Midnight Cowboy (AFI #43)

“Started this as soon as I got home. Thought maybe I’d be able to end it early enough to at least start another to make up for yesterday. But, as luck would have it, something was wrong with the disc and it took me a good 30-45 min to see everything in chapters 25 and 26 of the film. And Im totally kicking myself for not being a receipt saver, cause I got this from Newbury and could have gone back to exchange it. Oh wells. Rock & Roll.

Despite that set back, I really liked this one. Some of the early stuff was light and funny, but then other parts were dark and intense. But the best part–Dustin Hoffman. It seems like he moves up my respect ladder with each film I see him in. This performance is right up there with Rain Man. I could try to explain the awesome-ness of him in this role, but I think you just gotta watch it for yourself.

Jon Voight was also quite wonderful, although I really could not get over seeing him so young. And I spent about 80% of the flick trying to figure out who he looked like. I was convinced it was a current young thing, but it eventually hit me–John Schneider as Bo Duke. That revelation amused me because when I saw old school Dukes of Hazzard, I couldnt get over young John Schneider after seeing him as Jonathan Kent on Smallville. But it was great seeing Voight in one of his signature roles, instead of the type of stuff he’s been in lately. Bit of trivia about his recent work, when he was filming Holes he took Shia LaBeouf under his wing as his acting padowan. He’d give him homework assignments, making him watch classic screen performances.

Another thing in the yay! column was that I really liked the dream sequences and flashbacks. My favorite was early on when Voight was chasing Hoffman thru the subway. That sequence more than anything else up to that point really hooked me.

Not sure how intentional this was, but I found it cool how there were a lot of X’s in the movie–the windows at the apartment, the conversation about Rizzo’s dad. Reason why Im intrigued by that is the movie was originally rated X, and its the only X rated movie to have ever won Best Picture. Two years later the rating did get knocked down to R when X became almost exclusively associated with porn. I can kinda see how it woulda gotten that rating (which would be like NC-17 now) back in the late 60’s, but not so much by today’s standards.

Well Ive got a kitty crying at me for her dinner, so that’s my cue to peace out.”

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