Thursday, 10 November 2011

midnight cowboy (1969) - john schlesinger

One of the best films of all time (IMHO), Midnight Cowboy tells the tale of Joe Buck, an innocent would be hustler (John Voight), coming to New York, where he hopes to make his fortune by being a Gigalo. Things do not go according to plan, and he then falls in with Enrico 'Ratso' Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), an ill vagrant and streetwise hustler, who rips him off at first, before they eventually form a partnership of sorts. There are also flashback scenes which show Joe and his girlfriend being raped, which led to his girlfriend being institutionalised, Joe joining the army, and his grandmother (who raised him) dying while he was away, before he headed to New York. Times get hard (Unlike Joe in one scene) as Rizzo and Joe try to make a living, and just as Joe gets some work and is recommended to others, Rizzo's illness gets worse, so they head to Florida for a better life. Both Hoffman and Voight are excellent in this (especially Hoffman), and the soundtrack is top notch. There is the odd scene which really dates the film, but overall, it is superb. It also ends with Hoffman leaving on a bus with his partner, and the bus passengers looking at them, just as he did in 'The Graduate' (but with a different outcome).

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