Midnight Cowboy Reviews

  • Aug 06, 2019

    Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight are a great pairing.

    Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight are a great pairing.

  • Jun 04, 2019

    Depressing, funny, gritty and difficult to watch while also being magnetic this is an odd film but one that makes it's case for being one of the Top 100 films of all time. Going into the film I was aware that I was going to find it disturbing and see the dark underbelly of the United States in the late 1960s. I have never seen a John Schlesinger directed film before but I plan to see Darling (1965) and Pacific Heights (1990) at some point in the future and I was aware of his reputation as a great director. The actors in the film need no introduction as Dustin Hoffman is brilliant in everything from The Graduate (1967) to The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) and Jon Voight starred in some of the greatest films of the 1970s. All of my expectations were exceeded as I walked away from this film shocked, horrified and surprisingly touched, this film earned the title of Best Picture. Joe Buck, Jon Voight, decides to move to New York City in hopes of attracting a wealthy older woman who will be willing to financially support him as he escapes his disturbing past in Texas. When he arrives he quickly realizes that he will struggle to find clients and hooks up with an agent, Ratso Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman, who defrauds him during their first meeting but they later become close friends and business partners. Buck eventually finds a client and begins getting paid but Rizzo is dying and wants Buck to take him to Florida which they will need $50 for. Buck goes to extraordinary measures to scrounge up enough money for the trip and the film ends tragically. The film is shot very interestingly as we see flashbacks dropped in while Buck rides on the bus to New York City and encounters various odd figures representative of the cultural melting pot that is America. We see these flashbacks in black and white or contrasted with present day events, what exactly happened to Buck is never clear but we know that he is disturbed which is enough to understand why he is the way he appears. We also spend long periods of time simply watching the oddities that can be found in New York City as the posters, people and atmosphere of New York is fully captured in a film that is both dreamlike and terrifyingly realistic. This visual aesthetic really enhances the film as it fits the bizarre tone of the film as a whole, it is obvious that Schlesinger had a very specific vision and he executed it perfectly. Another ingenious trick that the film pulls is that it makes you feel for people who are completely sleazy and disgusting in the actions they take but who can be caring and supportive for those they love. The central relationship between Buck and Rizzo works because they are both such oddballs and Hoffman and Voight have great chemistry. When we see Buck attempting to nurse his friend back to good health we believe that he is a good person and want to see him prosper. That's what makes it so horrifying when we see this man who is capable of compassion murder a repressed gay man who has treated him with respect for $50. The horrors of the American dream are on display here as the film forces you to understand how the means that justify the ends can be cruel. The performances of the two lead actors are incredible as they far exceed that of Best Actor winner John Wayne in True Grit (1969). Voight's wholesome appearance and confidence makes him convincing as the idiotically naïve man we meet at the beginning of the film but he is able to reveal emotional depth that makes his character sympathetic in the small moments. Hoffman matches him as he plays a comedic character who is equally ridiculous in presentation but seems grounded when compared to the figures that surround him. The two of them together are dynamite and I wanted to spend more time with them even as they became increasingly depressed. This film absolutely deserved to win Best Picture as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) is hardly strong competition and the fact that They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) was not nominated is criminal. I think the film earns it's reputation and is one of the greatest Best Picture winners ever.

