Last word on Cruising unless of course there’s more!

One of the things I suspected while watching Cruising with Al Pacino (Al was in the film I didn’t actually watch it with him….damn!!! That joke never gets old!!!!!!) was that Ron was in it in several places as a matter of fact they must have reused actors over and over, mustache here, no mustache there… mauve hanky on the left in this scene… rust colored on the right in this scene. FYI below is a handkerchief code list, just like the one they described in the film, so you know what the menu is when you’re out cruising and I hate to keep doing this but this film is a historical document…this is what it was like until disaster struck…AIDS! I’m going to make a top 100 film list and make sure Cruising is in the top 50 and hope for a director’s cut (yes I know there are scenes elsewhere, I want them all in one place). 

In any case my suspicions were allayed when I saw Ron as the “Midnight Cowboy” Jon Voight in a street scene! That was really fun. (I noticed Gary Dell’abate in another scene.) This would have been a pretty cool film to have a walk on or cameo in.  Midnight Cowboy hit the theaters in 1969…Cruising in 1980. Cowboy was really also a film about cruising but leaning heavily towards male prostitution…

…this pisses me off (a bit off topic but not that far): I remember Cowboy in the theaters. I really wanted to see it. It was playing at the Benson theater on 86th street in Bensonhurst Brooklyn…however…it was rated X and I was only 11 years old at the time! Here’s my issue…Ron Howard was in it as Jon Voight and he was only 14 years old at the time!!!! 14!!! Although, he did have a son (David Chokachi and David’s Grandpa was Ralph Nader) by then so it wasn’t like he was new to the game…such Mazel!!! Starring in a rated X movie and having a brand new baby boy all at age 14!!! I don’t believe I had reached puberty at 14 despite the barber around the corner playing with my penis while I was getting my haircut and my mom coming to find out what was taking so long. I think he liked me but he liked a lot of guys cause my dad almost punched him out and he left town after they broke his windows…whoever they were. Here’s a nice piece of a piece by Eric Snider from 2011 which notes, “Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture.” I couldn’t even ask my barber to take me to see the film as it was rated X !


Yeah, yeah, Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture. If nothing else, it stands as the answer to that particular trivia question. But is there anything else? Why is the story of a dimwitted Texan man-whore still mentioned all these years later? Let’s put on our cowboy jacket with the hilarious fringes and investigate.The praise: Midnight Cowboy won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman were both nominated for Best Actor but lost to John Wayne for True Grit. There were additional nominations for Sylvia Miles for supporting actress and for the film’s editor, Hugh A. Robertson. (Trivia: Robertson was the first African-American nominee in this category.) Midnight Cowboy came in at No. 36 on the American Film Institute’s 1998 list of the best movies of all time, falling only slightly to No. 43 on the 2007 revised list. It had also appeared on the New York Times’ list of the 10 best movies of 1969.Dustin Hoffman, Ron Howard’s brother Billy Mumy, who I approximate as three years younger than Ron or born somewhere around 1957, roughly my age, would have been roughly 12 when they filmed Midnight Cowboy!! He did a tremendous portrayal of “Ratso Rizzo” in the film…definitely an instant classic and a great NYC ad-lib when he almost gets hit by a taxi….Perfect!!!

Jon Voight aka Ron Howard as Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman aka Billy Mumy who is Ron’s biological brother as Ratso Rizzo. Jon was 14, and Dustin 12 at the time of filming…approximately!

Trivia question: What was Ratso Rizzo’s actual first name? No, his mother did not name him Ratso! Answer below.

The story of Midnight Cowboy: Convinced of his irresistible appeal to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and heads for New York City, thinking he’ll latch on to some rich dowager. New York, however, is not as hospitable as he imagined, and Joe soon finds himself living in an abandoned building with a Dickensian layabout named Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). The two form a rough alliance, and together they kick-start Joe’s hustling career just as Ratso’s health begins to deteriorate.

Answer to today’s trivia…Enrico!!! Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo.

Little known fact about me…my street name is “Z-Pak”.

The above link is the famous Taxi Scene from Midnight Cowboy where Hoffman and Voight almost get hit by a taxi and Hoffman bangs on the cab and yells, “I’m walking here…I’m walking here.” (I’m pretty sure you don’t want to piss off Billy Mumy. Besides the fact that he can wish you into the cornfield I believe he’s a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his work and probably other things and will snap at you.)

