Dec 22, 2007

Midnight Cowboy


Midnight Cowboy was the first major assault against rural (or to the filmmakers “rednecks”) Americans. A film with a male Texan gigolo using a cowboy gimmick most likely offended John Wayne fans. Only 42nd street scum would mount this naive bimbo according to grease ball Ratso. Cowboy in costume Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and cripple Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) make the best couple in Midnight Cowboy. Squatting in the city takes commitment.


There is no doubt that Midnight Cowboy is one of the greatest American films ever made. It is the only X-rated movie to win an Oscar. Of course, this isn't saying much considering when examining other “great” American films. Midnight Cowboy actually deserves the recognition it has acquired since its debut. It even beats out its historical competitors The Graduate and Easy Rider. Midnight Cowboy is by far the most extreme of the three.

The editing in Midnight Cowboy is some of the best that I have seen come out of Hollywood. The films various flashback collages make for some of the most segments of the film. One involves the gang raping of Joe Buck and his girlfriend by a group of good ol’ boys. Ratso also makes a ghostly appearance in these segment (don’t bother considering it foreshadowing). This was quite a bold move by director John Schlesinger. It also seems that Soviet montage was put to contemporary use (although still for propaganda purposes).

Midnight Cowboy also features one of those late 1960’s movie soundtracks that works perfectly with the film but you would never listen to on your own free time. The late 1960s (and its music) sparked the end of old American and beginning of new so-called “progressive” America. I guess a young Cowboy is expected to fail in this new world. Joe Buck can’t even get paid for his homosexual activities. Donating blood seems to be the best source of income.

Joe Buck is a sad yet funny young man. Director Schlesinger had at least a little love for his star character. Even when he beats and robs a gay old man you can’t help to feel sorry for Joe. Midnight Cowboy’s ending is truly a sad when Joe ends up lonely and broke in Florida. I would not want to end up in Florida under such conditions.

Midnight Cowboy almost makes me proud to be America. A film that that brings the naively backward to the modern degenerate is always a fun experience. From the roadside diner to the Warhol style drug party, you will find a little bit of America for everyone. I only wish I could find out what later happened to Joe Buck.

-Ty E

7 comments:

radical moderate said...

Joe Buck became a born again Christian and is now preaching at St. John's Baptist Church in Summerville South Carolina.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

john schlesinger was british and a faggot (the 2 things i hate most in the world) so that makes it very difficult for me to like this film. I was just thinking though, if this film had been directed by an american who was rampantly heterosexual and "ALL" repeat "ALL" the sexual activity seen in the film had been rampantly heterosexual as well then this movie would have been quite superb. Dirty faggots, they always ruin any film that they are involved with.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I had forgotten about the rape flashbacks. Being they're so important in forming Joe Buck's naive rebellion and need to go to NY city. A really early version of a stereotype we'd see repeated again and again. I guess it was still an attack on white, rural, america, especially the pretty strong america of back then. but it was one of the first, and i can give them at least a few. it could happen. just not to the extent they like to portray in all kinds of awful movies these days, and throughout the decades since then.

but to get back to the main setting of the film. when I first viewed this film, it sobered me up to that era and all those silly big city dreams that generation had. after seeing so many of their lives fall into the kind of decay that Joe Buck and Ratso lived in. that urban hell. When I was younger, I left my southern, small town to live with a hippie chick (who played in a band) in the D.C./Baltimore area. It really woke me up to how soulless urban life really is. I felt a lot like Joe Buck on my way out of that. Only I was returning to a decent place. Back home to a small town. I could see the landscape change back to green, lush valleys and golden rivers and lakes that surrounded my incredibly missed former home. Once on the ground, driving through the country, there was nothing better than little white chapels and small filling stations scattered ever-so-often along the way. Not a place where the horrors that get portrayed in Hollywood films really ever happen.

I picture Joe Buck becoming extremely conservative after the events of Midnight Cowboy. I'm sure the filmmakers didn't imagine it that way. they want him to be burned out and mindfucked, but still sympathetic to his old dreams and a strong liberal solider against his old world. Though, he more than likely views it as a dark past, like so many. Florida is a shitty place for a new start.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

"John Wayne, are you tryin` to tell me hes a fag ! ?", i always fall about laughing whenever i think of that line. ALL FAGGOTS MUST DIE.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Hey Anonymous, New York has always being plagued with fairys, if it weren`t for that hideous virus of faggotry NY would be a truly great city ! ! !.

Jennifer Croissant said...

"What later happened to Joe Buck" ?, he gave the world Angelina Jolie, thats what ! ! !.

Anonymous said...

nice comment anonymous