Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy
-A young Texan named Joe Buck(Jon voight) works in a diner washing dishes. As the movie opens, Joe is seen dressing himself like a rodeo cowboy, packing a suitcase and quitting his job. He heads to New York City in the hope of leading the life of a hustler. His naive nature becomes quickly noticed as his money disappears upon arriving in New York. He is unsuccessful at his attempts to be hired by rich women. When he finally succeeds at getting a rich middleaged New Yorker(Sylvia Miles) in bed, he talks business which results in her crying and giving him a $20. Joe then meets a 3rd rate crippled con man named Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo(Dustin Hoffman), who tricks him out of the $20 by offering to introduce him to a well known pimp. Joe flees in pursuit of Rizzo, but he's gone.

-Joe ends up spending the days and nights wandering the city and staying in his hotel room. Once broke, he is locked out of his hotel room for failing to pay the bill. He finally attempts to make money by agreeing to get oral sex from a young man in a movie theatre, but this goes bad when the teen(Bob Balaban) admits to having no money. An angry Joe threatens the teen and thinks about taking the guy's watch. The next day, Joe sees an unsuspecting Rizzo at a lunch counter and he angrily shakes Rizzo down, but Rizzo suprisingly offers to help Joe by sharing his place. Joe hesitates at first, and they begin a 'business relationship'. They help each other pickpocket, steal and attempt to get Joe hired as a gigolo. A true bond develops between them because they are alone without each other. When the 2 met in the summer, Rizzo had a bad cough and as it progresses into winter, his health declines.

-The events of Joe's early life are shown through flashbacks cut into the film. He had been to church and baptised as a boy but only has frightening memories of the experience. The 2 people Joe loved were his grandma Sally Buck(Ruth White) and his onetime girlfriend Crazy Annie(Jennifer Salt). His grandma riased Joe after his mother left him to go off with boyfriends; one of them being a wrangler named Woodsy Niles(Gilman Rankin). Annie had been a promiscuous girl who changed after meeting Joe, but this didn't sit well with the men of the town; the 2 were caught by a group of males and gang raped. Annie was sent to a mental institution and Joe joined the Army. Sally Buck died while Joe was away serving in the Army and Annie remains in Joe's mind.

-Rizzo's life story comes out through things Joe says. His father was an illiterate shoe shiner who worked in a subway station, developed a bad back and "coughed his lungs out from breathin' in that wax all day!" Rizzo says. At one point, an odd looking couple approach Joe and Rizzo in a diner and hand Joe a flyer inviting him to a party. They enter a Warhol-esque party. The shy Joe smokes most of a joint he thinks is a cigarette and takes a pill given to him that makes him begin to hallucinate. He leaves the party with a socialite(Brenda Vaccaro), who agrees to pay $20 to him for spending the night with her. Rizzo falls down a flight of stairs as they are leaving; Joe and the socialite try to have sex, but he finds himself temporarily impotent. She teasingly suggests that Joe is gay and somehow that gets him going. The 2 have sex. In the morning, the socialite sets him up with a friend of hers to be next on Joe's list and it looks like his career is on.

-When Joe returns home later, Rizzo is in bed, sweating and feverish. He admits to Joe that he is unable to walk. Joe wants to take Rizzo to the hospital, but Rizzo refuses. He wants to leave New York for Miami. A scared Joe is bound and determined to take care of his friend and then leaves the apartment to scrounge for money. He picks up an older male gentleman(Barnard Hughes), but the man tries to send him away. Joe's desperation comes to a head when the man gives him a religious medallion instead of money. He beats up and robs the man, stuffing the phone receiver into the man's mouth when Joe thinks the man is calling the front desk for help.

-With the money, he buys two tickets to Florida. During the long journey, Rizzo's frail physical condition goes worse. At a rest stop, Joe touchingly buys bright new clothes for Rizzo and himself. He throws away his cowboy clothes and admits "I ain't no kinda hustler". As they reach Florida, Joe talks about getting a regular job only to find out Rizzo has died in the seat beside him. Joe tells the bus driver, and Joe is told there is nothing to do but go on to Miami. The movie ends with Joe seated with his arm around Rizzo, staring out as palm trees pass.

Did You Know?
-Dustin Hoffman kept pebbles in his shoe to ensure his limp would be good from shot to shot

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