I’ve questioned whether the scene is was really improvised or not. I’ve watched it several times and I believe it is. Here’s why: Hoffman actually breaks character while he’s yelling at the cabbie. His voice gets loud and he loses the mousy nasal quality of Ratso Rizzo. Though if he kept in character with that Ratso voice I’m not sure the scene would have made the film. Remember again, Hoffman is only 12 at the time of filming. He follows up with a very funny quip, something like “that’s actually a good way to pick up insurance”. Totally in character and very funny but if someone were writing the line for him and not on the spot I think they they might have added the word money in there for clarification. In any case considered one of the 10 great ad-libs of all time.

I went looking for the “I’m walking here” scene from Forrest Gump where Forrest (Tom Hanks, son of Gary Shandling… shhh!) is pushing Lt. Dan (Gary Sinese) across the street in his wheelchair and almost gets hit by a cab and I found this funny compendium of “I’m walking here!” This great ad-lib took on a life of it’s own!!! Enjoy!

I’ll wrap up with this, since were doing a little bit of Hoffman in the night…

Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film…The Graduate

Back to dates and ages…this is Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”. A favorite of mine. I’ve seen this a dozen time. Ron Howard was born March 1, 1954. Bio-brother Billy Mumy was born early November 1956, two years eight months later (I had approximated 3 years later and I was given this correction).

In this film Dustin would have  been ten years old at filming…amazing!! Now, Mrs. Robinson, Anne Bancroft. I have several other people as Anne Bancroft and ages are close enough: 1) Diane Disney-December 16, 1933; 2) Audrey Hepburn-May 4, 1929, 3) Anne Frank-June 12, 1929, 4)Anne Bancroft-September 17, 1931, 5) Millie Perkins-May 12, 1938; 6) Joan Collins May 23, 1933.

A word about Anne Frank first: I’m aware that Millie Perkins played Anne Frank in the film, “The Diary of Anne Frank”. I’ve had a very hard time with this one, personally but here it goes: Walt Disney was Adolf Hitler, (see my work at he was other people as well but this is would be his most famous/infamous character. There are still people who love and respect him and dislike me. It appears that during WWII Walt kept his family in Germany so he could play the Chancellor and plan the war. His number 2 person was Lee Blair who was Walt’s right hand man and a leading architect of the war and the Holocaust. Both men died in 2015 one day apart under “suspicious circumstances”.  Lee Blair also was Spiro Agnew. His daughter is the very lovely Melanie Howard who married who married Ron Howard’s brother Clint. I have tremendous respect for Melanie and she and Clint came to visit me once, though I didn’t realize it was them for many months and I believe I’ve blogged about the encounter earlier.

I had determined that the photos of the Disney family, in Germany, during the war, were used to flesh out the story of Anne Frank and her family who hid in an attic and ended her days in Bergen-Belson, a Nazi Concentration Camp in Poland. I suspect she was a real person and wrote the diary but the photos are of the Disney family: Diane Disney’s images used for Anne Frank and Sharon Disney’s image for Margot Frank. (Note: Sharon Disney is Julie Andrews)

Julie Andrews on the left aka Sharon Mae Disney on the right
Julie Andrews aka Sharon Disney aka Margot Frank
Diane Disney on the left aka Anne Frank, Anne misspelled in slide

The above slide is actually confirmatory. I suspect that the Disney photos were used to flesh out the story of Anne Frank with photos and I believed that Anne Frank was Diane Disney. I went looking for anomalies or scars that would be similar in both people and found an identical scar to the right of the chin. This is confirmatory that they are the same person. Can other people have scars in the same place? Yes but I went looking for this scar on Diane after I found it on Anne Frank. This is the same person.

Diane Disney then went on to actually play Anne Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” as Millie Perkins. 

Back to the Graduate

So we have Billy Mumy as Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate (1967). He’s ten years old while filming (Born November 1956). He’s sleeping with Anne Bancroft aka Diane Disney who I’ll approximate as born in 1929. She would be roughly 37 years old at the time of filming, her almost 4 times his age.

Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson and Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Anne is approximately age 37 at the time of filming and Dustin is 10, yes 10 years old!

Trivia Question: What is Mrs. Robinson’s first name in the film The Graduate.


We’re left with only one question now: “What is that thing on Aaron Neville’s face?”

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