HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Midnight Cowboy Best Friends
Year: 1969
Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes, Ruth White, Jennifer Salt, Gilman Rankin, Georgann Johnson, Jonathan Kramer, Paul Benjamin, Bob Balaban, Viva, Gastone Rossilli, Ultra Violet, Gary Owens
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Where's Joe Buck (Jon Voight)? He's going to work, but he's not hanging around in Texas because he wants his pay and then he's leaving, for the big city out East if you must know. He gets his money, takes his suitcase, and hops on the bus to New York, dreaming of the time he is going to have there where he will surely make his fortune as a self-proclaimed stud, just knowing the rich women there will be lining up to be bedded by him - and provide financial thanks into the bargain. Yet dreams don't always come true...

Although Midnight Cowboy was a major success in its day, winning an Oscar for Best Picture, the only X-rated picture to do so (it would now be rated R, but it's an achievement of sorts), critical reaction has always been somewhat suspicious. Those who try to pin down what they don't like about the movie point to its glum view of America, its flashy style, the plot's apparent hatred of women, or simply the sentimentality that its course of events brings about, blatantly aiming for the audience's tear ducts by the end. Yet while director John Schlesinger and writer Waldo Salt were manipulative, they were not truly heartless.

If anything, the tone was not so much scabrous, even satirical, but overwhelmingly disappointed. We follow the crushing of one naive man's hopes, after all, and the film has great sympathy for what in other hands could have been portrayed as an idiot who deserved all he got for his unworldly behaviour. Once Joe reaches New York City he rents a hotel room and starts wandering the streets, trying out his absurdly simple pick up line and believing that a wealthy lady will take him back to her place sooner or later. This actually does happen, but the woman (Sylvia Miles) is so insulted that she should pay that Joe leaves empty handed.

More than that, he pays her twenty dollars to stop her crying, yet it's not only the women who are out to use this "cowboy" as the men are too - chief among those being Rico "Ratso" Rizzo, played by Dustin Hoffman with his growing to be customary method acting to inhabit the role to his best ability. He didn't have as much screen time as Voight, who was excellent in the part which made him a star, but he made his scenes count as the seedy counterpart to Joe who fools him into handing over cash for what he claims will be the position he always wanted, servicing the rich ladies of the Big Apple, but ends up with a Jesus freak instead.

As hard as Hoffman worked to be repellent, Schlesinger worked harder to make us eventually feel sympathy, and that was where Midnight Cowboy's quality shone through the grime. After Joe has tracked Ratso down, they come to an understanding partly because Joe is such a nice guy that he cannot stay mad at him (we see in flashback he has been exploited far too badly in his past, which he has attempted to block out), and partly because the cowboy has nowhere else to stay but with his new acquaintance, who perceives potential in him. This being the type of movie which cannot see the ambition in its characters as anything but doomed, it's notable that this pair of buddies, two against the world as it turns out, really deserve a break in our minds, even if we can see their less admirable aspects - especially in Ratso - so clearly. That was this film's triumph, winning you over to the kind of people most would avoid in the street, and finding genuine poignancy in their dejection. Even the enduring John Barry-led musical selection does so.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3287 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: