Jon Voight was the original brokeback cowboy: a drawling hayseed with fancy boots who journeys to Manhattan to make his fortune but finds work only as a hustler to Park Avenue harridans like Sylvia Miles and a lonely gay kid played by Bob Balaban. His Joe Buck forms an unlikely friendship with a classic New York City bum: Dustin Hoffman’s Ratso ”I’m walkin’ heah!” Rizzo. Midnight Cowboy‘s daring sexual content — it received both an X rating and Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay — now comes across as less provocative than its street scenes set in a pre-Disney Times Square. Voight conveys innocence and hurt with subtlety; Hoffman conveys the wounded pride behind Ratso’s lowly status and ungainly limp. EXTRAS The actors make brief comments in three featurettes, but they should have been doing a commentary. Instead — and because neither director John Schlesinger nor screenwriter Waldo Salt is alive — we get the dull musings of producer Jerome Hellman, who discusses how difficult it was to set up certain shotz-z-z-z…

Midnight Cowboy
  • Movie
  • 113 minutes