1969 • Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy 1969 Best Picture

Everybody's talkin...

The 1960s came to a close last night when Lauren and I watched 1969’s Midnight Cowboy, starring very young actors Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight.  This was a movie I have been highly anticipating if for no other reason than its interesting title, while Lauren was turned off for that very reason.

Midnight Cowboy is the story of Joe Buck (Voight) as he up and leaves his Texas home for New York City to become a hustler, which I guess is a high-clientele male prostitute.  He thinks he’s gonna get rich satisfying the ladies of New York, but he quickly finds out this isn’t the case. In a very short time Buck is all alone, and turns to his only companion, Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo for a place to stay.

This movie goes to some strange places that we haven’t seen in any Best Picture winners yet.  First of all, it’s the only X-rated film to win Best Picture.  By today’s standards it wouldn’t be rated X, but back then X basically meant adults only.  Oddly enough, this was the year after Oliver! became the only Best Picture winner with a G rating.

There were clearly some “artsy” scenes that involved wild flashbacks and dream sequences, especially during the party where Joe Buck mistakenly smokes marijuana.

This is also one of the first movies to this point in our project to feature actors who are not just currently active, but still at the top of their games.  I figured this was probably Hoffman and Voight’s first big roles, but they are both a little older than I imagined and research showed they had each had prominent roles in movies prior to Midnight Cowboy.  They both received Best Actor nominations for their roles. Supporting actress Sylvia Miles also received high praise for her role in the film.  Despite screen time of less than four total minutes, she was given a Best Actress nomination.

Yet again, I realized while watching the movie how many times it has been spoofed over the years, especially on a particular episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and Kramer end the episode riding on a bus together.  Hoffman’s famous quote “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” has been parodied dozens of times in other shows.

This was one of those movies that I tend to like that doesn’t necessarily have a strong storyline, but is more of a character development type of movie… I thought, anyway.  Lauren didn’t seem nearly as amused! I also really enjoyed the title song “Everybody’s Talkin'” and the rest of the soundtrack.  Overall, I give it an 8/10 and will rank it in the top third, most likely.

1 Comment

  1. Yay! A movie I have seen.


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