Thursday, June 20, 2013

Midnight Cowboy (1969) Review

Midnight Cowboy is famous for being the first (and only) X-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture The story revolves around Joe Buck (portrayed brilliantly by Jon Voight) who leaves Texas to go to New York and become a male prostitute. While there he meets Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) who at first scams him but then they end up becoming friends.

Midnight Cowboy is an incredibly amazing movie with a very bleak ending. (Spoilers?) Upon arriving in New York, it is evident that Joe Buck is extremely naive and thinks that it must be easy to become a male prostitute. He has more difficulty than he thought he would have on finding his first woman.

When he finally comes around to finding a woman to sleep with, Cass (Sylvia Miles), it turns out that she is not a customer and she is a prostitute herself. Sylvia Miles earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her five-minute contribution to this movie. Her scene worked really well and showed good acting and if it were lenghtier maybe something would have come of it but thinking back to the movie there would really be no more need for character.

Following that incident, Joe comes along and meets Rico who is a sick man that says he wants to help Joe find customers. Rico scams Joe but eventually Joe finds Rico and is made to move in with him since he can't pay for his hotel and they're not giving him his luggage.

The movie relies heavily on the amazing chemistry between Hoffman and Voight. It is incredible to see there characters going from being ambivalent about each other to actually caring for one another. The scene after the weird party when Rico falls down the steps and Joe wants to make sure that he is alright is great. Both actors work really well together and the chemistry that they create makes the ending scene that much more heartbreaking.

Another great scene that reveals the chemistry between Rico and Joe is when Joe buys medicine and gloves for Rico. We see that Rico is succumbing to his disease but he's still too proud to say thanks and says that he could have stolen them from someone. You can see that Rico is grateful and Joe is genuinely concerned.

Overall, the movie is extremely entertatining and heartbreaking and that is due to Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman's chemistry.

5/5 stars

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