Not only was Midnight Cowboy one of the best movies of the ’60s, it may also be one of the best dramas of all time.
The dynamic chemistry between its two stars was a huge part of what made it great: Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. Although the movie is remembered as a great all-around film, there is one scene that is especially memorable.
One of the most famous lines in film history also spawned it: an angry Hoffman, almost struck by a driver, screaming “I’m walking here!” on a street in New York. Behind that famous line, here is the story.
What was “Midnight Cowboy” about?
The movie is a drama about two men trying to make it in New York any way they can, according to IMDb.
A young, impressionable man named Joe Buck, from Texas, comes to New York City thinking that he’s a hustler.
He ends up teaming up with a hustler named Ratso Rizzo, another. While the two are initially enemies, they ultimately become unlikely business partners and even friends.
In this harsh world, the film focuses on how cruel the world can be and how hard it is to “get ahead”
The two manage to trick their way up to the top, at every stage deepening their surprising relationship.
When and where did they film “Midnight Cowboy” and who starred in it?
Who is and what is the net worth of Jon Voight?
Voight and Hoffman played roles in ‘Midnight Cowboy’ that helped them establish themselves in Hollywood as major players.
The film was filmed in New York City in the spring and summer of 1968, according to Bowery Boys History.
The film was filmed mainly in New York City and features the town prominently. It reveals the Big Apple’s more seedy side. When film lovers compile their list of the most significant New York films, most of them will have a place in this film.
New York is seen at its roughest by Midnight Cowboy.
In all its grim glory, director John Schlesinger captures the town and uses it as an important set piece for the film.
In a city where that’s the toughest thing to do, Ratso and Joe are trying to make it big in whatever way they can. This movie is hard to imagine being set somewhere else. The direction of Schlesinger was so intense that certain scenes felt as if the viewer had been transported straight into the middle of an ordinary day or night in New York.
In particular, there is one scene that feels really “New York.” It is the film’s most iconic sequence, and one of the most famous in film history.
How Dustin Hoffman improvised from the film his most famous line
In the movie, the most famous scene is when Voight and Hoffman weave through a crosswalk before a cab nearly hits Hoffman. Hoffman reaches the cab hood and shouts, “I’m walkin’ here!”
Hoffman said he was improvising the thread, according to Groovy History.
The story of how the recording came about (according to the article in Groovy History) is almost unbelievable:
There was therefore no money to fill it with extras at Sixth Avenue. So it’s what you call a stolen recording. We have radio mics on, the van is across the street, we rehearse it ourselves. You know, me and [Jon] Voight, the director [John Schlesinger].
And this conversation on the fly, we had to do it.
The cab pulled into the crosswalk, Hoffman, ever the Method actor, said, and he did everything in his power to remain in character throughout the shoot:
“We’re doing it, and on the first take, the cab jumps the light … At the end, I said, ‘I’m running here!’ But what was going through my head was, ‘Hey, we’re shooting a movie here!’ And you just blew this shot.’ But somehow something told me it was better to keep it within the character.”
In the end, Hoffman was very lucky to be able to retain his calm, and it led to a truly iconic reading of the line.