“Midnight Cowboy” Revisited: Making New Sense of an Iconic Old Film

I subscribe to The Criterion Channel, a streaming service that specializes in classic old films.  A week ago, as I write this, it featured the 1969 American film, though with a British director, “Midnight Cowboy.”  I was in my late twenties back then and saw it in a Minneapolis movie theater, the only option back in those days; no DVDs or streaming.   I hadn’t seen it again until I streamed it this week—a gap of fifty years, a half century, my gosh.  Watching it again piqued my interest in the film and prompted me to engage in some fairly intense investigation, analysis, and assessment these last few days, which included reading for the first time the novel on which the film is based, also called Midnight Cowboy (“midnight cowboy” is slang for a male hustler).  This writing reports what came out of that activity.

“Midnight Cowboy” has turned out to be one of the three iconic American films of the 1960s—the other two, “The Graduate” and “Easy Rider.”  One’s understanding of that time in American history is enhanced by a consideration of the social and cultural significance of these films, how they both reflected and shaped collective and individual life.  And since one thing leads to another, giving attention to them will shed light on contemporary reality and how it got to be this way, which includes how you, if you are an American, and perhaps even if you aren’t, think about things and conduct your life.

“Midnight Cowboy” is set in New York City’s Times Square and focuses on what would seem on the face of it to be a most unlikely friendship between two men on the margin of American life: Joe Buck (played by Jon Voight), late-twenties, tall, blond, a naïve aspiring male prostitute newly arrived on a bus from small-town Texas decked out in the cowboy clothes he has just purchased; and Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo (played by Dustin Hoffman), early-thirties, Bronx native, short, dark, petty thief and conman with a limp, rotting teeth, and consumptive ill health barely surviving alone in an abandoned tenement building.

“Midnight Cowboy” won three Academy Awards in 1970: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Both Voight and Hoffman were nominated for Best Actor.  It was the only X-rated film (largely for what was considered its homosexual frame of reference) ever to win Best Picture.   A couple of years later, without any changes in the film, the rating was changed to an R.  The X category, which no longer exists, was associated with pornography—“Midnight Cowboy” is definitely not pornographic.  The American Film Institute ranked “Midnight Cowboy” 43rd in its list of the 100 greatest American films of all time.  The Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in its United States National Film Registry. 

Two considerations in this writing: the quality of “Midnight Cowboy” as an artistic expression; and an interpretation of three of its central themes.  Back when I first saw the film, I didn’t think one iota about artistic merit and themes.  I just went to whatever movie I happened to hear about and liked it or didn’t like it and that was that.   Now, I want to see the finest films, which could turn out to be independent (not produced by a major film studio) or foreign, and I want to know who made them, and I want to have a reasonable understanding of what ideas and beliefs are coming at me so I can make a considered choice of what to do about them.

As for the quality of “Midnight Cowboy,” after viewing it carefully this week, I’ve concluded that it is a superb film, high up in the top rank as an artistic expression.  The screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography, and editing—first class.  Watching it this week (I wasn’t discerning enough to note this the first time around), I was very much taken with the cinematography of Adam Holender, who was around thirty at that time, young; truly remarkable, serves the film beautifully.  “Midnight Cowboy” is not on a par with the very best films of that time, those by directors Ingmar Bergman, Michaelangelo Antonioni, Yasujirō Ozu, and Robert Bresson (John Schlesinger, the director of “Midnight Cowboy,” isn’t quite in their league), but it’s top quality, very much worth my time and, I expect, yours.   Consider this a recommendation that you see “Midnight Cowboy”; it’s widely available as a DVD and for streaming.   One caveat with that recommendation: despite their artistic excellence, there are films I don’t go to because I don’t want to expose myself to what I understand to be their subject matter and messages, and after reading what’s here, you might want to stay clear of “Midnight Cowboy” on that basis.  Personally, I was fine with encountering the content and perspectives in “Midnight Cowboy.”  In fact, I felt enriched by my engagement with them.

I’ll leave the assessment of the artistic merits of “Midnight Cowboy” with that single paragraph because I want to focus primarily here on interpreting this film, surfacing what it cares most about and what it communicates about that.

To begin, I noted this time that there is a strong Jewish, gay, and left-leaning presence in “Midnight Cowboy.” The United Artists film company executive who green-lighted the film, David Picker, the producer Jerome Hellman, the director John Schlesinger, and the cinematographer Adam Holender were Jewish.  Schlesinger was gay, as was James Leo Herlihy who wrote the source novel.  Waldo Salt, who adapted Herlihy’s novel for the screen, was a long-time member of the Communist Party, took the Fifth Amendment in his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and ended up blacklisted in Hollywood for a number of years.

