We look back at the racy 1969 Oscar winner starring Jon Voight.
Editor's Note: Throughout the month of October, C&I is celebrating the golden westerns of 1969, a year that changed the game for the beloved film genre. Check the Entertainment tab each day to see a different film recommendation by C&I senior writer Joe Leydon. And be on the lookout for the upcoming November/December 2019 print edition, which prominently features one of the 25 greatest films of 1969 on its cover.
The first (and only) X-rated movie ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture is by no means a western. But director John Schlesinger’s inventive and engrossing adaptation of James Leo Herlihy’s novel emphasizes the ways Wild West images, attitudes and attire influence Joe Buck (Jon Voight), a naïve young Texan who figures he can make his fortune by getting his cowboy on as a stud-for-hire in Manhattan.
There’s a not-entirely-complimentary shout-out to John Wayne in the dialogue, along with some caustically cynical commentary by a grimy derelict appropriately named Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).