Directed by John Schlesinger
Nominated for 7 Oscars, Won 3
Up against: Anne of the Thousand Days, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hello Dolly!, Z
Joe Buck has left his life in Texas behind and come to New York City to become a "hustler", a freelance sex stud. But things are harder than he'd imagine it to be. The streets are meaner, and Joe has his demons to fight. But then he meets Ratso, a down-and-out crook but outcast. Ratso and Joe form an unlikely friendship, and end up both needing each other if they are to survive life in New York City. Especially since Ratso's health isn't very good and Joe is a naive country boy.
Midnight Cowboy's claim to fame is that it is the only Best Picture winner to be rated X. While it has since been bumped down to an R rating, it was very interesting that it won. It was also released a year after the Hays Code (a code set out by MPAA of what was appropriate and not appropriate to be in films). It was also a slightly controversial film. It contained scenes of homosexuality, and a lot of sex and nudity. Interestingly, the film that won the year before was Oliver!, a movie was a G rating. Shows how different movies are that the Academy awards Best Picture.
This film was definitely not a favourite Best Picture winner of mine. While I adore Dustin Hoffman, and he was really very good in this film, I found the picture rather dull. Sure, it was sad, and Joe was wildly messed up, but I found it a bit of a bore most of the time. The story was slow-moving, and while the acting was good, it wasn't my cup of tea.
While they gave Joe a very troubled past, and made Ratso a mysterious person, someone we never truly get to know or understand, they seemed a little flat to me. The constant flashbacks at the beginning of Joe's life, and his visions of what he wished he could do in certain situations were a little much. Though I guess the flashbacks at Joe's worst memory was very meaningful to the story and added a lot.
While this film is remembered as the X-rated film that won Best Picture, I feel like there wasn't much more to it. It was unnecessarily explicit, and was very slow moving.
Music- 7/10 Emotional Connection- 6/10
Overall Enjoyment- 6/10
Overall Package- 7/10