Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy is a hard film to call. It’s a slice of film history, with some well-known visuals, well-known music, and well-known scenes:

"Hey! I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!" - Ratso

But it’s a confusing film, with plenty of montages, flashbacks, fantasy scenes, and a drug-induced party. I wasn’t expecting any of that, and it doesn’t exactly help carry the plot (that which there is) forward. The sex scenes, despite being notorious (Midnight Cowboy was the only X-rated film to ever win an Oscar - it’s since been downgraded to R-rated) are tame by modern standards: although there’s a strong theme of ambiguous sexuality running throughout the film, with Joe Buck (Jon Voight) - the cowboy of the title - being pretty indiscriminate about who he sleeps with, even in his role as a hustler.

Fundamentally, though, it is a film about friendship - between Ratso (Dustin Hoffman) - and Buck. In that, it does succeed. Both Voight and Hoffman have plenty of chance to assert their acting range also. It’s perhaps not the strongest buddy film ever, but it still has a powerful poignancy enhanced by the last touching scene.