Thursday, March 8, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #36 WGA Script of All Time - Midnight Cowboy (1969)

[Quick Summary: When a Southern dishwasher comes to NYC to find a rich sugar mama, he faces a very harsh reality, and is helped only by a sickly, fast talking crippled punk.]

This isn't for the faint of heart.  It's a raw, nearly unbearable, dark tragedy. 

However, the sheer vulnerability is the one thing that makes this script hard to read, but it's also THE reason to read it.

As Joe tries to make it in NYC, all his inner turmoil spills out (which makes it interesting) AND he learns from it (which makes a great arc).

ex. Joe makes bad decisions, yet he stands up for himself when people try to take advantage of him.

ex. Joe is barely able to support himself, much less another person, but he takes care of loyal Ratso until the end.

ex. Joe is haunted by his mother and a damaged past, yet he keeps a surprisingly upbeat attitude for the future.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I respond to vulnerability in characters.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
by Waldo Salt
Based on the novel by James Leo Herlihy

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