I don’t want to a priori conclude that the men just listed were ill-intended, engaging in nefarious activity, attempting to subvert anything, or trying to do anybody in or bring them down.  It’s possible that they were up to no good, but far more likely, I believe, they were, with every good intention, expressing their truths and singing their songs in the same way you and I express our truths and sing our songs.  I think it is safe to assume that if all these individuals had been conservative heterosexual Pentecostals, “Midnight Cowboy” would have been different than it was—or better, that these people would have made some other film.  And that is a very important consideration indeed.  Regardless of their motivations, what people insert into the flow of public discourse has consequences for how other people think and live.  But the main point here, I don’t want to start with assumptions and then collect evidence to confirm and illustrate them.  I want to see what’s actually in the film and go from there, keeping in mind that who I am and my beliefs and commitments will affect both what I single out for attention and what I make of it.

“Midnight Cowboy” operates on two levels in pretty much an even balance.  There is the film’s narrative—what is going on in this moment, here and now.  And, there are, frequently, regularly, interjected into this narrative, flashbacks and memories and fantasies and dreams; for shorthand, I’ll refer to any of that as a flashback.   Watching the film again this time, I concluded that, most likely, the screenplay is a collaborative effort by credited screenwriter Waldo Salt and director John Schlesinger: Salt’s basic storyline and dialogue and Schlesinger’s uncredited flashbacks.  The two men, and thus their two contributions, contrast significantly: Salt’s Marxist class consciousness and down-to-earth, gritty realism; and Schlesinger’s Freudianism, homosexual perspective, and aesthetic, non-literal, approach.

If I’m right about the contributions of these two men, they integrated their contrasting perspectives and concerns exceedingly well.  Logically and thematically, “Midnight Cowboy” holds together very nicely—it could have been a mishmash and wasn’t. The elements of the film complement one another rather than clash.  I’ve read that Salt and Schlesinger spent many months discussing the screenplay, and it shows.  It’s clear from their end product that they were both very dedicated and very talented.   They were aided in their efforts by Herlihy’s excellent novel.  It provided strong support to Salt (many of the events and much of the dialogue in the film are taken straight from the book), as well as prompts for the (I believe) Schlesinger-created flashbacks.

Looking back on my life, I can see how the concerns and ideas and ideals of the 1960s that were “in the wind” in those years—a big part of which came from the popular culture, which included mass-marketed films like “Midnight Cowboy”—got through to me.  They shaped how I thought and acted in both the private and public dimensions of my life.  The problem, as I came to realize later, is that I wasn’t consciously, articulately, critically, aware of what I had unthinkingly internalized, and thus I wasn’t an autonomous, self-directed human being.  I wasn’t my own person; I was somebody else’s person.   I see myself as being my own person now, but I wasn’t then.

I’m doing with “Midnight Cowboy” what I wish I would have known to do in 1969: putting words to what’s in the film, making conceptual sense of it, including its implications and worth.  A big reason I’m putting the time and effort into writing this up is to encourage you to do this same sort of thing with what is being pitched to you now in your life—this article is an example—so that someday you aren’t bearing in on eighty saying, “Damn, I wish I would have thought things through when there was still time and energy to do something about what I came up with.”

With that as a backdrop, I’ll provide illustrations of three central themes, or concerns, I picked up on in “Midnight Cowboy” going through it carefully this week: religion, sexuality, and male friendship.  I’ve decided not to classify these illustrations as either part of the basic narrative of the film or an inserted flashback; I’ll leave it that everything below was on the screen.   I’ve also decided to hold back on my take on any and all of this.  I’ll do some of that (and please feel invited to critique it), but I want to leave room for you to make interpretations of your own.

So, three themes: religion, sexuality, and male friendship.  See what sense you can make of what’s here.


On the bus to New York City, still in Texas, Joe has his transistor radio to his ear listening a gospel program called “The Sunshine Hour.”  “Oh yes, sweet Jesus!  I tell you, faith healin’.  I got a letter here from a sister enclosing ten dollars.”

• • •

In New York City, Joe is in a down-scale hotel room with a stranger named O’Daniel—fifties, short, bald, fleshy, wearing only a loosely tied bathrobe, an odd affect.  Leering at Joe, he has him turn around so he can get a good look at him, pats Joe’s body.

Says O’Daniel, “Why don’t you and me get right down on our knees right now?”  He opens the bathroom door to reveal, attached to the door, the toilet in view, an alter with a statue of Jesus.   He falls to his knees.  Joe is still standing. “I’ve prayed in the streets,” he raves, looking up at Joe.  “I’ve prayed in the saloons.  I’ve prayed in the toilets.   It don’t matter where so long as He gets that prayer.”

