Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of ... See full summary »
James L. Brooks
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
Contrasting Opinions #1: Ratso Rizzo's famous line, "I'm walkin' here!", *was* scripted. The location was at 58th Street and 6th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The scene called for the taxicab (driven by a stunt driver) to turn east onto 58th Street from 6th Avenue as Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, walking north on 6th Avenue, crossed 58th Street. Dustin then was to yell at the cab as it almost ran into him. The scene was rehearsed, and then with camera and sound rolling, the shot was filmed. There was a pause, the cab reversed direction, backed up onto 6th, stopped, then proceeded to turn again onto 58th as Dustin and Jon once more crossed the street. This happened several times, each time attracting a larger and larger crowd of curious onlookers. The camera setup was just to the north, and the crew seemed to be greatly amused as the filming disrupted morning rush hour. See more »
After Joe Buck's encounter with Towny, he and Ratso board the bus to Miami. But the bus then enters the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel, which only carries eastbound traffic into New York. See more »
Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
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In my opinion, this is one of the greatest movies ever made in America and it deserved every single award it won and it's place on the AFI Top 100 list (though it's shamefully too low on the IMDB Top 250 list, at only #183 as of this writing). If you enjoy acting of the highest calibre (Voight and Hoffman are a superb match), well-drawn characterizations and inventive direction, editing and cinematography, you'll love this just as much as I did. Schlesinger paints a vivid, always credible picture of the late 60s New York City scene and it's many victims struggling to overcome personal demons and survive amidst the amorality, poverty and hopelessness of 42nd Street, New York City.
The filmmaking techniques employed here brilliantly capture the feel of the underground New York film movement (and of the city) and are nothing less than dazzling. I've seen many ideas (including the rapid-fire editing, the handling of the voice-over flashbacks, the drug/trip sequences and the cartoonish face slipped in during a murder scene to convey angst and terror) stolen by other filmmakers.
The relationship between Joe and Ratso is handled in such a way as to be viewed as an unusually strong friendship OR having it's homosexual underpinnings. I think the director handled this in a subtle way not to cop out to the censorship of the times, but rather to concentrate his energies on the importance of a strong human connection in life, whether it be sexual or not.
MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a brave, moving film of magnitude, influence and importance that has lost absolutely none of it's impact over the years, so if you haven't seen it, you're really missing out on a true American classic. I recommend this film to everyone.
Score: 10 out of 10.
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