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John Schlesinger

Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
When asked about his use of "Everybody's Talkin'" in his 1969 film Midnight Cowboy, director John Schlesinger described it as a "total, total fluke. My assistant suggested it. I didn't know who Harry Nilsson was at the time but lyrically it's perfect as well as rhythmically. The studio didn't want to buy it, though, because it was already published and they didn't have the rights. But when we showed the film to UA for the first time, the head of music leapt up said 'Where did you get that song from? That is a fabulous song!' So we told him he'd heard it six months earlier when we'd brought it by, and he said 'Well, I don't remember. We gotta get it, we gotta get it!'" (quote from "John Schlesinger Speaks No Evil" by Tim Rhys and Tom Allen)

John Richard Schlesinger was born on February 16, 1926, in London, England. He died on July 23, 2003.

Schlesinger began making his own films when he was 11. After the war, he joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society then, in the 1950s he began acting and directing. His first feature film, "Terminus," a documentary about London's Waterloo Station, won a British Academy Award in the early 1960s.

Schlesinger's 1963 film, "Darling," earned three Oscars and a nomination for Best Director.

Midnight Cowboy, released in 1969, won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Director. Sunday, Bloody Sunday, released in 1971, earn him his third Oscar nomination for Best Director.

Since 1971, he has directed many films (including Marathon Man, Pacific Heights, and The Falcon and the Snowman).

Schlesinger suffered a stroke in December of 2000 from which he never recovered. He died in July of 2003.

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