TV Cream

Films: M is for...

Midnight Cowboy

This is another of those films which we’re supposed to think is marvellous and convince us that Dusty Hoffman is a great actor, as opposed to just a mumbling smout. We try then not to like it, but the final scene on the bus just tears us apart so we cannot comply. Oh, and John Voight’s in it an’ all.



  1. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 24, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    I think this film probably is marvellous, despite your reservations TV Cream – must be in contention for best film by a British director ever. And yes, the bit when Jon Voight puts his arm around Dustin Hoffman on the bus makes me well up just thinking about it. Odd to think that Schlesinger’s previous film had been the equally wonderful but totally different Far From the Madding Crowd, and that he would never again come remotely close to this (indeed, given he would give us abominations like Honky Tonk Freeway, and The Next Best Thing, it’s almost inexplicable).

  2. Richardpd

    May 24, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    It’s interesting that British directors often make good films with a very American subject, like Peter Yates with Bullett, Brian Forbes with The Stepford Wives & a lot of Alfred Hitchcock’s output after he moved to Hollywood.

    I’ve never seen this, but it sounds like it makes fellow “Big rotten Apple” film Taxi Driver seem like an enjoyable romp.

    It’s probably worth it to see Jon Voight in action before he became a polar opposite of his daughter politics wise & had to appear in things like Bratz: The Movie to pay the bills.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 25, 2022 at 7:40 am

    It is a remarkably seedy film, but Voight’s performance is superb (and he was robbed at the Oscars, which true to form, gave the Best Actor award in a burst of sentimentality to the Duchess – at least they didn’t give it to Burton; Jack Nicholson also robbed in Best Supporting Actor category, which went to Gig Young, presumably for playing against type). At least Schlesinger won the Director award and the film the Best Picture award – up against two other greats, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Z. It was perhaps a little too early for a Foreign Language film to win Best Picture (the first nomination even in the category I believe), but Midnight Cowboy was the first X-rated winner.

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 25, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Actually, having checked only ONE foreign language film has ever won Best Picture – Parasite in 2020 (plus The Artist, but that was silent). So it only took another fifty years.

  5. Droogie

    May 25, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    The first I heard of this movie as a kid was reading the brilliant Mort Drucker parody in Mad Magazine . I was too young to realize Joe Buck was a male prostitute , but shortly after the movie got it’s TV premiere on BBC2 and I was gobsmacked at how accurate the parody was. It’s been a favourite film ever since ( particularly love the Warholesque party scene.)

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