Watching Midnight Cowboy for the first time and taking in the historical context of the film, while people might inevitably compare it to Brokeback Mountain, I was reminded of Raging Bull. Raging Bull was made at the end of the Seventies and became regarded as one of the greatest movies of the Eighties. Likewise, Midnight Cowboy, released during the summer of love in 1969 became an indication of the direction films would take in the Seventies.
The ‘gay cowboy movie’ of my parent’s generation, Midnight Cowboy was important in many different ways, the least of which was its subject matter. Jon Voight stars as Joe Buck, a naïve young Texan who goes to
Both Voight and Hoffman were nominated for Best Actor for their performances. Voight plays the part of the dumb hick to perfection and you can get a sense of the hungry, young actor inside, yearning to please and be accepted. This movie would catapult him from a struggling
Directed by John Schlesinger, whose claim to fame had been the Julie Christie movie Darling, he made the film more personal than people knew. He was in the closet at the time and was constantly under the stress of keeping his private life private. I was struck by how he shows us clips, montages and flashes of Joe’s life in
The movie was released with an X rating for the sexual content and brief nudity. Eventually, it was changed to R in 1971 without having to change a frame. However, it would win the Oscar for Best Picture carrying the X rating, the only film with that distinction. It helped the fight for freedom of expression that continues to this day and also won Oscars for Best Director and Screenplay (Adapted).
I couldn’t help but notice how cyclical the movie was. In the end, Joe is basically back where he started from, geographic location notwithstanding. He is alone in a