Midnight Cowboy flashbacks

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jim Williams, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Jim Williams

    Jim Williams Second Unit

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    Can someone tell me exactly what happened to Joe Buck and his girlfiend in the flashback scenes? I understand that both Joe Buck and his girlfriend are raped, but does she then accuse him of the rape? Are those his buddies that you see in another flashback scene that are involved in the rape?
     
  2. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Yeah. I'm pretty curious about this too.
     
  3. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I think you're on the right track, Jim Williams. I've also read the novel it was based on (same title), where (IIRC) the girl, who is known around town for being loose, is simply ostracized/sent away by her ultra-religious family after they find out about her various sexual escapades. Also, I think Joe does get attacked in that particular way in the book by people in his hometown, although it's after the girl leaves, and it has nothing to do with her. I prefer the movie's approach on this particular point, where the sparsely explained flashbacks provide a very eerie atmospheric feel (I also recall that her "you're the only one, Joe" line, repeated quite effectively in the movie, only shows up once in passing in the book). About the first third of the book is about Joe in his hometown before he leaves for NY.

    My guess is that the filmmakers didn't have all that detailed an explanation in mind, aside from getting across the point that everyone in Joe's hometown, including the girl, had suddenly turned against him, probably with something like the explanation you gave. I say that because the rest of the movie--all of the stuff in NY, as well as the ending--is strikingly similar to the book in almost all of its plot details (good book, but I prefer the movie, with its great direction, excellent music, and magnificent performances from Hoffman and Voight). It's likely that they left out most of the Joe-in-his-hometown stuff largely because the movie would have been too long otherwise, so if I'm recalling the book's plot correctly, they sort of mixed the story of the girl in with what happened to Joe himself for the movie.
     

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