Top positive review
37 people found this helpful
A fusion of great directing and acting
on 19 November 2002
This film is proof of what a great cast and director can do when inspired by a great script. Jon Voight (in his first major feature) is superb as Joe Buck, the naive twentysomething who comes to New York to seek his fortune by becoming a gigolo to the wealthy women of NYC. Invariably the dream goes sour, especially after he is ripped off by con man Ratso Rizzo (Hoffman) who eventually see's Joe as a lost soul just like him and a friendship forms. Voight is terrific and it is a shame that he now plays a Hollywood 'Rent a Villain' when he is capable of a performance like this. Hoffman too is fantastic and brilliantly grubby as the underclass who is suffering from TB. As a snapshot of the 60s Scheslinger portrays a New York that is both wealthy yet contains abject poverty. His location shooting of the city is atmospheric in a way that only Scorsese has since been able to capture (in Taxi Driver). Overall a film that is both poignant, political (remember the civil unrest in the country at the time) and a study of humanity in the face of abject misery and suffering. A classic film that uses its musical soundtrack brilliantly to get just the right feel to each scene. Incidentally, considering that the two stars and the director are still alive (as is Brenda Vaccaro in a small but important role as one of Joe's 'clients'), why don't MGM go to town and put together a definitive version of this DVD with commetaries etc? It would be well worth it!