Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic

Glenn Frankel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (432p) ISBN 978-0-374-20901-8
Pulitzer-winning journalist Frankel (High Noon) delivers a vivid chronicle about the classic 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy, the only X-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Frankel covers the film’s main contributors: James Leo Hurlihy, whose 1965 novel was the basis for the movie; director John Schlesinger, who took a chance on a novel “so bleak, troubling and sexually raw no ordinary film studio would go near it”; formerly blacklisted screenwriter Waldo Salt; actors Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman (whom Frankel interviewed); and casting director Marion Dougherty, who convinced Schlesinger to take a chance on then-unknown Voight. Frankel offers behind-the-scenes anecdotes, notably about the challenges of filming in New York City during a garbage strike, and in Texas, where the film crew needed protection from a den of rattlesnakes. Frankel also renders the social upheaval of the era—the Stonewall riots, antiwar protests, racial unrest—and the window between the collapse of old Hollywood’s heavy censorship and the rise of the profit-oriented blockbusters when Midnight Cowboy was made. This enthralling account of a boundary-breaking film is catnip for film buffs. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 11/04/2020
Release date: 03/16/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-250-82949-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-7999-7047-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-7999-7048-4
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