Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, 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.
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
One studio executive sent Director John Schlesinger a memo stating, "If we could clean this up and add a few songs, it could be a great vehicle for Elvis Presley." Presley wanted to be taken seriously as an actor, and was interested in the role of Joe Buck. Presley went on instead to do Change of Habit (1969) with Mary Tyler Moore, which bombed, and became his last theatrical movie. See more »
After Joe Buck's encounter with Towny, he and Ratso board the bus to Miami. But the bus then enters the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel, which only carries eastbound traffic into New York. See more »
Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
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ABC edited 25 minutes from this film for its 1974 network television premiere. See more »
Watching Midnight Cowboy is like taking a masterclass in acting/ directing/ cinematography/ editing/ writing. I was too young to watch it when it was originally released, and only saw it for the first time a couple of years ago, but it has absolutely stood the test of time, and I have watched it several times since.
Everything about this film is brilliant, from the poignant performances from Voight and Hoffman (even though I know this movie well, I still find myself welling up every time Voight flashes one of his innocently pained looks, or Hoffman coughs in his sickly and ominous way) to the stunning cinematography and superbly edited dream sequences.
It's a shame that more of our contemporary filmmakers aren't prepared to take a risk on making movies that are as visually and aurally interesting as this one. Midnight cowboy should be required viewing at all film schools.
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