    Depressing, funny, gritty and difficult to watch while also being magnetic this is an odd film but one that makes it's case for being one of the Top 100 films of all time. Going into the film I was aware that I was going to find it disturbing and see the dark underbelly of the United States in the late 1960s. I have never seen a John Schlesinger directed film before but I plan to see Darling (1965) and Pacific Heights (1990) at some point in the future and I was aware of his reputation as a great director. The actors in the film need no introduction as Dustin Hoffman is brilliant in everything from The Graduate (1967) to The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) and Jon Voight starred in some of the greatest films of the 1970s. All of my expectations were exceeded as I walked away from this film shocked, horrified and surprisingly touched, this film earned the title of Best Picture. Joe Buck, Jon Voight, decides to move to New York City in hopes of attracting a wealthy older woman who will be willing to financially support him as he escapes his disturbing past in Texas. When he arrives he quickly realizes that he will struggle to find clients and hooks up with an agent, Ratso Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman, who defrauds him during their first meeting but they later become close friends and business partners. Buck eventually finds a client and begins getting paid but Rizzo is dying and wants Buck to take him to Florida which they will need $50 for. Buck goes to extraordinary measures to scrounge up enough money for the trip and the film ends tragically. The film is shot very interestingly as we see flashbacks dropped in while Buck rides on the bus to New York City and encounters various odd figures representative of the cultural melting pot that is America. We see these flashbacks in black and white or contrasted with present day events, what exactly happened to Buck is never clear but we know that he is disturbed which is enough to understand why he is the way he appears. We also spend long periods of time simply watching the oddities that can be found in New York City as the posters, people and atmosphere of New York is fully captured in a film that is both dreamlike and terrifyingly realistic. This visual aesthetic really enhances the film as it fits the bizarre tone of the film as a whole, it is obvious that Schlesinger had a very specific vision and he executed it perfectly. Another ingenious trick that the film pulls is that it makes you feel for people who are completely sleazy and disgusting in the actions they take but who can be caring and supportive for those they love. The central relationship between Buck and Rizzo works because they are both such oddballs and Hoffman and Voight have great chemistry. When we see Buck attempting to nurse his friend back to good health we believe that he is a good person and want to see him prosper. That's what makes it so horrifying when we see this man who is capable of compassion murder a repressed gay man who has treated him with respect for $50. The horrors of the American dream are on display here as the film forces you to understand how the means that justify the ends can be cruel. The performances of the two lead actors are incredible as they far exceed that of Best Actor winner John Wayne in True Grit (1969). Voight's wholesome appearance and confidence makes him convincing as the idiotically naïve man we meet at the beginning of the film but he is able to reveal emotional depth that makes his character sympathetic in the small moments. Hoffman matches him as he plays a comedic character who is equally ridiculous in presentation but seems grounded when compared to the figures that surround him. The two of them together are dynamite and I wanted to spend more time with them even as they became increasingly depressed. This film absolutely deserved to win Best Picture as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) is hardly strong competition and the fact that They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) was not nominated is criminal. I think the film earns it's reputation and is one of the greatest Best Picture winners ever.

  • May 13, 2019

    Strong act, big strong zoom. Blobbo floored.

    Strong act, big strong zoom. Blobbo floored.

  • Mar 28, 2019

    It may have dated quite a bit, but there's a still a lot of wallop packed into the 113 minutes of Midnight Cowboy. It's attitude towards women can be generously called 'antiquated', and it does drag a fair bit towards the end, but there have been few films which have better captured the pure horror and drudgery of destitution. Voight and Hoffman seem to be competing to steal the screen, and both play off each other brilliantly. The movie has a very grubby aesthetic, like the film reels were dipped in grease and left to dry out in the hot sun, and it's completely cynical attitude towards both New York and humanity might not be pretty, but there are plenty glimmers of hope that keep our hustling heroes going. I was shocked by the ending twist, though admittedly I shouldn't have been, and Hoffman is so incredible that a single one of his expressions can make your heart go out to him, even when he's just been ripping someone off and running away with their cash. The look and tone will put many people off, but for those keen to take a close look at the seedy underbelly of big city living, few have done it more bleakly, or effectively, than Midnight Cowboy.

    It may have dated quite a bit, but there's a still a lot of wallop packed into the 113 minutes of Midnight Cowboy. It's attitude towards women can be generously called 'antiquated', and it does drag a fair bit towards the end, but there have been few films which have better captured the pure horror and drudgery of destitution. Voight and Hoffman seem to be competing to steal the screen, and both play off each other brilliantly. The movie has a very grubby aesthetic, like the film reels were dipped in grease and left to dry out in the hot sun, and it's completely cynical attitude towards both New York and humanity might not be pretty, but there are plenty glimmers of hope that keep our hustling heroes going. I was shocked by the ending twist, though admittedly I shouldn't have been, and Hoffman is so incredible that a single one of his expressions can make your heart go out to him, even when he's just been ripping someone off and running away with their cash. The look and tone will put many people off, but for those keen to take a close look at the seedy underbelly of big city living, few have done it more bleakly, or effectively, than Midnight Cowboy.

