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Midnight Cowboy is a 1965 novel by James Leo Herlihy, adapted into a 1969 film directed by John Schlesinger and starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. This article deals primarily with the movie.
Joe Buck is a dishwasher in a rural Texas diner. He's not very bright. One day, he decides to dress like a rodeo cowboy and move to New York, hoping to prostitute himself to wealthy women. He burns through his savings very quickly, unable to hustle, and is taken in by Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo, a small-time con man with a bad leg and pneumonia. They scrape by as best they can, hoping to escape to Florida one day...
The movie garnered quite a bit of controversy upon its release, being given an X rating by the MPAA (this was reduced to an R the following year). It is seen as one of the defining movies of the late '60s.
Midnight Cowboy contains examples of:
- Big Applesauce
- Coolest Club Ever
- Dies Wide Open
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!
- Downer Ending
- Everybody Must Get Stoned
- Everything Is Big in Texas: The film opens with a shot of the "Big Tex Drive-In".
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold
- Ho Yay: Rizzo and Joe Buck.
- Imagine Spot
- Incurable Cough of Death
- Ironic Nursery Tune
- Jerkass: Rizzo, a good deal of the time.
- Large Ham: O'Daniel.
- Leitmotif: Everybody's Talkin'", used for Joe Buck.
- Naked in Mink
- New Age Retro Hippie
- One Head Taller: Rizzo and Joe Buck.
- One-Scene Wonder: Cass.
- Rape as Drama: The flashbacks of "Crazy Annie" and Joe Buck getting gang raped.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'".
- Red Light District: 42nd Street.
- Signature Line: "I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!"
- Slippery Soap: Dropped by Joe in the very first scene.
- Smoking Hot Sex: Subverted. Joe Buck and Shirley smoke out of frustration, after he is hit with erectile dysfunction.
- Something Else Also Rises
- Tear Jerker
- Throw It In: The scene with the cab was not in the script. Dustin Hoffman was actually hit by a car and didn't break character.
Rizzo: I'm walkin' here!