused at Joe's expense, his optimistic outlook on life and good-natured self deprecation win over Zander and the audience. Eventually, Joe lands his janitorial job at the Los Angeles radio station where he recounts how, at one point, he decided to give up the search and return to Silvertown to be with Brandy. When he got there, Robby informed him that Brandy found Joe's parents, but instructed Robby not to tell Joe. Robby produced a note from Brandy to prove it. Hearing this, Zander insists on getting Brandy on the phone to find out why she did this. Brandy admits to writing the note to Robby. She did it because she wanted to tell Joe in person, but never had the opportunity. Brandy goes on to tell Joe that his parents were killed the day they were at the Grand Canyon and pleads with Joe to come back to Silvertown.
Joe is unaware that recounting his story on the radio has made him an overnight media sensation. An appearance on TRL with Carson Daly results in a phone call from a woman claiming to be Joe's mother. Joe goes to meet her, but is disappointed to discover that his parents (Fred Ward and Caroline Aaron) are really just using Joe's publicity to help sell her homemade clown figurines, and that they intentionally abandoned him at the Grand Canyon. Angry and sad, he destroys the clown figurines and storms out, cutting his ties with his parents. Depressed, Joe goes to a bridge to commit suicide, but Brandy appears and says that she had told Joe his parents were dead just to protect him when she found out what horrible people they were. A policeman on horseback lassoes Joe's legs with bungee jumping cord to stop him from jumping, in the process inadvertently causing Joe to fall off the bridge. The bungee cord saves Joe from the fall, but bouncing back upward, he hits his head on the underside of the bridge and is knocked unconscious. Joe wakes up in Brandy's house surrounded by Brandy and other friends he has met on his journey. Brandy pays the impound lot to get Joe's Plymouth back and she has a new dog, who is the offspring of her deceased dog. Just as they get ready to drive away, Robby suddenly drives by and taunts Joe, saying that no one wants him around in Silvertown, no matter how famous he is. Clem comes to Joe's defense and threatens Robby as Charlene taunts Robby's car. At that point, they all realize are like a family to each other. With his new family Joe rides off into the sunset, leaving a frustrated Robby in the dust, his car now damaged by the rocks Joe's car deflected from the ground.
- David Spade as Joe Dirt (Nunamaker)
- Brittany Daniel as Brandy
- Dennis Miller as Zander Kelly
- Christopher Walken as Anthony Benedetti/Clem Doore/Gert B. Frobe
- Kid Rock as Robby
- Rosanna Arquette as Charlene (uncredited)
- Adam Beach as Kicking Wing
- Jaime Pressly as Jill
- Joe Don Baker as Don, Brandy's Dad
- Erik Per Sullivan as young Joe Dirt
- Megan Taylor Harvey as Joe's little sister
- Caroline Aaron as Mrs. Nunamaker (originally filmed with Roseanne Barr in the role)
- Fred Ward as Cody Nunamaker (originally filmed with Gary Busey in the role)
- Brian Thompson as Buffalo Bob
- Blake Clark as Old Cajun Man
- Hamilton Camp as Meteor Burt
- Mitzi Martin as Miss Clipper
- Tyler Mane as Bondi
- Kevin Farley as Officer Doughrity
- John P. Farley as KXLA security guard
- .38 Special – "Hold on Loosely"
- April Wine – "Roller"
- Argent – "Hold Your Head Up"
- Bachman–Turner Overdrive – "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"
- Bob Seger – "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
- Blue Öyster Cult – "Burnin' for You"
- Cheap Trick – "If You Want My Love"
- Dave Matthews Band – "Crash into Me"
- The Doobie Brothers – "Listen to the Music" / "China Grove"
- Eddie Money – "Think I'm in Love" / "Walk on Water"
- Foghat – "I Just Want to Make Love to You"
- George Clinton – "Atomic Dog"
- George Thorogood – "Who Do You Love?" / "Bad to the Bone"
- Grand Funk Railroad – "Some Kind of Wonderful"
- James Gang – "Funk #49"
- Joe Walsh – "Rocky Mountain Way"
- Leif Garrett – "I Was Made for Dancin'"
- Lynyrd Skynyrd – "Sweet Home Alabama" / "That Smell"
- Sheriff – "When I'm with You"
- Thin Lizzy – "Jailbreak"
- Three Dog Night – "Shambala"
The film's critical reception has been generally negative. The film has an average rating of 3 out of 10 with an 11% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating, "If you fall within the target audience of Joe Dirt, you may find it funny. Otherwise, the jokes will seem like a tired retread." Despite reviews, Joe Dirt recouped its $17.7 million budget at the box office, and grossed over $27 million domestically.
Ebert and Roeper both gave the film a thumbs down. Richard Roeper called the comedy for being predictable and strained, and said that the radio station storyline was "absurd". Roger Ebert agreed, but praised Spade for taking on a different role than he is normally associated with, and added that Spade's performance was convincing, despite the film's other shortcomings. That being said, Ebert would go on to include Joe Dirt as one of his most hated films of all time under the category of "alleged comedies" and going on to state, "What movies, including Joe Dirt, often do not understand is that the act of being buried in crap is not in and of itself funny."
The second verse of "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Close but No Cigar" from his album Straight Outta Lynwood contains the lyrics "I thought after all these years of searching around, I'd found my soulmate finally/But one day I found out she actually owned a copy of Joe Dirt on DVD."
TV series 
- Spade, David, Life of Joe Dirt, p. 177-178, American Printing Press
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Joe Dirt|
- Joe Dirt at the Internet Movie Database
- Joe Dirt at the TCM Movie Database
- Joe Dirt at AllRovi
- Joe Dirt at Box Office Mojo
- Joe Dirt at Rotten Tomatoes