Midnight Cowboy (1969)


midnight cowboy“Uh, well, sir, I ain’t a f’real cowboy. But I am one helluva stud!” – Joe Buck

Number of Times Seen – 2 (20 Jul 2009 and 17 Feb 2014)

Brief Synopsis – Two mismatched friends try to survive on the streets of NYC.

My Take on it –  I am not ashamed to say that I have never really enjoyed this movie so much because I find the storyline somewhat unbelievable, but it is undeniable that the acting by Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman is close to perfect here.

Voight as the good looking hick trying to get ahead in life by selling himself to NYC socialites and Hoffman as his street rat manager are both memorable characters that will always be remembered among standout performances, but unfortunately that’s all that can be taken away from watching this movie.

Perhaps the problem here is the fact that the storyline hasn’t aged very well in 45 years and people remember more the iconic line “Hey, I’m walkin here” than the mediocre choppy storyline.

There are also numerous flashbacks that seem pointless since they are never referred to or even explained and they just leave the viewer wondering why they were included at all.

Winner of 3 (of 7) Oscars.  It won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay.

It lost Best Actor for both Hoffman and Voight [They both lost to John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (1969)], Film Editing and Supporting Actress for Sylvia Miles.

Bottom Line – Storyline is a bit unbelievable and didn’t age well, but the great acting here somewhat makes up for it.  A pretty mediocre Best Picture Winner IMHO.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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26 thoughts on “Midnight Cowboy (1969)

  1. Pingback: Oscar Best Picture Winner Reviews | MovieRob

      • I thought it a spot on character study that dealt with the themes of society’s underbelly and the need to belong while struggling to understand one’s own place and identity within that society – that’s so obviously topsy-turvy. Both Hoffman and Voight capture these lost souls perfectly, making it an astute commentary and reversal of the American dream.

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    • Thankfully for Hoffman, he was able to repeat his great acting performance in Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man and he got Oscar gold twice for it.

      Wayne got gold out of sentiment in a role which mirrored his own Hollywood life. Oscars don’t always go to the most deserving for the part, but sometimes loyalties and emotions take precedence.

      Thanks for commenting Dan

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  8. Hoffman and Voight give indelible performances which make the film worth seeing but I think the movie itself is grievously dated, very much of its time and trying too hard to be hip and relevant. In my view Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch was the best movie of ’69–one of the greatest of all time, in fact–and should have swept the Oscars.

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