Midnight Cowboy Screen 4 articles

Midnight Cowboy


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  • Midnight Cowboy, like New York itself, benefits from the influence of outsiders, from unique personalities with unique points of view. It’s why the film still feels so fresh and progressive—there’s enough creative diversity to keep its themes unrelentingly relevant.

  • I'm not sure whether Schlesinger's own identity as a gay man makes this mostly excusable or renders it all the more unforgivable instead. If this sounds like a pan, keep in mind that I'd gladly trade a raft of bland, inoffensive Oscar go-getters (then and now) for the profitable confusions of one MIDNIGHT COWBOY. It's the damnedest disappearing act in show business.

  • Method (Jon Voight) meets madness (Dustin Hoffman) in John Schlesinger's seamy 1969 buddy romance. The acting, showy and instinctual, is most of the movie; the visual style is too forced and chicly distended to let the drama acquire much natural life of its own. It's a film that expresses a great deal of disgust toward homosexuals, while placing a sympathetic homosexual relationship at its core.

  • By skillfully shifting back and forth between the keys of tough and tender on the theme of lonely vulnerability, Voight and Hoffman draw a few furtive tears from even the most dry-eyed sensibility. But as befits the hustlers they play, they haven't really earned the tears on traits of characterization as much as they've stolen them with tricks of acting. Fortunately, the tricks are enjoyable enough to justify the emotional larceny involved.

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