“Shit!” Joe exclaims and bolts for the door to the outside.

Cut to ten-year-old Joe, looking frightened, being baptized, dunked in a lake or river by a tall, lean, rural-looking man, presumably a preacher, in a shirt and tie standing hip-deep in the water.

“No!  Don’t run from Jesus!” implores O’Daniel.

As Joe nears the door, a pole with a sign attached that says “God is love” falls in his way.  He frantically thrusts it aside and charges out of the room.

Cut to Joe running down the street as fast as he can go.


Joe around ten with his grandmother, Sally Buck.  His young mother has given him over to Sally and left permanently.  No father in sight; presumably Joe is illegitimate.  Sally is sitting in one of her beauty salon chairs and Joe is massaging her neck from behind.  She turns her head around and, holding the back of his neck, kisses him on the cheek and says, “That’s real nice, honey.”

• • •

Young Joe in bed under the covers with Grandma.  Smiling, she hugs him and kisses him on the cheek.

• • •

Grandma to Joe, “You look nice, lover boy.  Make your old grandma proud.  You’re gonna be the best lookin’ cowboy in the whole parade.”

• • •

Joe lying naked on his stomach, his grandmother spanking him hard and then setting up what appears to be an enema.

• • •

Texas.  Annie, around eighteen, dark brown hair, voluptuous, ripe.  A pack of young men, twenty-years-old or so, which includes Joe, laughing, following her as she walks up a deserted street.  She glances back at them—disdainfully?  invitingly?

• • •

A surreal setting, Annie running on sand; in the distance, young men chasing her.  It appears to be the same pack, though I didn’t see a form that resembled Joe’s.  I was reminded of a 1951 film, “Suddenly Last Summer,” which was based on a play by the gay playwright Tennessee William (who was a close friend of the author of the novel Midnight Cowboy, James Leo Herlihy).  In “Suddenly Last Summer,” a young woman and her cousin are chased on a beach by a group of young men.  She comes to realize that her cousin is using her to attract these young men in order to proposition them for sex.  Eventually, the young men tear him apart and eat his flesh.  The trauma of what occurred results in the young woman being committed to a mental institution.  Perhaps this scene in “Midnight Cowboy” is paying homage to “Suddenly Last Summer.”

• • •

At night.  Joe and Annie having sex in a car, both naked, Joe on top of her.  “Joe?  Do you love me, Joe?  You’re the only one.”  A group of men—not the pack, older—yank open the car door and rape Annie and sodomize Joe.

• • •

Joe with law enforcement officers in western hats, apparently arrested, accused by Annie of rape.  “He’s the only one,” she says.  Annie, deranged it appears, looks out of the back window of a car as she’s being driven away, perhaps to a mental institution.  In the film, though not in the novel, she’s referred to as “Crazy Annie.”  In the novel, Annie was put in a mental institution (as was the character in “Suddenly Last Summer”).

• • •

Seated in a bar, Joe speaks to the person next to him.

“I’m Joe Buck from Texas.”
“I’m Enrico Rizzo from the Bronx.”

A transvestite intrudes to bum a cigarette from Joe and in the process, drops the fact that Enrico is known by another name (“Oh kiss it, Ratso, up yours”).

Ratso to Joe: “Got to watch out for these faggots.  Faggot!”

• • •

Ratso invites Joe to stay with him after Joe is kicked out of his room for failure to pay the rent.

Joe naps on a bare mattress.  He wakes up with a start; his boots are off.

“How’d they get off me?” he shouts at Ratso.
“I took ‘em off.  So you could sleep,” comes the quiet, calm reply.

“You after something.  What you after?  You don’t look like no fag.  You want me to stay here.  That’s the idea, ain’t it.”
“Look, I’m not forcing you.”

• • •

Ratso tells Joe his cowboy outfit is “strictly for fags.”
“John Wayne?” Joe responds.   You’re going to tell me he’s a fag?”

• • •

Ratso tells Joe, “My old man spent 14 hours a day in the subway. He’d come home at night, two, three dollars worth of change, stained with shoe polish.   Stupid bastard coughed his lungs out from breathin’ in wax all day.  Even the faggot undertaker couldn’t get his nails clean.”

• • •

In desperate straits, Joe sells himself to a young male college student (or is it high school?) carrying his textbook.   In a darkened movie theater, Joe remains motionless and stares straight ahead and looks stricken as the student snuggles up next to him, caresses him, and performs oral sex on him.  The boy admits he was lying and doesn’t have money to pay Joe.  Joe manhandles him and threatens to take his watch.  The student begs him not to take the watch (“My mother would die”).   Joe walks away.

