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!"

-- John Schlesinger[1]


John Richard Schlesinger ( SHLESS-in-jər; 16 February 1926 – 25 July 2003) was an English film and stage director, and actor. He emerged in the early 1960s as a leading light of the British New Wave, before embarking on a successful career in Hollywood, often directing films dealing frankly in provocative subject matter, combined with his status as one of the rare openly gay directors working in mainstream films. Schlesinger started his career making British dramas A Kind of Loving (1962), Billy Liar (1963), and Far from the Madding Crowd (1967). He won the Academy Award for Best Director for Midnight Cowboy (1969) and was Oscar-nominated for Darling (1965) and Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971). He gained acclaim for his Hollywood films The Day of the Locust (1975), and Marathon Man (1976). His later films include Madame Sousatzka (1988) and Cold Comfort Farm (1995). He also served as an associate director of the Royal National Theatre. Over his career he received numerous accolades including an Academy Award, and four BAFTA Awards as well as nominations for three Golden Globe Awards. In 1970, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1970 Birthday Honours for services to film, and in 2002, he was made a BAFTA Fellow. Four of Schlesinger's films are on the British Film Institute's Top 100 British films.