Midnight Cowboy

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5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
Midnight Cowboy

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

‘Once Upon a Time...’ may be the hit of the summer, but Quentin Tarantino’s vision of 1969 is more than rivalled by a film made that very year. The newly restored ‘Midnight Cowboy’ is one of the great films about the transition to the gritty ’70s. ‘A sometimes amusing but essentially sordid saga of a male prostitute in Manhattan’ was Variety’s harsh judgment at the time, but its stature has grown and grown since then. Director John Schlesinger and screenwriter Waldo Salt pump so much emotion into it that it becomes a moving epitaph both to its two striving characters and the American dream itself.

It made Jon Voight a star in his film debut and cemented the credentials of Dustin Hoffman two years after ‘The Graduate’. Voight is Joe Buck, a rural ingénue who travels to New York with the delusion that he will make a killing as a Park Avenue stud. Disillusioned, he ends up squatting with Ratso (Hoffman), a sickly Italian-American petty trickster. Oscar nominations came to both Voight, with his kicked-puppy energy, and Hoffman, with eyes so harrowed it hurts to look at them. Their performances anchor the narrative, while the soundtrack, editing, flashbacks and dream sequences pull in the opposite direction, evoking a sense of the dreams tantalisingly out of reach and promises destined to either break, or leave them broken.

By: Sophie Monks Kaufman

Posted:

Details

Release details

Duration:
113 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
John Schlesinger
Screenwriter:
Waldo Salt
Cast:
Jon Voight
Dustin Hoffman
Sylvia Miles
Brenda Vaccaro
John McGiver
Barnard Hughes
Ruth White
Jennifer Salt
Gil Rankin
Bob Balaban
Viva

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Users say (11)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|11
2 people listening

Wow. Did an actual professional reviewer come out with this misguided invective or was it lifted off a social networking site? What a bizarre, bilious assault on a multi-Oscar-winning movie, that features in the BFI list of greatest ever films, and to this day maintains an 89% positive rating on Rottentomatoes.com. If it was "Outrageously overrated at the cynical end of the Swinging Sixties", well, it continues to be "overrated" today. The more I think about this, and the usage of the phrase "pathetic buddy-buddy story" pretty much seals it, I realise Timeout has got the editor's nephew a summer job here. Shame on you Time Out.


Wow. Did an actual professional reviewer come out with this misguided invective or was it lifted off a social networking site? What a bizarre, bilious assault on a multi-Oscar-winning movie, that features in the BFI list of greatest ever films, and to this day maintains an 89% positive rating on Rottentomatoes.com. If it was "Outrageously overrated at the cynical end of the Swinging Sixties", well, it continues to be "overrated" today. The more I think about this, and the usage of the phrase "pathetic buddy-buddy story" pretty much seals it, I realise Timeout has got the editor's nephew a summer job here. Shame on you Time Out.


I think the reviewer doth protest too much. Having lived in and around New York since 1976, I can say that I've met up with these characters many times, and in this film, they ring true-to-life. I'm staggered by the reviewer's lack of the basic understanding of -- and empathy for -- people who walk past him in the street every day. Does he know what it is like to live in an SRO hotel? Has he ever spoken to the damaged souls who walk through Greenwich Village every night, looking for a trick and a fix? Surely not. Perhaps he is more familiar with the role of the art-narcissist with his inherited wealth and gaze firmly fixed in the mirror.


I think the reviewer doth protest too much. Having lived in and around New York since 1976, I can say that I've met up with these characters many times, and in this film, they ring true-to-life. I'm staggered by the reviewer's lack of the basic understanding of -- and empathy for -- people who walk past him in the street every day. Does he know what it is like to live in an SRO hotel? Has he ever spoken to the damaged souls who walk through Greenwich Village every night, looking for a trick and a fix? Surely not. Perhaps he is more familiar with the role of the art-narcissist with his inherited wealth and gaze firmly fixed in the mirror.


My favorite movie of all time. Not a feel-good movie to say the least but very moving. I thought the acting, music and directing were exceptional. The academy got it right with this one!


My favorite movie of all time. Not a feel-good movie to say the least but very moving. I thought the acting, music and directing were exceptional. The academy got it right with this one!


Hey guys there's a bus leaving in 10 minutes....be UNDER it. I guess think The Dark Knight or Harry Putter is a solid movie. Remind me never to read anything you guys write...again...EVER!!! Ya' bunch a' Dopes!!!


Hey guys there's a bus leaving in 10 minutes....be UNDER it. I guess think The Dark Knight or Harry Putter is a solid movie. Remind me never to read anything you guys write...again...EVER!!! Ya' bunch a' Dopes!!!


I will be even harder than TimeOut towards this film: the fact that it was so praised and even oscarized is beyond my belief: first of all, the film is caricatural, exploiting the equation: big city=cruelty and road to perdition to such an extreme that it achieves quite the opposite: all the supposedly 'bad' characters that our 'poor little heroes' encounter are in fact far more likeable than them. Second, the suggestion that New York is responsible for their condition never rings true: I had quite the oppossite feeling, that they thought the world owed them everything and that this was an excuse for any kind of hatable behaviour. And with all this, are we supposed to feel sympathy for two characters who are as wretched morally as materially? It should be rememebered that Joe Buck even MURDERS the old man that invited him to his hotel room in order to get his money!!! (the excuse: he must put his buddy on a bus to Florida!!!) No, I do not buy it, this is only a display of cheap and self-indulgent miserabilism that no 'outcast' condition will ever justify.