Joe Buck (Voight) escapes a nowhere life (and a nasty incident whose nature slowly becomes revealed) in small town Texas for New York City, where he hopes to make it big. Unfortunately, about the only place he does anything good is in bed, so he becomes a hustler, pleasuring and sometimes stealing from wealthy Park Avenue women. He gets conned by street hustler Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Hoffman), but the two become friends. Joe also gradually realizes they have the same dream -- of making it big and moving to sunny and warm Florida -- but that Ratso is also dying. Joe decides to do what he can to make the dream occur. The first and only X-rated movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture (in a rapidly-altering cultural environment, the rating was downgraded to R two years later without any cuts), this 1969 downer was a revelation to viewers who saw an almost unrecognizably scuzzy Hoffman two years after "The Graduate" and newcomer Voight (he had two unknown features behind him). Director John Schlesinger and screenwriter Waldo Salt also took home Oscars for this adaptation of the James Leo Herlihy novel.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
The X-rated “Midnight Cowboy” won Best Picture and Best Director (John Schlisinger) Oscars in 1969 for its decadent looks inside 42nd Street movie houses, opium dens and uptown high-rises.
Long before “An American Gigolo,” many young men must have dreamt of becoming big-city escorts for a fee. At least brash, west-Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) did something about it.
Joe arrives in New York City to Nilsson's “Everybody's Talkin.” Wearing fringed cowboy regalia, he attempts to pick up Park Avenue dowagers, the first of whom tearfully takes him for $20. As his cash dwindles, Joe is evicted and is reduced to servicing a schoolboy in a squalid movie house. When Joe runs into sickly but street-smart “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) who had previously suckered him, Rizzo offers to share his condemned tenement along with providing “management,” (“frankly, you're beginning to smell; and for a stud in New York, that's a handicap.") In return, he sees Joe as the one person who can get him to his dreamland Florida where sunshine and orange juice will cure his ailments.
As Joe realizes he was “never cut out for hustling,” his main objective becomes helping his unlikely comrade escape the putrid city.
The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin