Midnight Cowboy (1969) - News Poster

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Box Office: Why 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's' $40M Debut Doesn't Guarantee a Fairy Tale Ending

Box Office: Why 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's' $40M Debut Doesn't Guarantee a Fairy Tale Ending
In 1969, summer releases Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider were the two top-grossing films of the year behind Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Both signaled a changing Hollywood trying to mirror the cultural revolution sweeping the country, with Midnight Cowboy going on to win the Oscar for best picture despite its X rating.

Fifty years later, writer-director Quentin Tarantino tries to capture that moment in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a once-successful Western star trying to keep his faltering career alive and Brad Pitt as his stuntman-turned-gofer. But whether the original adult tentpole can succeed as an antidote to ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

In 1969, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s ‘Easy Rider’ Pushed Hollywood Into the ’70s

In 1969, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s ‘Easy Rider’ Pushed Hollywood Into the ’70s
This summer marks multiple 50th anniversary spin-offs of 1969 cultural watersheds, from the first moon landing (Neon’s hit documentary “Apollo 11”) and the Manson family murders (Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) to concert event “Woodstock.”

In the middle of 1969, Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider” opened in New York at one theater, ahead of a slow rollout (most of the country did not play the film until September). Now, on the anniversary of the premiere, Fathom Events is bringing it back to over 400 theaters for limited shows on Sunday and next Wednesday.

Decades later, “Easy Rider” is not remembered so much as a great movie–although it did break out Jack Nicholson as a movie star– but more as a shocking commercial success that shook Hollywood’s timbers. The studio reaction to “Easy Rider” changed the industry forever.

Here’s how “Easy Rider” turned into a pivotal Hollywood moment.
See full article at Indiewire »

"Tell Me We Haven't Blown It": Peter Fonda Reflects on 'Easy Rider' and Its Unanswered Question

If 1939 was cinema's golden year, 1969 was its watershed. Though Hollywood was still producing big-budget films (Hello, Dolly!) and features starring such veterans as John Wayne (True Grit), the counterculture was quickly taking root. That year heralded the arrival of such new filmmakers as Paul Mazursky (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice) and three X-rated dramas — John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool and Frank Perry's Last Summer — which all became critical and commercial successes. Midnight Cowboy even claimed the best picture Oscar at the 42nd Academy Awards over relatively lighter fare like Dolly! and Butch ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Alexander Bertrand jumps from ‘Australian Gangster’ to ‘Les Norton’

Alexander Bertrand in ‘Les Norton.’

After landing his first lead role in Roadshow Rough Diamond’s Australian Gangster, Alexander Bertrand set his sights on playing the title character in the same production house’s Les Norton.

That was no sure thing: Despite his performance as the Sydney crime figure in the upcoming Seven Network drama, the actor had to fight hard to win the Norton role in the ABC series based on Robert G. Barrett’s Australian novels set in the 1980s.

“There were five or six people up for the role, including a couple of heavyweight Hollywood names,” he tells If. “I had to do a couple of call backs.”

Jocelyn Moorhouse, who co-directed the 10-part series with Fadia Abboud, David Caesar and Morgan O’Neill, loved Australian Gangster and championed his cause.

“Jocelyn told me she put on the brass knuckles and went into bat for me,” he says.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Do the Right Thing Actor Paul Benjamin Dead at 81 as Director Spike Lee Pays Tribute

Do the Right Thing Actor Paul Benjamin Dead at 81 as Director Spike Lee Pays Tribute
Actor Paul Benjamin, who appeared in Spike Lee’s seminal 1989 film Do the Right Thing, died last month, the director announced Wednesday.

Lee penned a heartfelt tribute to Benjamin on Instagram, revealing the 81-year-old actor had died on June 28. A cause of death wasn’t immediately revealed.

“I’m Sad To Write That The Great Actor Paul Benjamin (Who Played Ml, {Far Left} One Of The Cornermen Passed This Past Friday,2 Days Before The 30th Anniversary Of Do The Right Thing. Rest In Paradise. Born 1/1/38. Died 6/28/19”

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I’m Sad To Write That The Great Actor Paul Benjamin (Who Played Ml,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Paul Benjamin, Actor in ‘Do the Right Thing,’ Dies at 81

  • Variety
Paul Benjamin, Actor in ‘Do the Right Thing,’ Dies at 81
Paul Benjamin, who played one of the men on the corner in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” died June 28, Lee announced on Instagram.

“I’m sad to write that the great actor Paul Benjamin, who played Ml, far left, passed this past Friday, two days before the 30th anniversary of ‘Do the Right Thing.’ Rest in Paradise,” the director wrote.

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I’m Sad To Write That The Great Actor Paul Benjamin on Jul 2, 2019 at 10:15am Pdt

Born in South Carolina, Benjamin started out doing Shakespeare on stage in New York, and made his film debut with a small role as a bartender in “Midnight Cowboy.” He had a featured role in “Across 110th Street” in 1972, and appeared in Blaxploitation films like “The Education of Sonny Carson” and “Friday Foster” with Pam Grier.

Among his other appearances were in Richard Pryor comedy “Some Kind of Hero,
See full article at Variety »

Paul Benjamin Dies: ‘Do The Right Thing’ Actor Was 81

  • Deadline
Paul Benjamin Dies: ‘Do The Right Thing’ Actor Was 81
Paul Benjamin, who appeared in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, has died. Lee announced on Instagram that the veteran actor died June 28. The cause of death was not immediately known. Benjamin was 81.

Benjamin, who played one of the three wise Brooklyn “cornermen” in Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing, began his career in 1969 as a bartender in Midnight Cowboy. He went to play small roles in Sidney Lumet’s The Anderson Tapes and Born to Win, then segued into more extensive TV work later in the 1970s.

He appeared as a death row inmate in a 1988 episode of In The Heat of the Night and also in the 1994 pilot episode of ER, which led to his recurring role of homeless man Al Ervin during the next few seasons. Benjamin also worked on the American Masters documentary of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ralph Ellison, which aired on PBS, as
See full article at Deadline »

50 X-rated Movies That Aren't Porn

  • CinemaRetro
Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in "Midnight Cowboy".

Writing on the Thrillist web site, Jennifer M. Wood presents an excellent article outlining 50 major films that were initially rated X but which were not pornographic. Her analysis dates back to the early days of the American ratings system when "X" initially just meant adult fare that children could not be admitted to view. Acclaimed films such as "Midnight Cowboy" and "Last Tango in Paris" were released under the "X" rating but ultimately the porn industry made the "X" synonymous with hardcore sex films. Eventually, the studios adopted the "Nc-17" rating in the hope that it would revive interest in mainstream, adult fare that had an edge to it, but ultimately the strategy largely failed. Some of the classic movies initially rated "X" or "Nc-17" were ultimately re-rated to "R" including a 1994 re-release of "The Wild Bunch"!

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See full article at CinemaRetro »

Sylvia Miles obituary

Oscar-nominated stage and screen actor best known for her roles in Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely

A mere six minutes of screen-time in John Schlesinger’s 1969 counter-cultural hit Midnight Cowboy was all it took to land Sylvia Miles her first Oscar nomination. For the 1975 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, which brought her second Oscar nod, she still failed to clock up more than 10 minutes on screen. But then Miles, who has died aged 94, knew how to make every second count, filling her life as well as her performances with incident and vitality.

Midnight Cowboy demonstrated her extraordinary way with character, conveying the depth of a complex life in a handful of concentrated gestures. Briskly applying her lipstick in the mirror, she is oblivious to the awkward attempts by the greenhorn hustler Joe (Jon Voight) to broach the subject of payment after sex.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Shanghai Film Festival Abruptly Pulls Opening Film ‘The Eight Hundred’

  • Variety
Shanghai Film Festival Abruptly Pulls Opening Film ‘The Eight Hundred’
The Shanghai Film Festival has abruptly yanked its opening movie, the $80 million patriotic war drama “The Eight Hundred,” on the eve of the fest’s kickoff, Variety has confirmed. A restored 4K version of “Midnight Cowboy” will play tomorrow night instead, the organizers announced Friday evening on social media.

The cancellation of the Saturday premiere was made for unspecified “technical reasons,” which is often a euphemism for censorship problems, although a source close to the project told Variety that that is not the issue in this case and that the film had successfully passed the content censorship stage. “Technical reasons” were also cited in the withdrawal of Zhang Yimou’s “One Second” from the Berlin Film Festival in February.

While Chinese authorities have withdrawn films from other film festivals – two were pulled from the Berlinale, including “One Second” – it’s unusual for a Chinese-made film to be yanked from a Chinese festival.
See full article at Variety »

All My Children Actress Sylvia Miles Dead at 94

Oscar-nominated actress Sylvia Miles died on June 12 at the age of 94. Although best known for her work on the big screen, the actress has appeared on television as well, including soap operas! In 1982, Miles played Jackie Diamond on All My Children, the pornographer who Jenny Gardner got mixed up with in New York City. Her IMDb page also lists an appearance as Stella on One Life To Live in 1999. Miles with Kim Delaney as Jenny on AMC in 1982. (Photo Credit: ABC via Getty Images) Miles began her career on stage in the late ‘40s and on television in the ‘50s. She was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Cass in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy, and again in the same category for her work as Mrs. Florian in 1975’s Farewell, My Lovely. Viewers might also remember her from playing Meryl Streep’s mother in the 1989 comedy,
See full article at ABC Soaps in Depth »

Iconic New York Actor Sylvia Miles Dies at 94

Tony Sokol Jun 12, 2019

Sylvia Miles was the original Sally on the Dick van Dyke Show, and a fixture of New York's entertainment world.

Iconic New York stage and screen scene-stealer Sylvia Miles died at age 94, according to Variety. Miles created a string of incredibly memorable, very New York characters, often with very little screen time. She was on the screen for six minutes in Midnight Cowboy (1969), about five and a half minutes in Farewell, My Lovely (1975), and she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for both. She only sold two apartments in Wall Street and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Miles had three short scenes selling Amy Irving to the pickle guy in Crossing Delancey.

Her starring role in Andy Warhol's Heat, is no less memorable, though criminally under-watched. A take on the classic Sunset Boulevard, as if any of Warhol's movies weren't, Miles played the Gloria Swanson
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sylvia Miles, Oscar Nominee for Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely, Dead at 94

Sylvia Miles, Oscar Nominee for Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely, Dead at 94
Sylvia Miles, the lively actress in Midnight Cowboy and Farewell, My Lovely, has died. She was 94.

Miles passed away on Wednesday in Manhattan in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, her publicist Mauricio Padilha told The New York Times.

She began her career in off-Broadway plays in 1947 and later segued into TV and film. She played the role of Sally Rogers in the pilot episode of what became The Dick Van Dyke Show, but the role was taken over by Rose Marie.

The actress earned her first Oscar nomination for her brief performance as Cass, a hooker,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

'Midnight Cowboy' Actress Sylvia Miles Dead at 94

  • TMZ
'Midnight Cowboy' Actress Sylvia Miles Dead at 94
Sylvia Miles -- who rose to fame for her role in "Midnight Cowboy" -- has died. TMZ has confirmed the two-time Academy Award nominee passed away Wednesday in New York ... and she reportedly died in the back of an ambulance on the way to a hospital.  Sylvia was in her mid-40s when she acted alongside Jon Voight in the 1969 movie, "Midnight Cowboy" ... and she played an Upper East Side hooker trying to out-hustle Voight's character,
See full article at TMZ »

Sylvia Miles, Two-Time Oscar Nominee for ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Farewell, My Lovely,’ Dies at 94

Sylvia Miles, Two-Time Oscar Nominee for ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Farewell, My Lovely,’ Dies at 94
Sylvia Miles, a scene-stealing, two-time Oscar nominee for supporting roles in the Best Picture winner “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely,” died on Wednesday. She was 94.

Her friend of 25 years, publicist Mauricio Padilha, confirmed her passing to TheWrap, saying Miles died Wednesday while in an ambulance to the hospital on her way from her Manhattan home due to “complications of age.” Padilha described her as “wonderful” and lived “surrounded by everything she loved.”

Miles made a name for herself in “Midnight Cowboy” as a sharp-tongued New York prostitute who manages to hustle Jon Voight’s character as he’s trying to make his own living as an aspiring prostitute and con man. In the brief scene, only about six minutes of screen time in all, she goes from pleasantries to explosive, sobbing histrionics in seconds.

