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Midnight Cowboy (1969)

X  |   |  Drama  |  16 June 1969 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 71,516 users  
Reviews: 327 user | 82 critic

A naive hustler goes to New York to seek personal fortune but in the process finds himself a new friend.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Title: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. O'Daniel
Sally Buck - Texas
Annie - Texas
Gilman Rankin ...
Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)
Gary Owens ...
T. Tom Marlow ...
George Eppersen ...
Ralph - Texas
Al Scott ...
Cafeteria Manager - Texas
Linda Davis ...
Mother on the Bus - Texas
J.T. Masters ...
Old Cow-Hand - Texas


Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York for the first time. Preening himself as a real 'hustler', he finds that he is the one getting 'hustled' until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named 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


For those who have never seen it and those who have never forgotten it. (1980 re-release) See more »




X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

16 June 1969 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Perdidos en la noche  »

Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Before Dustin Hoffman auditioned for this film, he knew that his all-American image could easily cost him the job. To prove he could do it, he asked the auditioning film executive to meet him on a street corner in Manhattan, and in the meantime, dressed himself in filthy rags. The executive arrived at the appointed corner and waited, barely noticing the "beggar" less than ten feet away who was accosting people for spare change. At last, the beggar walked up to him and revealed his true identity. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in Going the Distance: Remembering 'Marathon Man' (2001) See more »


Old Man Willow
Music and Lyrics by Richard Sussman (uncredited), Michal Shapiro (uncredited),
Myron Yules (uncredited) and Stan Bronstein (uncredited)
Produced by Wes Farrell for Buddah Records
Sung by Elephant's Memory (as Elephants Memory)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Big Joe Heads To The Big Apple
15 June 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Virile, but naive, big Joe Buck leaves his home in Big Spring, Texas, and hustles off to the Big Apple in search of women and big bucks. In NYC, JB meets up with frustration, and with "Ratso" Rizzo, a scruffy but cordial con artist. Somehow, this mismatched pair manage to survive each other which in turn helps both of them cope with a gritty, sometimes brutal, urban America, en route to a poignant ending.

Both funny and depressing, our "Midnight Cowboy" rides head-on into the vortex of cyclonic cultural change, and thus confirms to 1969 viewers that they, themselves, have been swept away from the 1950's age of innocence, and dropped, Dorothy and Toto like, into the 1960's Age of Aquarius.

The film's direction is masterful; the casting is perfect; the acting is top notch; the script is crisp and cogent; the cinematography is engaging; and the music enhances all of the above. Deservedly, it won the best picture Oscar of 1969, and I would vote it as one of the best films of that cyclonic decade.

113 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Such an unsettling movie swb95
Confusing and bizzare robertoahhh
Really didn't like this film. mrjoelabs
Coolest move in the movie. atomicpunk40
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