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Movie Natters: January 13, 2008 Archive

Looking back: "I'm walkin' here!"

Posted at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2008 by Euan Kerr

After sitting looking forlorn beside the DVD player for a couple of weeks the "Midnight Cowboy" DVD finally found its way into the player this weekend, and now I can't get that haunting harmonica out of my mind. (I apologize if I have now set the tune bouncing through anyone else's head.)

Director John Schlesinger's tale of a wannabe Texas hustler who finds New York's sidewalks are paved in many substances other than gold is still funny and tragic after all these years, helped a great deal by the music in the film.

It's an eye-opener to see Jon Voight as the niave Texan Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo, the greasy loner who becomes Buck's mentor in all matters lowlife. The two play off one another in performances that verge on being over the top, but somehow they manage to pull each other back from the brink. This was Hoffman's first role after "The Graduate" and very different from that clean-cut character. Voight was an unknown, and some say "Midnight Cowboy" is his greatest performance.

And now I can return the disk.

Here's some thing else from the film to bounce around your brain: Harry Nilsson singing "Everybody's Talkin'"under the opening credits of the film.

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