• • •

Joe finally gets with a paying customer of the sort he envisioned in Texas.  (To his fellow dishwasher—the only black in the film, street scenes included—just before he left Texas for New York City: “There’s a lot of rich women back there, Ralph, beggin’ for it.   Payin’ for it, too.”)  But Joe isn’t up to the task.  The woman, Shirley, 35, short dark hair, attractive, charming, says, “Well, it happens.  Don’t worry about it.”

Looking forlorn, Joe replies, “It ain’t never happened to me before.”

Shirley suggests they play a board game called Scribbage, like Scrabble where you form words using tiles with letters on them.  It’s Joe’s turn. “What the hell starts with ‘Y’?”

“Well,” offers Shirley, “it could end with ‘Y.’ “Like, uh, ‘pay’. . . or ‘lay.’   Gay ends in ‘Y.’”  She sticks her finger in Joe’s mouth.   “Is that your problem, baby?  You like that?”

“I’ll show you my darn problem,” says Joe, and rolls over on top of her.   Shirley immediately reverses the position and gets on top of Joe.  She snarls and bites and scratches him.  It’s rough sex, but evidently Joe comes through this time, because immediately afterwards, Joe standing there, she phones her friend and enthusiastically recommends him (“I’m not exaggerating.  Listen, Margorie, you should try it”) and sets up an appointment for her friend with Joe for the next Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m.

• • •

Joe in a carnival shooting gallery, shooting at cowboys (at his recently adopted cowboy persona?).   A man in late middle age, suit and tie, overcoat, scarf, clear-plastic-frame glasses, nondescript physical appearance, smiling, obsequious, introduces himself as Townsend P. Locke, in town for a paper manufacturer’s convention.  He invites Joe to dinner.  As they walk toward the restaurant, Locke says, “Oh, damn it, we can’t do that.  I’m expecting a telephone call at the hotel.”

In the hotel room, Locke speaks on the phone to his wife (he calls her “Mama”).

“What you want?” demands Joe.  “What you got me up here for?”
“Oh, Joe, it’s so difficult. . .  Oh, God, I loathe life.  I loathe it.  Please go.  Please.”
“You want me to leave?”
“No, I mean, yes, yes.  Please go.  Come back tomorrow.  Promise?”

(The rest of the scene below.) 

Male Friendship

Ironically, John Wayne, who is mentioned in “Midnight Cowboy” (“John Wayne? You’re going to tell me he’s a fag?”), won the Best Actor award in 1970 for his performance in “True Grit,” beating out Hoffman and Voight.  Wayne disparaged “Midnight Cowboy” as being about two homosexuals—a “what’s the world coming to?” remark.   Wayne’s characterization reflected the consensus view at the time.  To the extent that I thought about the film at all back then, that’s the way I saw it too.  But looking at it again, while there is a distinct homosexual overtone to film, it seems much more to be, at the most basic level, about male friendship.

Except for perhaps a couple of Ratso’s long looks at Joe, I didn’t pick up anything sexual between the two of them.  They had no sexual contact in the novel, though the novel does have Joe, prior to leaving Texas, engaging in homosexual acts.  There is nothing in the film to suggest that Joe is a homosexual.  I got the impression that Ratso is a latent, or repressed, homosexual, though he never came on to Joe.  I understand that Schlesinger wanted a sex scene with the two of them but was talked out of it, and I can understand why.  At its core, this film, as was Herlihy’s novel, is about being alone and finding a friend, an ally.  A sexual relationship between Ratso and Joe would have distracted from the central thrust of this story; plus, it simply wouldn’t be true to these two characters.

The two of them set up house, so to speak, in the incredible squalor of Ratso’s living—or is it dying?—quarters in the abandoned building.  What an amazing film set; I didn’t appreciate it the first time around.

Ratso cooks for the two of them, and cuts Joe’s hair. Assessing a haircut, Ratso smiles warmly at Joe and says, “Not bad, for a cowboy.  You’re OK.”  Ratso steals a coat for Joe

Ratso in torn socks exposing his feet, sweating and coughing and getting sicker and sicker.  It’s the winter and no heat.  Joe pawns his prized radio and sells his blood to buy Ratso new socks and Mentholatum (an ointment used to relieve aches and pains).

Upon seeing Joe and Ratso together, Shirley, Joe’s one paying customer, inquired, “Are you two a couple?”

• • •

One evening while cooking, Ratso says to Joe, “The two items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk.  In Florida, you got a terrific amount of coconut trees there.   And ladies.  You got more ladies in Miami than in any resort area in the country there.  I gotta get out of here.”

