7.9/10
87,952
356 user 110 critic

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Waldo Salt (screenplay), James Leo Herlihy (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,273 ( 276)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Ratso
Jon Voight ... Joe Buck
Sylvia Miles ... Cass
John McGiver ... Mr. O'Daniel
Brenda Vaccaro ... Shirley
Barnard Hughes ... Towny
Ruth White ... Sally Buck - Texas
Jennifer Salt ... Annie - Texas
Gilman Rankin ... Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)
Gary Owens Gary Owens ... Little Joe - Texas
T. Tom Marlow T. Tom Marlow ... Little Joe - Texas
George Eppersen George Eppersen ... Ralph - Texas
Al Scott Al Scott ... Cafeteria Manager - Texas
Linda Davis Linda Davis ... Mother on the Bus - Texas
J.T. Masters J.T. Masters ... Old Cow-Hand - Texas
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Storyline

Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York City for the first time. Preening himself as a real "hustler", he finds that he is the one getting "hustled" until he teams up with down-and-out but resilient outcast Ratso Rizzo. The initial "country cousin meets city cousin" relationship deepens. In their efforts to bilk a hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each has found his first real friend. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

20 November 1969 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Perdidos en la noche See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,785,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

As the bus Joe Buck rides approaches New York, the view focuses on the Statue of Liberty. However this shot is from the New Jersey Turnpike's Holland Tunnel-Newark Bay Extension (Interchange 14C) going southbound, away from New York. Minutes later in the same scene, the view from the bus shows the Midtown Manhattan skyline as it enters the Lincoln Tunnel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Buck: Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 25 minutes from this film for its 1974 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in SCTV Network 90: Midnight Cowboy II (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight Cowboy
(uncredited)
Music by John Barry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An all-time favorite of mine.
10 June 2002 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest movies ever made in America and it deserved every single award it won and it's place on the AFI Top 100 list (though it's shamefully too low on the IMDB Top 250 list, at only #183 as of this writing). If you enjoy acting of the highest calibre (Voight and Hoffman are a superb match), well-drawn characterizations and inventive direction, editing and cinematography, you'll love this just as much as I did. Schlesinger paints a vivid, always credible picture of the late 60s New York City scene and it's many victims struggling to overcome personal demons and survive amidst the amorality, poverty and hopelessness of 42nd Street, New York City.

The filmmaking techniques employed here brilliantly capture the feel of the underground New York film movement (and of the city) and are nothing less than dazzling. I've seen many ideas (including the rapid-fire editing, the handling of the voice-over flashbacks, the drug/trip sequences and the cartoonish face slipped in during a murder scene to convey angst and terror) stolen by other filmmakers.

The relationship between Joe and Ratso is handled in such a way as to be viewed as an unusually strong friendship OR having it's homosexual underpinnings. I think the director handled this in a subtle way not to cop out to the censorship of the times, but rather to concentrate his energies on the importance of a strong human connection in life, whether it be sexual or not.

MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a brave, moving film of magnitude, influence and importance that has lost absolutely none of it's impact over the years, so if you haven't seen it, you're really missing out on a true American classic. I recommend this film to everyone.

Score: 10 out of 10.


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