7.9/10
83,678
352 user 98 critic

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

R | | Drama | 16 June 1969 (Brazil)
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,752 ( 208)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Patton (1970)
Certificate: GP Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young
The Graduate (1967)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson
Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 June 1969 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Perdidos en la noche  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,785,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was banned in the Republic of Ireland by the Irish Film Censorship Board in September 1969. It did eventually receive a theatrical release in Ireland in 1971 when it was passed with an '18' certificate by the Irish Film Appeals Board. The novel, which the film is based on, by James Leo Herlihy was also banned in Ireland in 1969 by the Censorship of Publications Board on grounds of the book being "indecent and obscene". The book's ban was eventually lifted. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

 
Two Stellar Performances and a Pervasive Honesty Make This One Still a Winner
5 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

It's not quite the timeless masterpiece you would hope it would be based on the acclaim it garnered, but 1969's "Midnight Cowboy" is still a powerhouse showcase for two young actors just bursting into view at the time. Directed by John Schlesinger and written by Waldo Salt, the movie seems to be a product of its time, the late 1960's when American films were especially expressionistic, but it still casts a spell because the story comes down to themes of loneliness and bonding that resonate no matter what period. The film's cinematic influence can still be felt in the unspoken emotionalism found in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain".

The meandering plot follows Joe Buck, a naive, young Texan who decides to move to Manhattan to become a stud-for-hire for rich women. Full of energy but lacking any savvy, he fails miserably but is unwilling to concede defeat despite his dwindling finances. He meets a cynical, sickly petty thief named "Ratso" Rizzo, who first sees Joe as an easy pawn. The two become dependent on one another, and Rizzo begins to manage Joe. Things come to a head at a psychedelic, drug-infested party where Joe finally lands a paying client. Meanwhile, Rizzo becomes sicker, and the two set off for Florida to seek a better life. This is not a story that will appeal to everyone, in fact, some may still find it repellent that a hustler and a thief are turned into sympathetic figures, yet their predicaments feel achingly authentic.

In his first major role, Jon Voight is ideally cast as he brings out Joe's paper-thin bravado and deepening sexual insecurities. As Rizzo, Dustin Hoffman successfully upends his clean, post-college image from "The Graduate" and immerses himself in the personal degradation and glimmering hope that act as an oddly compatible counterpoint to Joe. The honesty of their portrayals is complemented by Schlesinger's film treatment which vividly captures the squalor of the Times Square district at the time. The director also effectively inserts montages of flashbacks and fantasy sequences to fill in the character's fragile psyches. Credit also needs to go to Salt for not letting the pervasive cynicism overwhelm the pathos of the story. The other performances are merely incidental to the journeys of the main characters, including Brenda Vaccaro as the woman Joe meets at the party, Sylvia Miles as a blowsy matron, John McGiver as a religious zealot and Barnard Hughes as a lonely out-of-towner.

The two-disc 2006 DVD package contains a pristine print transfer of the 1994 restoration and informative commentary from producer Jerome Hellman since unfortunately neither Schlesinger nor Salt are still living. There are three terrific featurettes on the second disc - a look-back documentary, "After Midnight: Reflections on a Classic 35 Years Later", which features comments from Hellman, Hoffman, Voight and others, as well as clips and related archive footage such as Voight's screen test; "Controversy and Acclaim", which examines the genesis of the movie's initial 'X' rating and public response to the film; and a tribute to the director, "Celebrating Schlesinger".


51 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 352 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page