• • •

Lying in bed, Ratso tells Joe, “Don’t get sore or anything–”

“I ain’t sore.”
“—I don’t think I can walk anymore.  I mean, I’ve been falling down a lot.   I’m scared.”
“What are you scared of?”
“You know what they do to you when they know you can’t—when they find out you can’t walk.  Oh, Christ.  I gotta lay down.””
“I’m gonna lay you down.   I’m going to put this thing [an old blanket] over you.”
“Where you going?”
“I gotta get you a doctor.”
“No doctors, no cops.  You get me to Florida.”

• • •

The rest of the Townsend P. Locke scene, after Locke says, “Come back tomorrow.  Promise?”:

“I’m going to Florida tomorrow.”
“That’s terrible.  You meet someone you think—I want to give you a present . . . for your trip.  Please take it.”

He takes a chain with a Saint Christopher medal off his neck and hands it to Joe.  “I want you to have it.  You don’t have to be Catholic.  Saint Christopher’s the patron saint of all travelers.  I want you to have it for helping me be good.”

“I gotta have money.”
“Yes, of course.  Wait here.”

Locke goes to a table drawer and takes a bill out of his wallet and hands it to Joe.  “Here.  Don’t even thank me.”
“I gotta have more than ten.  I gotta have $57 [for the bus tickets].”
“I simply don’t have it, Joe.”
“I got family, goddamn it!”
“You’re wasting your time, Joe.  There’s nothing in here [the wallet].”
“Get outta my way, please, sir.”  Joe slugs Locke in the face.
Locke groans.  “Oh, I deserve that.  I brought this on myself, I know I did.  My nose is bleeding, isn’t it?”
“Now are you going to let go of that table, or you want a busted skull?”
“Joe, Joe, Joe.”

Joe hits Locke with a vicious uppercut, knocking out his false teeth.  Joe goes through Locke’s wallet.  He takes everything out of it and puts the thick wad of cash in his pocket.

Locke lying on the bed, face bloodied.  “Oh, Joe.  Thank you.”
Locke reaches for the phone, puts the receiver to his ear.  Joe takes note of it.
“No, no, I wasn’t calling anyone.”

Joe grabs the phone, rips the cord out of the wall, and then, with all his might, rams the receiver into Locke’s toothless mouth.

• • •

Joe and Ratso on the way to Florida, sitting together in a seat near the rear of the bus.  Joe had to drag/carry Ratso to the bus and set him in the seat.

“If you’re gonna shiver,” Joe says to Ratso, “put your blankets up more.”

• • •

“Down there [in Florida], call me Rico.”

• • •

Ratso wets his pants. “Here I am, going to Florida, my leg hurts, my butt hurts, my chest hurts, my face hurts, and like that ain’t enough, I got to pee all over myself.”
“You just took a little rest stop that wasn’t on the schedule,” says Joe.
They share a laugh

• • •

They arrive in Florida.

“What size pants you wear?” asks Joe.
Joe comes out of a store wearing regular clothes. He puts his cowboy clothes in a trash can.
On the bus, he puts a bright shirt on Ratso.   “Yours was the only one with a palm tree on it.”
“Thanks, Joe.”

• • •

The bus is nearing its final destination.

“Hey, you know, Ratso, I mean Rico, I got this damn thing figured out.  When we get to Miami, what I’m goin’ to do is get some sort of job, you know?  ‘Cause, hell, I ain’t no kind of hustler.  I mean, there must be an easier way of making a livin’ than that.  Some sort of outdoors work.  What do you think?”

Ratso is dead in the bus seat.  Joe puts his arm around him and holds him.

20 replies
  1. SS
    SS says:

    Church and toilet are equivalents in old movies. I didn’t even get to the end of “Religion” and I can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt the men listed all knew what they were doing, they were destroying the fabric of white America with a weapon called “movies”. They knew they would never be identified as the men responsible for their crimes. Perhaps your extremely long winded article is a way of identifying the men responsible without saying that is what you are doing. Movie Industry = Ministry of Propaganda for the Jews and their allies, the Satanists and the sex perverts.

    • claudius1889
      claudius1889 says:

      I do agree with you completely. Those bastards that created this disgusting film knew very well what they were doing. Hollywood has been a Jewish cesspool from the very beginning. I would not say that everything produced there was crap, many good films were made during the 1940s and 1950s. The real filth began in the 1960s with the triumph of cultural marxism.

      I don’t see the point of discussing and analyzing this piece of crap in such detail. We know who its creators were and what they wanted to achieve. This reminds me of an anecdote about Oscar Wilde, a young woman who believed to be a writer gave Wilde a manuscript asking for his opinion and criticism. A few days later Wilde returned the manuscript; she was surprised and annoyed when she discovered that Wilde had only read and commented on the first four or five pages.

