March 20, 2012

Midnight Cowboy - 1969

Director: John Schlesinger
Writer: Waldo Salt
Starring: Jon Voight & Dustin Hoffman

Joe Buck (Voight), a dishwasher-turned-wannabe-cowboy, leaves his native Texas to make it big as a hustler (read: gigolo) in New York City. Unfortunately, Buck is almost immediately taken advantage of by a real hustler, Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Hoffman). After the initial conflict passes, Buck and Rizzo form an unlikely bond (mostly due to Buck's naivete) and the two struggle together against the city's seedy underbelly.

Despite starting off a bit slow, the film quickly becomes spectacular across the board. Look at the well-deserved Academy recognition it got that year:
  • three wins (Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay)
  • four nominations (two Actor, Supporting Actress, and Editing)
Keep in mind the supporting actress's performance clock in at less than four minutes of screentime. Schlesinger found a great script to attach himself to, and proceeded to make all the right decisions. This is truly a masterpiece, a masterful film beginning to end that everyone needs to see. A+.

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