Sunday, November 7, 2010

1969: Midnight Cowboy

A young, naive, handsome Texan named Joe Buck moves to New York, hoping to become a hustler.  He is thoroughly unsuccessful, but he meets Ratso Rizzo, a sickly crook who agrees to be Joe's manager.  While trying to make ends meet in an unheated condemned apartment, the two misfits develop a powerful friendship.

While I enjoyed watching the main characters' relationship evolve, I really didn't like the majority of this movie.  For the most part, it's one of those weird, artsy, hippy sex movies, which just really aren't my thing.  But there were moments when I thought, "This is actually kind of good."  Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman both gave stellar performances, but I think without them this film would have little to recommend it, at least for me.  The film techniques were very interesting, but I also found them distracting.  And I didn't like the story very much either.  I kept wanting to yell at Joe, "If this isn't working, get another job, you moron!"  But I did find the end of the film moving.  The last five minutes made some of the earlier bizarre stuff worth sitting through.

This is the only X-rated film to ever win Best Picture, although the rating was changed to R in 1971.  Some of the subject matter is pretty scandalous, but today's audiences wouldn't think twice about most of it.  This movie is certainly interesting, but I don't think I'll be watching it again any time soon.

Next Best Picture: Patton

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