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Midnight Cowboy (1969) - John Schlesinger
Jon Voight and Sylvia Miles
Midnight Cowboy (1969) - John Schlesinger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Midnight Cowboy, starring Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman, is a 1969 John Schlesinger film, based on a novel by James Leo Herlihy, in which a naive young Texas cowboy named Joe Buck (Jon Voigt) comes to New York City to be a male hustler (a "midnight cowboy"). There he meets the scraggly Rico (Enrico) Salvatore "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). Over the course of the film Buck slowly comes to terms with his sexuality and the closeness of his relationship with Rizzo. The film is the only X-Rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture (as of 2004, the only other X-rated pictures that have been nominated were A Clockwork Orange, which lost in 1972 to The French Connection and The Exorcist, which lost in 1973 to The Sting). Both Hoffman and Voigt were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, but they both lost to John Wayne, who recieved his only oscar for his role in True Grit.
The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
The film also featured the song 'Everybody's Talking', sung by Harry Nilsson.
The Muppets character Rizzo Ratso is a street-wise but pesky rat modeled after Hoffman's character. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Cowboy [Oct 2004]
Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated film ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. At the time of its use for the film, the X rating simply meant that the topic was for adults only and not necessarily pornographic. Midnight Cowboy has also been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-rated [Jun 2004]
The first, and only, X-rated film to win a best picture Academy Award, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy seems a lot less daring today (and has been reclassified as an R), but remains a fascinating time capsule of late-1960s sexual decadence in mainstream American cinema. In a career-making performance, Jon Voight plays Joe Buck, a naive Texas dishwasher who goes to the big city (New York) to make his fortune as a sexual hustler. Although enthusiastic about selling himself to rich ladies for stud services, he quickly finds it hard to make a living and eventually crashes in a seedy dump with a crippled petty thief named Ratzo Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman, doing one of his more effective "stupid acting tricks," with a limp and a high-pitch rasp of a voice). Schlesinger's quick-cut, semi-psychedelic style has dated severely, as has his ruthlessly cynical approach to almost everybody but the lead characters. But at its heart the movie is a sad tale of friendship between a couple of losers lost in the big city, and with an ending no studio would approve today. It's a bit like an urban Of Mice and Men, but where both guys are Lenny. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com
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