The lyrics, "Everyone's talking at me; I don't hear a word they're saying," forms the refrain of Midnight Cowboy's killer opening song, while also serving as a great introduction to its central character, played by Jon Voight. In this iconic, Oscar-winning film, Voight plays a young man named Joe Buck, who dresses in the outrageous garb of a cowboy and dreams of making his way as a stud in New York City. This idea is clearly half-cocked, but of course, as Harry Nilsson's song aptly describes, Voight's Buck can't hear other people's opinions. Nothing can dissuade him from what he feels will be an idyllic life in the Big Apple. Yet, once the hayseed arrives in late 60s Manhattan, he finds himself exploited, lonely and at the brink of impoverishment. The only thing that saves him from complete despondency is a chance encounter with a g rimy, diminutive and loudmouthed hustler named Ratso Rizzo (played by Dustin Hoffman in a watershed performance). What's great about these two characters - not to mention the film as a whole - is that their relationship begins and evolves naturally. At first, these two men can barely stand each other; there is very little in the way of trust between them. This changes dramatically over the course of the story, with both Ratso and Joe coming to rely on one another as the squalor in which they live becomes more and more overwhelming. It's a bleak, powerful film, and one only occasionally warmed by the electrifying chemistry between the two leads, who create one of cinema's most memorable friendships.
Adam Mohrbacher has been afflicted with an obession for film since his earliest memories. In addition to his work with WhatCulture, Adam has been a contributor with Filmophilia.com, FilmMonthly.com and Examiner.com. You can also check out his personal blog here: email@example.com.
A devoted fan of all film genres and styles, Adam gets equally giddy over the sensitive, existential musings of Ingmar Bergman, and the brawny brilliance of Arnold Schwartzenegger. He loves fish tacos and misses the work of Heath Ledger and Jack Lemmon on a daily basis.