Midnight Cowboy + Introduction
Part of: Cinema Rediscovered on Tour
Directed by John Schlesinger
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes
Noted today for the now legendary performances of Jon Voight as country boy turned would be male prostitute Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman as down-at-heel con-man Ratso Rizzo, Midnight Cowboy is widely celebrated as one of the most ground-breaking American films of the late 1960s. At the time, many commentators thought that James Leo Herlihy’s raw novel was unfilmable due to its explicit content, but not only did former blacklisted writer Waldo Salt find a way to adapt it for the big screen he was awarded an Oscar for his endeavors.
In addition, British director John Schlesinger, fresh from the success of Darling (1965) and working on the Thomas Hardy adaptation Far From the Madding Crowd (1967), brought an outsider’s eye to Midnight Cowboy’s representation of the lower echelons of 1960s New York society and its dissection of the American dream. His efforts would also be rewarded with an Oscar for his direction of the film. Reflecting the challenging material the production team put on screen, Midnight Cowboy also became the first film rated X in America to win an Oscar for Best Picture. Add Harry Nilsson’s top 10 version of the song ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ to this and you have something of an all-time classic.
The Screening will be introduced by Andy Willis, Look Who’s Back season curator and Professor of Film Studies at the University of Salford.
Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project.
With support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery, Park Circus and MUBI.