“Midnight Cowboy is an extraordinary document of its era, as if it were the bridge to New Hollywood—accessible and sentimental in many respects, but constantly pushing the audience to accept new techniques and look to the margins of American life.” (The Guardian)
When it came time to assess the remarkable film output of 1969 at the Academy Awards, the Best Picture prize went to John Schlesinger’s gritty portrait of two denizens of New York’s seedy underbelly, the first and only time an X-rated movie would win that honor. (The rating was later changed to an R.) It was a notable achievement for this shocking, dark film about a would-be hustler (Jon Voight) and a down-and-out con artist (Dustin Hoffman) who have nothing and no one to rely on but each other—and it’s a clear indication of how Midnight Cowboy’s stunning performances and forthright presentation of alienation, sex, and drugs, heralded the New Hollywood of the 1970s. Sylvia Miles earned an Oscar nomination for her scene-stealing six minutes as a hardened urban counterpart to Voight’s clueless cowboy.
4K DCP courtesy of Park Circus.