Thursday, March 07, 2019

"Midnight Cowboy", classic film from 1969 (time of Stonewall) about gay hustlers, provokes controversy over airport name

I remember seeing John Schlessinger’s “Midnight Cowboy” in 1969 at the Post Theater at Fort Eustis VA (when I was in the Army), where an officer in the waiting line said it is about “homosexuality and all that”. It’s based on a novel by James Leo Herlihy.

The United Artists film (now Criterion Collection) became a cult classic quickly, as a country hick Joe Buck (Jon Voight) befriends a city hustler Ratso (Dustin Hoffman). The film, shot at 1.37:1 often in black and white, has a restroom scene that at first earned it an X rating.

The film attracted attention in the media recently when John Wayne’s son fought off attempts to remove John Wayne’s name from the airport in Orange County CA over concern of Wayne’s criticism of this classic movie and his supposed homophobia, which the son denies in context.

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