      When she confronted the writer demanding an explanation he said: “My dear lady, I do not need to eat an egg to know if it is rotten” The same applies to this film. It is pure Jewish crap. This is obvious to anyone with a bit of cultural and racial awareness about the Jews and their agenda. They cannot help it, they produce filth for the moronic goym who is happy to pay for it.

  2. SS
    SS says:

    If they had put any homosexual content in the film, they would have lost the audience. So they didn’t. This film is a marker of how much the audience has been conditioned to accept in the past generation.

  3. James Bowery
    James Bowery says:

    A few years later, in 1972, Jon Voight starred in another “iconic” movie from that era:


    It also featured Voight’s character playing the blond man being subjected to a rural homosexual rape gang. Taken in conjunction with KMac’s thesis in “Individualism In the Western Liberal Tadition” and Hollywood’s “blond bad guy” obsession (itself in conjunction with the “blonde bombshell” obsession), one must be forgiven for suspecting Jews are as obsessed with eliminating individualism from the gene pool as they are with monopolizing eugenics.

    The anti-rural message of Deliverance was unleavened by portrayal of urban depravity, as was Midnight Cowboy’s message. The rapidly changing demography of that era may have played a role here, as in 1972 the peak of the Baby Boom was hitting prime mating age and I can attest to the traumatic effect Deliverance had as I saw it with several friends from a small Iowa town who were then graduating from high school. They all, without exception, felt like it was they who had been gang raped. One clear message we all received: You’re not safe where you are. Go to the city.

    The earlier boomers, who were admitted to the more balanced message of Midnight Cowboy in 1969, were among those demographically positioned to catch the real estate, cheap labor and fertile female wave created by the later boomers. This instilled in them a sense of entitled profligacy nowadays attributed to “boomers”. Indeed, it is a curiously elided feature of US politics that, until the 2016 election, all “boomer” candidates for high office had been born in the 1940s!

    There is something about the demographic and cultural transition from the late 60s to the early 70s that demands more serious analysis.


  4. Tom
    Tom says:

    I was an optimistic young man up until 1967 when the hippies and the rest of the depraved counter-culture destroyed every last vestige of natural decency and honor in America. I never finished watching the entirety of Midnight Cowboy because it was a worthless movie. All I saw was an exposition of seedy sub-humanity, so I didn’t see the point. If the point of the movie had been to warn people of the dangers of perverted lifestyles and irresponsible hedonistic individuals, the movie might have had some value. Instead however, I think the point of the movie was to demonstrate the usual counter-culture “up yours” attitude to all that was normal, productive, and life-giving in American society. The point was to declare to audiences that life is more-often-than-not ugly and rancid and that we need to accept that reality – an entirely bullshit proposition in line with the repugnant life-views of the creators of the movie. The point was to get audiences to internalize and accept the general notion that life is base and valueless, so that when normal people actually get to see and experience base individuals in person that they will accept them and not judge them harshly.

    • Barkingmad
      Barkingmad says:


      Having never seen that movie, I can now see why you couldn’t watch Midnight Cowboy to the end. And boy am I lucky to somehow have avoided a film that everyone, as I recall, was praising to the skies; it even made it onto the list of The Greatest Films. “Top quality,” says Mr. Griffin. SMH. I feel like I’ve had a bucket of scht thrown at me just reading the details here.

      Think I’ll rewatch some of Ozu’s movies which I saw years ago to clean the ugliness from my mind. The people in it are a bit more normal than the putrid corpses in Cowboy and Suddenly Last Summer.

  5. Karl
    Karl says:

    Thank you for this article.

    The film depicts homosexuality as tawdry.
    Films can’t do that anymore.
    Films are now universally pro-homosexual.

    Recall the homosexual rape by dirty, backwoods trash in Deliverance, which starred Burt Reynolds as the heterosexual who saved the day.
    Films can’t do that anymore. They must depict homosexuality as wonderful.
    We know who is behind this, but saying so publicly is a no-no.

    Check out the sick program for children, DragQueenStoryHour.org, which brings drag queens and sometimes sex offenders (yes, it’s true) into schools and libraries to read to (i.e. brainwash) the youngest children.

    The entire Democratic Party is sick with LGBT, and the GOP isn’t doing much about it.

  6. Tim Folke
    Tim Folke says:

    That was a very sick movie, especially in that time. It tarnished the wonderful American ‘cowboy’ icon. If I am to go down at a ‘hater’, let it be known that one of the things I hate is garbage like that. I’m proud to be a hater of sick, dystopian evil.

