Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York for the first time. Preening himself as a real 'hustler', he finds that he is the one getting 'hustled' until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named 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
Watching Midnight Cowboy is like taking a masterclass in acting/ directing/ cinematography/ editing/ writing. I was too young to watch it when it was originally released, and only saw it for the first time a couple of years ago, but it has absolutely stood the test of time, and I have watched it several times since.
Everything about this film is brilliant, from the poignant performances from Voight and Hoffman (even though I know this movie well, I still find myself welling up every time Voight flashes one of his innocently pained looks, or Hoffman coughs in his sickly and ominous way) to the stunning cinematography and superbly edited dream sequences.
It's a shame that more of our contemporary filmmakers aren't prepared to take a risk on making movies that are as visually and aurally interesting as this one. Midnight cowboy should be required viewing at all film schools.
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