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A History of the Best Picture Oscar Part III

 

Midnight Cowboy – 1970

Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman star in this John Schlesinger directed urban tale. Based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy, it depicts the unlikely friendship between two hustlers: naive prostitute Joe Buck (Voight), and ailing con man “Ratso” Rizzo (Hoffman).

It has the distinction of being the only X-rated film ever to win Best Picture. Before Dustin Hoffman auditioned for this film, he knew that his all-American image could easily cost him the job. To prove he could do it, he asked the auditioning film executive to meet him on a street corner in Manhattan, and in the meantime, dressed himself in filthy rags.

The executive arrived at the appointed corner and waited, barely noticing the “beggar” less than ten feet away who was accosting people for spare change. At last, the beggar walked up to him and revealed his true identity.

 

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