Midnight Cowboy Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Branda Vaccarro

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Midnight Cowboy

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.
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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

Script Analysis of Midnight Cowboy

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1960's-1970's Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   prostitute Poverty story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   prostitute/concubine    -   cowboy Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)    -   dangerous    -   wealthy    -   rude people Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion    -   sewers/subways    -   theater    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   actual description of sex    -   seeing breasts    -   seeing nude female butt    -   seeing nude male butt    -   seeing full frontal--men Any profanity?    -   Some foul language Is this movie based on a    -   book

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