Midnight Cowboy  

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Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Miles and then-newcomer Jon Voight in the title role.


The sex scenes in this movie were considered shocking in 1969, even though nothing more than bare breasts and buttocks are seen in the film. This resulted in the film receiving an X rating from the MPAA in the United States[1], making it the first (and only) X-rated film to win an Academy Award. At the time, X ratings had not yet become associated with the pornography industry.

In 1971 the film was re-submitted to board in anticipation of a re-release. By 1971, the sex scenes were not considered to be as explicit and the X rating had become associated with pure pornography, so the board granted it an R rating.

Nothing in the film hints at any type of homosexual relationship between Joe and Ratso, and other indications in the film make it clear that they are essentially heterosexual (although, unlike the film, the novel does refer explicitly to Joe's previous homosexual activities). Joe's attempt to earn money as a male prostitute may or may not indicate bisexuality, as he pursues it only as a way to make money when acting as a prostitute for women fails. Despite this, some modern critics assume an unstated homosexual relationship between the main characters; and at the 2006 Academy Awards, host Jon Stewart joked about Brokeback Mountain being an Oscar contender despite its subject matter, saying "It's been more than 35 years when people would watch Midnight Cowboy and say 'What the hell was that all about?' Well, now we have fully accepted this new genre of cinema: gay westerns!"


Midnight Cowboy (soundtrack)

John Barry, who supervised the music and composed the score for the film, won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme. Fred Neil's song "Everybody's Talkin'" also won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for Harry Nilsson.

Schlesinger chose the song "Everybody's Talkin'" (written by Fred Neil and performed by Harry Nilsson) as its theme, and the song underscores the entire first act of the film. (Other songs considered for the film included Nilsson's own "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City," and Randy Newman's "Cowboy.") The song "He Quit Me" was also on the soundtrack, performed by Lesley Miller; it was written by Warren Zevon, who also included it (as "She Quit Me") on his debut album Wanted Dead or Alive. The soundtrack also features music from Elephant's Memory, Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Midnight Cowboy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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