Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.
Midnight Cowboy – John Barry
John Barry supervised the music and composed the score for the film and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme, although he, as well as a few other significant contributors did not receive an on-screen credit.
Fred Neil’s song “Everybody’s Talkin'” won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for Harry Nilsson.
Schlesinger the director chose the song “Everybody’s Talkin'” as the films theme, and the song underscores the first act.
However the movie’s main theme, “Midnight Cowboy”, featured harmonica by Toots Thielemans, is the timeless track that is as haunting today as it was in 1969 even though it is said that Barry himself did not like it.
The film is a very bleak insight into the dark underbelly of New York in the seventies.
Naive Texan Joe Buck (Jon Voight) arrives in New York for the first time. Seeing himself as a real ‘hustler’, he finds that he is the one getting ‘hustled’ until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).
In their efforts to try and survive in an hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each seeming to find true friendship.
The final scene in this film is a on the bus to Miami and has breathtaking performances from both Hoffman and Voight with the music making it even more memorable.
The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Both Hoffman and Voight were nominated for Best Actor awards and Sylvia Miles was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, in what is one of the shortest performances nominated (clocking at about five minutes of screen time). In addition, the film won six BAFTA Awards.
3 Replies to “Track of the Week 29th March 2015”
That’s a great song and an outstanding movie. I hadn’t thought of either lately. Thanks for reminding me.
Its hard watching but Hoffman and Voight pull off brilliant performances. Its not a film for the faint hearted but it is a fantastic film. In my opinion the director Schlesinger the director made a film that was of its time and many films since have tried to emulate.
I knew I knew the song, but I just couldn’t recall it, so I had to play the clip. I’m pretty sure this song was nominated for an academy award that year, but lost out to Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.
It is such a haunting performance. Which as you say, fits the haunting film and the haunting scene.