  • Jan 29, 2019

    To say that I liked the film wouldn't be correct, because it was a bit cringe-worthy for my taste, but that isn't to say it's a bad film by any means. The script can kind of fluctuate everywhere and there are some backstory sections that are left up to a little bit of interpretation, but those are really the only issues with the film. The main character has been messed up in the head by witnessing a gang rape, being a victim of gang rape himself, and possibly molestation by his guardians and so it's possible that the reason he wants to become a sex worker is because of a confused understanding of who he is. He gets swindled a lot at first because of his naivete, and then he quickly becomes hardened in order to survive homelessness. His interactions with Rico both add to this callousness and help to soften him back again. By the end he has realized that prostitution is too hard for him to survive on, and it's a good lesson for him because it appears that he has found himself, whereas before he struggled with self-identity. Obviously the showcase of the film is on the platonic brotherhood between the two main leads, Hoffman and Voight, and it's no wonder that they both got Oscar nods for their performances as they are acted perfectly. The film is a well-done tragedy, and I couldn't see too many critical errors within it, just a bit too trashy for me.

    To say that I liked the film wouldn't be correct, because it was a bit cringe-worthy for my taste, but that isn't to say it's a bad film by any means. The script can kind of fluctuate everywhere and there are some backstory sections that are left up to a little bit of interpretation, but those are really the only issues with the film. The main character has been messed up in the head by witnessing a gang rape, being a victim of gang rape himself, and possibly molestation by his guardians and so it's possible that the reason he wants to become a sex worker is because of a confused understanding of who he is. He gets swindled a lot at first because of his naivete, and then he quickly becomes hardened in order to survive homelessness. His interactions with Rico both add to this callousness and help to soften him back again. By the end he has realized that prostitution is too hard for him to survive on, and it's a good lesson for him because it appears that he has found himself, whereas before he struggled with self-identity. Obviously the showcase of the film is on the platonic brotherhood between the two main leads, Hoffman and Voight, and it's no wonder that they both got Oscar nods for their performances as they are acted perfectly. The film is a well-done tragedy, and I couldn't see too many critical errors within it, just a bit too trashy for me.

  • Dec 21, 2018

    A fantastic movie that really solidified the excellence of Dustin Hoffman. Even if you don't care for the story

    A fantastic movie that really solidified the excellence of Dustin Hoffman. Even if you don't care for the story

  • Sep 05, 2018

    The film that introduced to the world both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight-although to be fair both had made films earlier and The Graduate is far more well-known- Midnight Cowboy is a well-made film about two hustlers trying to make it in the big apple. Well shot in a documentarist style so common in the late 60s Midnight cowboy is a great watch.

    The film that introduced to the world both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight-although to be fair both had made films earlier and The Graduate is far more well-known- Midnight Cowboy is a well-made film about two hustlers trying to make it in the big apple. Well shot in a documentarist style so common in the late 60s Midnight cowboy is a great watch.

  • Jul 15, 2018

    Boy oh boy did it make me cry...

    Boy oh boy did it make me cry...

  • Jun 18, 2018

    The film that introduced to the world both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight-although to be fair both had made films earlier and The Graduate is far more well-known- Midnight Cowboy is a well-made film about two hustlers trying to make it in the big apple. Well shot in a documentarist style so common in the late 60s Midnight cowboy is a great watch. 7/10 (Go watch it for the duo of Voight- Hoffman)

    The film that introduced to the world both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight-although to be fair both had made films earlier and The Graduate is far more well-known- Midnight Cowboy is a well-made film about two hustlers trying to make it in the big apple. Well shot in a documentarist style so common in the late 60s Midnight cowboy is a great watch. 7/10 (Go watch it for the duo of Voight- Hoffman)

  • Jun 18, 2018

    A very unique, gritty story with equally gritty performances and directing. A disturbing view of lower class life as shown through the eyes of a hustler from Texas who moves to New York and develops an odd friendship with an equally disturbing New York hustler. Their path to survival takes them into seedy situations, showing the basest of existence. All the while, sleeping through nightmarish flashbacks of life inTexas that made him who he was. Stories like this don't deserve a happy ending, and Midnight Cowboy didn't.

    A very unique, gritty story with equally gritty performances and directing. A disturbing view of lower class life as shown through the eyes of a hustler from Texas who moves to New York and develops an odd friendship with an equally disturbing New York hustler. Their path to survival takes them into seedy situations, showing the basest of existence. All the while, sleeping through nightmarish flashbacks of life inTexas that made him who he was. Stories like this don't deserve a happy ending, and Midnight Cowboy didn't.