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JON VOIGHT & DUSTIN HOFFMAN STAR IN 'MIDNIGHT COWBOY'

Some mean Meantime of Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck YEAR: 1969
A simplistic but mostly naive young man from Texas, Joe Buck, ironically becomes a cowboy after deciding to leave his hometown, headed to the last place that that kind of legendary hero exists, New York City, as every frame of MIDNIGHT COWBOY means something: starting from a sunlit drive-in to a public shower where Joe drops the soap...

Rating; *****
An obvious nod for an inevitable detour within a disturbing, almost sadistic character-driven story that's bright and cheerful, when centered narrowly on Jon Voight's title character, who shows enough humanity and vulnerability in what he's hiding as first-billed sidekick Dustin Hoffman's crippled con-man hustler, Ratso Rizzo, appears to be right upfront: a tattered and swarthy, street savvy con-man who walks in a permanent, unguided shuffle that, alongside the handsome, tall blond Texan, make for perhaps the most bizarre odd couple of top-grade exploitation cinema: in one of the most well-deserved films to win Best Director (for John Schlesinger) and Best Picture (although another movie cowboy would take the Best Actor)...

Criterion Artwork for the Midnight Cowboy Blu Ray & DVD
Curbing a seemingly endless gust of serious and often painstaking hard luck roadblocks (from a con artist Sylvia Miles to street preacher apartment dweller John McGiver) are genuinely funny moments centered on and around the unlikely duo, teamed-up after what feels like fully-conceived short films...

Including the initial bus trip; a clumsy attempt at hustling; and the doomed yet determined partnership before a sharp, frostbit winter cuts into Ratso's idyllic reverie of sunny Florida while the desperate, starving creature of a bleak and mysterious New York City (even haunting under a heavy dose of psychedelia) formidably reigns. By the end, what the audience has experienced, and the characters suffered through, can't reach the unique form of dark, tangible reality that no fiction (on screen or print) has yet to challenge, or equal: A timeless celebration of futile optimism.
Jon Voight's Joe Buck settled into a New York hotel with his cowhide suitcase
Already missing home, Joe decides to send a postcard back to Texas, but then rethinks it the idea
The view of the lonely yet crowded bustling New York City outside of Joe Buck's hotel window
Character-actor M. Emmett Walsh, the right... He'd be Dustin Hoffman's parole officer in STRAIGHT TIME
Showing how certain things don't change in pop culture, a little bus girl plays peekaboo with Joe Buck
One would think Joe really arrived as lovely Florida waitress Joan Murphy welcomes him to the sunny state
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