PG Cooper Film Club Review: Midnight Cowboy

Posted: November 2, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Film Club Reviews, PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

Joe Buck (Jon Voight) is a young Texan who’s decided to quit his job as a dishwasher in order to make a living as a hustler in New York City. The city gets the better of Joe however and he quickly finds himself tricked by conman Enrico Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). Though the two initially start off at odds, they end up forming a friendship.

I found myself very uninterested in a lot of the story. Not much really happens and there are long stretches of boredom throughout. I was mixed on some of the stylistic choices. There are a lot of surreal, dream like scenes with really quick edits. Some of these scenes worked very well for me, others didn’t. I also feel like while the film had good music, it relied on the same musical cues too much. “Everybody’s Talkin” is a great song, but it’s used way too much here.

Despite these complaints, I did enjoy this movie. Why? The performances. Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman are both great in the lead roles. Voight brings an appropriate amount of arrogance and naivety to the role and his relationship with Hoffman is touching. Speaking of which, Dustin Hoffman is incredible in this film. He’s easily the best part. His performance is highly entertaining and I give him credit for taking a character who could have been really silly and turning him into someone I cared about.

Midnight Cowboy isn’t quite the classic I was led to believe. I have a lot of narrative issues with the film and found parts quite boring. But the film is worth watching for the very strong performances from Jon Voight and especially Dustin Hoffman. The ending is also pretty powerful and I feel I’ll remember it specifically for a long time. Not a great film, but a good one, and worth seeing.

Rating: B-

Comments
  1. Chris says:

    Good review, I was even more bored if I remember correctly!

  2. vinnieh says:

    Great review man, love it Hoffman says “I’m walking here”.

  3. brikhaus says:

    What?! A classic film that doesn’t live up to its reputation?! Inconceivable!!!

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      Lol, Yeah yeah yeah, I know. For what it’s worth, Midnight Cowboy seemed like the type of classic that would live up, given the caliber of actors and the fact that it pushed boundaries.

      Still, not a bad film.

  4. I’ll be revisiting this one to see if its MTESS worthy eventually. I recollect having similar experiences as you did… thinking some of the style was horribly dated, being bored in stretches… but it is a pretty well regarded film in pop culture and critically (Top 50 on AFI’s 100 years right now – #43).

    Perhaps it’ll grow in my estimation, like the graduate did. Meanwhile, for now, I can see your points.

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