Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York City for the first time. Preening himself as a real "hustler", he finds that he is the one getting "hustled" until he teams up with down-and-out but resilient outcast Ratso Rizzo. The initial "country cousin meets city cousin" relationship deepens. In their efforts to bilk a hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each has found his first real friend.Written by
I saw MIDNIGHT COWBOY in easter 1970 when i was 15. It was at a very quiet matinée in a very cold rural mountain holiday resort town in in Australia. I was alone as I had gone for a walk but discovered I was in time for the matinée. It was one of the great cinema experiences of my teenage life and left an impression on me that still resonates. After the screening, it was freezing and foggy outside and almost dark. I walked to a nearby park in the freezing fog, sat on a wet bench and cried and cried until the tears began to freeze too. I wiped them away and went home for dinner. Nobody the wiser except me. Recently I was the film again for the first time in 40 years. I am simply awestruck at the sense of NY 1969 that floods from the screen, the sense of the time anywhere in 1969 and the fact that the film is shattering in it's depiction of poverty and friendship in a bleak city. Recently I also went to NY and found that as fascinating for I felt NY was completely safe and totally unlike the squalor seen in their lives in the film. NY today is very pretty and epic and like a fun park. I have enduring respect and admiration for this extraordinary film. I hope you do too. The performances by Voight and Hoffman are award worthy, and Joe Buck, like Forrest Gump is the sexy flip side of the American Everyman. Directed by a Brit: John Schlesinger whose International eye for NY and the tawdry but fascinating life of USA 1969 has allowed this film to be as great as it is, only made one other great American films and that is the equally tangible and shocking Hollywood pit of 1937 called DAY OF THE LOCUST. Both films have trailers which every young film maker today should study for a perfect lesson in 'preview' creation.
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