  7. Gene
    Gene says:

    Midnight Cowboy sought to re-define the concept of “family” in America. The relationship between Joe Buck and Rizzo, although not sexual, advanced to a degree of interpersonal interests found in the nuclear family of the 1960s.

  8. JRM
    JRM says:

    I’ve read hundreds – no, probably thousands of film reviews in my life, and never read another one quite like this. Kudos for an interesting approach.

    I’ve never seen the film under discussion, and can honestly say I have even more mixed feelings about watching it now that I’ve read this piece. I’ve heretofore avoided it with the reasoning that a homosexually-themed movie that takes place in New Yawk wouldn’t be likely to thrill me.

    But it does bring up a perplexing issue for me, which is “what do we do with an art that is so permeated by and stamped with Judaism, but that nevertheless seems impossible to give up?”

    I have always loved “the movies”, and have great love for and interest in everything from silent comedies to film noir. I was a movie fan long before I knew what a Jew was. Yet knowing all I know now, I feel a bit (well, more than a bit) guilty for still loving the cinematic experience.

    Obviously, some products of the various nation’s film output are less Jewish than others. The French New Wave films are by theme and time and place of origin less Jewish than a “Midnight Cowboy”, but there were Jews there, too. All old Hollywood films are at least in part Jewish, because all the producers and studios were (for all practical purposes) Jews.

    Now, our author is flying right into Jerusalem, so to speak, with this article. I am sure he expected some flack from disaffected regular readers. He is too smart not to. Is he on a cultural scorched-earth mission to bring about some kind of cathartic realization about consuming and processing Jewish product? I don’t know, but I will continue to read his work; maybe one of these days I can resolve to cut the art of films out of my life, but I’m not there yet.

  9. RobertDolan
    RobertDolan says:

    It’s tiring (and stupid) to bash “boomers” when they were brainwashed
    by the hostile tribe that rules over all of us.
    The Frankfurt School, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse…..marxists…..Boas…..Freud…..Gould…..Sontag…..Ignatiev….jewish media
    and jewish academia are to blame.
    I’ve noticed a HUGE push to blame boomers for what the jews did to America.
    This is a very sneaky attempt to throw people off the scent, a way to divert attention away from the nation wrecking jewish culprits.
    Sadly, many white advocates have fallen into this trap, including Anglin, Spencer, Enoch, etc.
    It’s absurd, moronic, and intellectually dishonest.
    KMAC reveals the truth about the 60’s in Chapter 3 of the CofC, “Jews and The Left.”

  10. George Kocan
    George Kocan says:

    Over the years, I became curious about this film, “Midnight Cowboy.” I recently say it listed on cable tv and decided to watch it. No thanks. This is a disgusting and nauseating film. No wonder it was nominated for all those Oscars.

  11. Barkingmad
    Barkingmad says:

    Anyone who’s fed up with movies in general, take a crack at The General (1926) with Buster Keaton. It got an 8.1 rating on imdb. I promise you, you’ll like it.

  12. James Clayton
    James Clayton says:

    A nine-part series on those behind this sort of thing. They’re a quick read. California universities, to use the term loosely, were teaching seminars in obscenity and pornography and explored this “redeeming social value” court decision.

    After the report of the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, “comic book stores” had back rooms for so-called adult books which quickly became adult book stores. Comics became a Jewish euphemism for what was already a high-profit industry– one that attracts the usual suspects to incubate in it the way dog shit attracts flies.

    At http://www.fpp.co.uk/BoD/origins/porn_industry.html, David Irving published “Jews in the American porn industry: By Nathan Abrams…” from the Jewish Quarterly and includes links “Our dossier on the origins of anti-Semitism” and ” More on Jewish dominance in the porn industry.” Read them all and search the National Vanguard news page for “anti-Semitism” for good audio with transcript presentations on its origins. A particularly good one to share with friends is https://nationalvanguard.org/2014/09/disillusioned-part-1/ (and parts 2 and 3).

  13. Sursumcorda
    Sursumcorda says:

    Ultimately, this all goes back to the foot of the Cross. These people committed the ultimate insanity and crime. They murdered the Son of God. I believe some spiritual exchange between them and Satan took place at that moment and it has driven them insane. They can’t escape their crime, so they must drag those around them into their crimes and insane worldview. Every mad idea ultimately came from the mind of a Jew. Witness the unstable mental state of gentiles today who are living in the insanity of modernity created by the Jews.

  14. Traddles
    Traddles says:

    A very good, interesting review, Dr. Griffin (although it could use a little editing for grammar and organization). Your point about being enriched by watching “Midnight Cowboy” is important. I too have been enriched by movies and literature that offered different perspectives. To live in a free society, we need to allow at least some flexibility in what artists and others can offer. We can gain from what others have to say, who don’t necessarily agree with us.