Also Read: Mary Duggar, 'Counting On' Grandmother, Dies at 73

She managed a second Oscar nomination
See full article at The Wrap »

Sylvia Miles Dies: ‘Midnight Cowboy’, ‘Farewell My Lovely’ Star Was 94

  • Deadline
Sylvia Miles Dies: ‘Midnight Cowboy’, ‘Farewell My Lovely’ Star Was 94
Sylvia Miles, who earned two Oscar nominations – one for her memorable role as a poodle-owning Upper East Side matron who hooks up with Jon Voight’s hustler in Midnight Cowboy and one for a five and a-half minute scene with Robert Mitchum in Farewell My Lovely – has died.

Her friend, publicist Mauricio Padilha, confirmed to The New York Times that Miles died Wednesday in Manhattan. Padilha said she died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. She was 94.

Miles was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscars for her roles in Midnight Cowboy and in 1975’s Farewell My Love She also appeared in Wall Street and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, among numerous other movies, plays and TV series.

Miles was also a long-time fixture on the New York party scene, often carousing with Andy Warhol and his Factory crowd. She was notable for her continuing appearances
See full article at Deadline »

Sylvia Miles, Oscar-Nominated for ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Farewell My Lovely,’ Dies at 94

  • Variety
Sylvia Miles, Oscar-Nominated for ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Farewell My Lovely,’ Dies at 94
Actress Sylvia Miles, who was Oscar-nominated for “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely,” died Wednesday at her home in New York. Her friends, journalist Michael Musto and actress Geraldine Smith, confirmed her death. She was reportedly 94, although she gave various accounts of her age.

Celebrity journalist Musto, who was about to appear with Smith and Miles in an indie film, said, “She was one of my first celebrity interviews (in the 1970s) and was charismatic and career driven. She’d run up to directors at Studio 54 and say ‘Hire me!’ She was very proud of her two Oscar nominations.”

Smith said “Her family was her New York friends,” and related how she had been excited to get back to acting.

Miles’ first major role came in the 1969 film “Midnight Cowboy” alongside Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. Despite only appearing on screen for about six minutes, her role as Cass earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.
See full article at Variety »

Sylvia Miles, Scene-Stealer in 'Midnight Cowboy' and 'Farewell, My Lovely,' Dies at 94

Sylvia Miles, Scene-Stealer in 'Midnight Cowboy' and 'Farewell, My Lovely,' Dies at 94
Sylvia Miles, the uninhibited actress whose 14 minutes of screen time as a poodle-owning hooker in Midnight Cowboy and a boozy broad in Farewell, My Lovely was enough to land her a pair of supporting Oscar nominations, died Wednesday. She was 94.

Publicist Mauricio Padilha told The New York Times that Miles died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital in Manhattan. Her friend Geraldine Smith told the New York Post that she had been in declining health and had recently left a nursing home because "she didn’t want to die there."

In one of her most notorious ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

True Grit at 50: the throwback western that gave John Wayne his only Oscar

Released in the same year as The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Henry Hathaway’s western was defiantly old-fashioned in comparison

The year 1969 was a true inflection point for the American western, a once-dominant genre that had become a casualty of the culture, particularly when Vietnam had rendered the moral clarity of white hats and black hats obsolete. A handful of westerns were released by major studios that year, including forgettable or regrettable star vehicles for Burt Reynolds (Sam Whiskey) and Clint Eastwood (Paint Your Wagon), who were trying to revitalize the genre with a touch of whimsy. But 50 years later, three very different films have endured: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch and True Grit. Together, they represented the past, present and future of the western.

Related: Midnight Cowboy at 50: why the X-rated best picture winner endures
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Fifty Years After The Ratings Mess Around ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ Hollywood Still Gets Holier Than Thou

  • Deadline
Fifty years ago–on May 25, 1969, to be exact—United Artists walked into one of the all-time great film rating messes when it released John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy with the Motion Picture Association of America’s dreaded “X–Persons under 17 not admitted.”

When Variety reviewed it on May 14, the movie, about a forlorn hustler and his dying companion on the streets of New York, had been rated R. But Variety seemed to hint that a stronger prohibition was in order. “Can depravity be offered as farce?” the review wondered. By the time Film and Television Daily caught up with it, on May 20, Midnight Cowboy was re-rated X.

Conventional wisdom says the movie was restricted because of homosexual content. But William J. Mann, in his 2005 authorized biography Edge Of Midnight: The Life Of John Schlesinger, says the rating was aimed at multiple offenses: “nudity, homosexuality and four-letter words.” In any case,
See full article at Deadline »
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