There is that amusing scene with pickup Sylvia Miles in a scene-stealing few moments, as well as Brenda Vaccaro as the rich girl in a fur coat, and preacher John McGiver, and that poor kid in the cinema ..... The ending is suitably affecting as the greyhound bus arrives in Florida. Voight was probably never as good again (though he won the Oscar for COMING HOME in 1977) and of course Ratso is one of Hoffman's defining roles. Waldo Salt's screenplay and Schlesinger's direction are first rate as is the music score by John Barry and that song "Everybody's Talkin'" by Nilsson. It all defines the late Sixties.
Deborah is as one would expect sensitive, stong and understanding as Laura. Edward Andrews is at his most venal as Tom's father (a narrow-minded crude character) who is disappointed in him and has a horror of him "being different" and wants the coach to make a man of him! Perhaps the play (and Minnelli's movie) can be seen as a ruthless portrayal of the "straights" - Tom's father is a really dumb man, and most of the boys and the other women are insensitive types. There's Jacqueline De Wit again (obnoxious Mona Plash in Sirk's critique of small town American society: ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS) horrified at the idea of a boy sewing.
A problem for me is that John Kerr is just not very interesting as an actor, here he is 25 playing 17, and he is all wrong (he was also wrong in SOUTH PACIFIC) - he often comes across as sullen and obnoxious, no wonder the other guys don't want him around and tease him by calling him "sister boy", he also has an annoying monotone voice. I would rather have seen Joan Fontaine and Anthony Perkins (who replaced the Kerrs on stage) in the roles. Its certainly a fascinating oddity now proving that Tom cannot possibly be gay if he slept with Deborah Kerr, as her adultery (for which she must pay) cures him of worries about his masculinity. On, those Fifties !
The film is representative of people's sentiments then as the success of the play showed - apart from Deborah Kerr and Joan Fontaine playing it in New York, Ingrid Bergman did it in Paris.