2017 Blind Spot Series: Midnight Cowboy


What I knew going in: That it's the only Best Picture winner with an X rating. And apparently John Wayne bitched about it.

Joe Buck (Jon Voight) is so cowboy even his suitcase is cow print. He naively thinks he can just move from Texas to New York City and automatically make it as a hustler based on his good looks alone. When that falls through, he forms an unlikely friendship with a different kind of hustler, Ratso. (Dustin Hoffman) They become partners in crime. 

Hoffman and Voight are excellent in this. I don't often associate Voight with stellar performances, but this one is worthy of that praise. I really liked the story and the reality checks served, but I wasn't wowed by this. While most of this film is really well done, there's one aspect of it that I found almost egregious; and that would be Joe's flashbacks to a traumatic event with a former love. I don't know if they were going for an exploitation vibe but it was just very poorly done and didn't fit with the rest of the film. It was jarring to switch between the two.

Those flashbacks aren't enough to ruin the film but overall I just felt it was okay. I can see why it was probably a big hit back - oh man, I always try to avoid saying this in my Blind Spots - in the day. It was a good enough watch for a quiet weeknight evening.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I'm falling apart here!" - Ratso (Dustin Hoffman)


4 comments:

  1. I do think this is a great film as it is about male identity and how someone is trying to fit in to the world as this idea of being a man yet has to accept that it's much more complicated than that. I do love Jon Voight in this film. It's a shame that he tends to make shitty films such as Pearl Harbor and.... Bratz. Plus, I think he needs to get his ass kicked for being a moron.

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    1. Yeah this is really the only film I can think of that he's actually good in. Everything else is just meh.

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  2. Ohhh I don't think "back in the day" should be avoided at all! I think context is very important when reviewing older films like this. I completely understand why this movie wasn't fully for you, but yeah, in 1969, this thing would've been a hurricane. No mainstream American film had ever been made like it!

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    1. That's a good way of looking at it, I just felt bad typing "back in the day" for some reason. You're 100% right about no film ever being like it at the time. That helps.

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