Part of Spirit of '69.
One of the British New Wave’s most versatile directors, John Schlesinger came to New York in the late 1960s to make MIDNIGHT COWBOY, a picaresque story of friendship that captured a city in crisis and sparked a new era of Hollywood movies. Jon Voight delivers a career-defining performance as Joe Buck, a wide-eyed hustler from Texas hoping to score big with wealthy city women. He finds a companion in Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, an ailing swindler with a bum leg and a quixotic fantasy of escaping to Florida, played by Dustin Hoffman in a radical departure from his breakthrough in THE GRADUATE. A critical and commercial success despite controversy over what the MPAA termed its “homosexual frame of reference,” MIDNIGHT COWBOY became the first X-rated film to receive the best picture Oscar. (Synopsis from the Criterion Collection)
“...Ultimately a moving experience that captures the quality of a time and a place. It's not a movie for the ages, but, having seen it, you won't ever again feel detached as you walk down 42d Street, avoiding the eyes of the drifters, stepping around the little islands of hustlers and closing your nostrils to the smell of rancid griddles.” —Vincent Canby, New York Times (May 1969) “Superb performances and a compelling script have made this film a strange mix of Oscar-winner and Cult Classic…. Everybody, it turned out, really was talking about it.” —Adam Smith, Empire “What MIDNIGHT COWBOY most has in common with the American masterpieces that followed over the next five or six years is a mastery of subtle emotions, like loneliness, exclusion, and a yearning for something elusive.” —Noel Murray, The A.V. Club “The first X-rated film released by a major studio (United Artists), the first-and last-to win an Oscar…. A howitzer blast right through the remnants of the old Hollywood Production Code.” —Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.
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