Fifty-one years ago today, on April 7, 1970, Midnight Cowboy became the only X-rated title to win a Best Picture Oscar.
A week ago today, Glenn Frankel, author of the new book, Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic, told a Center for Brooklyn History audience that the film is “a little bit overlooked these days.”
We hope to rectify that a little bit right here.
Midnight Cowboy can be streamed with a Cinemax subscription. Cinemax is available as a $9.99/month add-on for Hulu or Amazon Prime, each starting with a seven-day free trial. Or you can rent the movie for $3.99 from Google Play, iTunes, YouTube and several other providers.
Midnight Cowboy, which Frankel noted was rated X on its first run mainly as a marketing gimmick (the tagline was a cryptic “Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true!”), stars Jon Voight as Joe Buck, a hustler from Texas who comes to New York City to ply his trade, where he becomes buddies with Ratso Rizzo, an increasingly unhealthy low-rent con man played by Dustin Hoffman.
Both Voight and Hoffman received Best Actor nominations, with the film winning Oscars for Best Director (John Schlesinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Waldo Salt), in addition to Best Picture.
Here’s Elizabeth Taylor announcing the top honor (and notice the brevity of the acceptance speech when only one producer comes on stage, rather than the celebrating throngs of recent years):
(Top image: ‘Midnight Cowboy’ poster art, via IMDb)
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