TV (V.O.): Welcome to Dateline. In our isolation booths… [channel changes] You think because I’m a stablehand… [channel changes] One, two, one, two… [channel changes] Do you think God is dead? [channel changes] Suppose we just don’t talk about it anymore… [channel changes] What would you say if I wanted to take my mother-in-law…
Cass: Oh, my God!
TV (V.O.): It even makes blacks brighter… [channel change] Bring your knees up… [channel change] C’mon out! [channel change] Ho-ho-ho!
— Midnight Cowboy (1969), screenplay by Waldo Salt, novel by James Leo Herlihy
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is sex scene, suggested by Dean Scott. Today’s suggestion by Daniel Cossu.
Trivia: 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.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary and background from Daniel: “This sex scene from Midnight Cowboy is pretty funny and almost dialogue-less, only using a clever montage of the TV set and other sounds and images to simulate the act.
But it’s the dialogue that follows that reveals that Joe is in over his head with this whole hustling thing:
JOE: Don’t know what line Morey’s in, but myself now, fact is — I’m a hustler.
CASS (lips stretched): Hers’n zodda meg a livig.
JOE: Beg pardon, ma’am?
CASS: Said, a person’s gotta make a living.
JOE: You sure you heard what I said?
CASS: Scuse me, hon, fraid I’m only half here. Maybe you oughta run on along. But why don’t you take this phone number?
Joe grins, relieved as she takes out a gold lame purse and opens it. He frowns as she folds; it upside down, empty.
CASS: Darn! I didn’t get to the bank – Tex — could you let me have a little coin for the taxi-waxi?
Joe stands mute as she cups his chin in her hand, seductively.
CASS: You’re such a doll. I hate money, don’t you? God, it’s been fun.
JOE: Funny thing, you mentioning money. I was just about to ask your for some…
Joe tries to laugh but it sticks in his throat as Cass speaks — an impassioned whisper — still holding Joe’s chin.
CASS: You bastard! You son of a bitch! You think you’re dealing with some old slut? Look at me! You think just cause you’re a longhorn bull you can get away with this crap? Well, you’re out of your mind. I am a gorgeous chick, thirty-one, that’s right, you said it!
Sobbing suddenly, she throws herself on the bed. Joe stands bewildered by the vastness of her grief.
JOE: Hey. Hey, Cass. Did you think I meant that? Christ, would I be asking you for money with a wad like that riding on my hip?
Joe waves his wallet at her, but she only cries louder. He hands her a kleenex. She clutches it to her face, wailing. Joe leans over the bed, whispering in her ear:
JOE: Hey. You are a gorgeous-looking piece, Cass. Guy gets horny, just looking at you. It’s a fact. How much you need for that taxi? Ten? Twenty? There you go.
Joe tucks a twenty-dollar bill into her bosom, tilts his Stetson and starts out. Cass blows her nose, looking after him.
If you have any more suggestions for sex scenes, please post here as we’ve hit the wall.