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Counterculture drama “Midnight Cowboy” heats up the Post

By Jim Reed/SMN

On March 9, the historic Tybee Post Theater presents a one-show-only booking of director John Schlesinger’s landmark 1969 counterculture drama “Midnight Cowboy,” starring the unlikely pairing of Dustin Hoffman (“Marathon Man,” “Lenny”) and Jon Voight (“Conrack,” “Anaconda”) as, two desperate, down-and-out, would-be prostitutes adrift in the seamy social underbelly of late-’60s New York City. Despite moments of genuine levity, “Midnight Cowboy” is a dark and depressing film, albeit a stunningly well-made and well-acted one.

Originally rated X in its earliest theatrical releases (because of an almost hilariously misguided and outdated notion that blatant homosexual content in any way shape or form would be dangerous for viewers between the ages of 18 and 21 to see), the film’s rating was later reduced to R as society’s views on sexuality caught up with Mother Nature’s. Still, just for a laugh, let’s raise a glass to the Tybee Post for proudly showing an X-rated film, shall we?

Despite its rating troubles, “Midnight Cowboy” wound up winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director — which I believe makes it the only X-rated film to ever win any sort of Academy Award. It also took home six BAFTAs (the U.K.’s equivalent of the Oscar). Look out for an amazing supporting cast, including memorable turns and cameos by the likes of Sylvia Miles, Brenda Vaccaro and the reliably terrific Bob Balaban. Showtime is 7 p.m., with $10 admission (which includes a glass of wine for those of legal drinking age, and a chocolate kiss). As one might imagine, this film is recommended for mature viewers.

Until next week, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

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