ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – M – Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Director: John Schlesinger

Writer: Waldo Salt (Screenplay) James Leo Herlihy (Novel)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes

 

Plot: A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend.


Tagline – Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerhouse Performances Classic

 

Story: Midnight Cowboy starts as naïve Texan hustler Joe Buck (Voight) heads to New York City to try his act. Arriving in the big apple things don’t start the way he had planned and after meeting local hustler Ratso (Hoffman) he learns a hard lesson on who to trust.

When the two end up becoming friends they work their act in New York with Ratso trying to save for a trip for Florida, where he see the dream to be. The two on finding a way to get rich and what they gained is a friendship.

 

Thoughts on Midnight Cowboy

 

Characters – Joe Buck is the cowboy from Texas, he has worked the area dry, well he seemed to have had an honest job there, wanting more in the big city he heads to New York, an overly friendly young man gets eaten up in the city to start with before making a friend that tries to teach him how to hustler the big city. Ratso is the New York hustler, he is disabled which makes his role better in the management role which he takes to guide Joe through the situations, though he isn’t well and now needs Joe more than anyone ever in his life. We only focus on these two with their clients that come into the situations they find themselves in.

PerformancesJon Voight in the leading role is fantastic, we see he bring the naivety through in his character that is mostly harmless man trying to find his way in the world. Dustin Hoffman also excels in his role which went against everything people knew about him at the time of the release, showing he was always going to be one of the generations best actors.

StoryThe story here follows a naïve cowboy hustler in the big apple where he learns about trust, friendship and how survive the world of a gigolo. This does show how people will need guidance to understand the world even if it meant giving up everything for that chance. the two friendship is the most important part of the film because we see how Ratso is sick and needs Joe Buck to help him too. We see how the friendship keeps both moving forward in life and that is the important factor in the story.

SettingsWe have the coach journey which heads to New York city which of course is a brilliant because the scale of the city is something Joe Buck wasn’t ready for.


Scene of the Movie –
Coach journey together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There wasn’t anything.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the true classics in cinema, we have two stunning performances from the leads and a story that teaches us about friendship.

 

Overall: Brilliant must watch film.

Rating

 

 

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Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper

Writer: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson

 

Plot: Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Cultural Event

 

Story: Easy Rider starts as our two hippies Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) pick up their parcel in LA, which leaves them to set out on their adventure to New Orleans for Mardi Grad. Along the way they spend time with fellow hippies before finding themselves in jail.

George Hanson (Nicholson) the town drunk lawyer gets them out of jail and gets invited along to New Orleans with the two and as they continue their journey they must deal with being treated differently.

 

Thoughts on Easy Rider

 

Characters – Wyatt is one of the two friends travelling, he is the more laid back of the two keeping Billy in line when he starts to question moments and never finding himself too out of it on the drugs. Billy is the friend that just wants to get the job done, though when he stops he takes more grass than he needs to have. George Hanson is a lawyer that has a drinking problem, he helps the two get out of jail and joins them on their adventure across country enjoying the drugs for the first time.

PerformancesThe performances from Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper are both great, they completely embrace their characters with their own unique look to defying the hippie era. Jack Nicholson in the supporting role is great too showing just the talent he was going to show us all.

StoryThe story here shows us two hippies travelling across America, which for the time of release would have been one of the truest movies you could see in a story, but not it feels like a glimpse into the past events in America, which once again shows us how American can’t treat people equal. If you have never studied the hippie era you won’t understand most of the story if I am being honest because it is an moment that doesn’t connect to all.

AdventureThe adventure the two friends go on does take them across America, but it is hard to figure out which state they are in for the most part.

SettingsThe settings are hard to tell about in this film, the only one I could pick out was the airport in LA at the beginning.


Scene of the Movie –
The first night the three are together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the direction of their trip.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that was cultural relevant for the time of release, it hasn’t dated by the best standard and now leaves us watching a time that if you never lived through you wouldn’t understand.

 

Overall: One of the culture books.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – The Italian Job (1969)

jobDirector: Peter Collinson

Writer: Troy Kennedy-Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone, Tony Beckley, Rossano Brazzi

 

Plot: Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Crime Caper

 

Story: The Italian Job starts as Charlie Croker (Caine) gets released from prison and going about his day in his con-artist thieving lifestyle. Charlie has already got a job set up for with the recently killed Beckerman (Brazzi) who has planned a robbery in Italy down to perfection.

Charlie needs to put his own team together for this job which brings him back to his old business associates with Mr Bridger (Coward) financing the job from behind bars. Charlie puts together his team as they head off to Italy for the job with a series of training mistakes.

The job takes a turn when Charlie learns the Mafia are also looking to take out any Englishman trying to steal from their country but can Charlie pull off the biggest heist of his career, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on The Italian Job

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is your typical wheeler-dealer criminal that can charm his way into anything or out of anything. He likes his plan and most of all he is the leader for the crime team. Mr Bridger is the financer who is behind bars but has all of the power England seems to want to let him have. The rest of the characters all have odd quirks but don’t get enough screen time to become memorable.

Performance wise this film is a Michael Caine masterclass where he does steal every single scene he is starring in, Noel Coward does seem to have a lot of fun with his overly English character with the rest of the cast all doing their jobs well.stars

StoryThe story is about a crime heist in a different country, we get to see how it all comes together with twists in the story. There really isn’t too much more to go on when you break down the story, it is easy to follow and you all should know how it ends now.

Action/Comedy/CrimeWatching the heist unfold is all the action we need for this film with the crime side of the story being the planning of the heist which also has elements of comedy going on throughout.

SettingsHaving the heist set in Italy does make this stand out from the rest of the films in this genre and is still just as iconic as this film has become.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film will always be remembered for it’s unbelievable final car chase through the streets of Italy and you can see just how brilliant that scene is.

 

Overall: The classic of all heist movies and cliff hanger endings.

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