    It’s good for us to be challenged, and our beliefs and practices to be questioned, within certain boundaries. The problem with our enemies is that they have rejected the boundaries and the structure in which our freedom to question and challenge has been built. I don’t know either if the makers of “Midnight Cowboy” intended to do damage to that structure, but it’s certain that those who dominate our current culture want to do all they can to wreck the traditional West. The degenerate acts depicted in “Midnight Cowboy” did happen sometimes before the 60’s, but when movies and other works present those acts as typical or normal, they present a very distorted picture. They leave out the goodness that has often existed also. They ignore the many people who were imperfect, but tried to do the right thing. And so they show the family, religion, society and culture in very false ways.

    As you mentioned, a key problem for you and me and others when we first saw movies like “Midnight Cowboy” is that many of us hadn’t formulated a mature outlook on life, that “autonomous, self-directed human being” who can thrive in a nation which allows liberty balanced with responsibility. We can be unduly influenced and scarred by such art if we’re not ready for it. Libraries once had the right idea, when they prohibited children from borrowing certain materials. We live in a very different world now, sadly.

  15. pj dooner
    pj dooner says:

    This new movie doesn’t have a single jew character and only one jew actor in it (as far as I can tell) so here are the top five reasons why The Irishman is getting 100% positive reviews from all the jew and jew-controlled movie “critics”:

    5) It demonizes European-derived people:
    Frank Sheeran (The Irishman)-Irish/Scandinavian, psycho hit man
    JImmy Hoffa-German, corrupt union leaer
    Russel Bufalino-Italian, organized crime leader
    Tony Provenzano-Italian-corrupt union leader and organized crime leader
    Angelo Bruno-Italian, organized crime leader
    John F Kennedy-Irish, President who double-crossed organized crime

    4) There are no jew characters even though organized crime and political corruption were rife with them especially at the very top, and only one jew actor (playing an Italian) in a relatively minor role

    3) One of the European-derived characters, Tony Provenzano, is played by Jamaican quadroon Steven Graham

    2) The eponymous “star” of The Irishman is the white-hating, race-mixing, jew-tool Robert DeNiro

    1) And the #1 reason why The Irishman is getting 100% positive reviews from the jew-controlled “critics” is: It blames the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Italian organized crime without even mentioning the jews who actually did it!!!


    • Angelicus
      Angelicus says:

      PJ DOONER = You are absolutely right about that piece-of-shit called Robert de Niro. He produced and directed a disgusting anti-white film called “A Bronx Tale” (1993) where he portrays his own people (Italian-Americans) as obnoxious racists bent on killing peaceful and well-educated blacks.

      Having said that I found with great pleasure that he has got his just deserts. His nigger ex-wife is taking him to the cleaners, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! LOL

      Enjoy: https://dailystormer.name/old-man-de-niros-monkey-bride-wants-to-take-half-of-his-money/

  16. Steelback
    Steelback says:

    In the late 1960s when I was a fourteen year old boy at an English boarding school we got into X rated films like Easy Rider, Bonnie and Clyde etc. by dressing like adults.

    I can remember one of the boys in my class talking to our English master about having seen Midnight Cowboy. On the strength of the boy’s recommendation we all duly piled into the cinema the following week-end. The boy’s summation of the film still stays in my memory. He said it was about a young man who went to NY to make his fortune and met a lot of low-lifes on the way. These are not his exact words of course but I think they give the lie to any idea that the film deliberately set out to promote homosexuality.

    Curiously, our English master, himself, recommended another ‘X’- rated film to us. The was “If”. It was directed by Lyndsay Anderson and was about a full-scale armed rebellion in an English public ( US readers should read this as meaning private) school just like ours! The master reminded us that although the film was an ‘X’ we would still be able to get into it because – as he put it – “boys have their ways”.

    Anderson – who wrote a definitive biography of film director John Ford – was known to fall in love with the leading men in his films. Thus, Malcom McDowell, who starred in “If”, Richard Harris in “This Sporting
    Life” provided sustenance for Anderson. However, Anderson like many others at that time was a repressed homosexual whilst his love objects were usually heterosexual and therefore unattainable!

    Whether Midnight Cowboy or If promoted Jewish interests or homosexuality I don’t know and I certainly didn’t know then. However, I think both films had an impact on the counter-culture of the late sixties.

    Certainly, I think now that you would not need to dig very deep to find evidence that Voigt and his daughter, Angelina Jolie, have been actively promoting Jewish interests (banks, NGOs etc.). It’s certainly a way to get on in the world that’s for sure!

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