Midnight Cowboy Collector's Edition—MGM/UA
Upon hitting play on the Midnight Cowboy Collector's Edition DVD, the first thing you'll notice is that this movie, which famously became the only X-rated Best Picture Oscar winner, has now been rated R. But time has done nothing to fade how interesting and powerful it is.
Jon Voight is just as cocky in the role of wannabe New York City cum Texas gigolo Joe Buck, and Dustin Hoffman's Ratso Rizzo is just as slimy and pathetic in the role of Joe's streetwise "management." Unfortunately, Harry Nilsson and Fred Neil's theme song "Everybody's Talkin' " still sounds overused, but that's my only complaint about this marvelous film. Of all the stories about how hard life in the big city is for dreamers, this is at once the goofiest and harshest.
Its power lies in the uncompromisingly experimental editing and shots, the great characters, and the mixture of humor and pathos. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound has nice bass, especially during the score's psychedelic moments, but doesn't make full use of the surrounds. The 1.85 anamorphic picture takes in all of the wide-open Texas vistas and cluttered Manhattan streets, and the dynamic transfer incorporates the grainy color as well as the occasional black-and-white sequences with gusto.
Special features include an audio commentary with producer Jerome Hellman, a featurette on director John Schlesinger, a documentary on the film's controversy and critical success, another on its lasting effect, plus a bundle of production stills printed on postcards.