7.9/10
90,119
366 user 112 critic

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

R | | Drama | 16 June 1969 (Brazil)
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
2,012 ( 78)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
The Graduate (1967)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
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
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, stealing cars and robbing banks.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
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
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
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
Tootsie (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr
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
Annie Hall (1977)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
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
Edit

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 ... 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
Edit

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:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

16 June 1969 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Midnight Cowboy See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Stuart Cooper was considered for the part of Joe Buck. 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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Final Justice (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Everybody's Talkin'
Words and Music by Fred Neil
Arranged and Conducted by George Aliceson Tipton (as George Tipton)
Sung by Harry Nilsson (as Nilsson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Moving, funny, sad, unaffected, astonishing...
29 August 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

This is such a gritty, touching story of two ordinary vulnerable young men, told with such honesty, it's impossible to criticize it taken whole. "Midnight Cowboy" is a terrific movie.

It's terrific because of the two actors--an astonishing Dustin Hoffman, still a new name in Hollywood but already famous from "The Graduate" in 1967. And an equally astonishing Jon Voight, making his first large role in a movie. Each is a type of struggling man living on the fringe of New York (barely surviving in a boarded up building), extreme but never a caricature. They gel as a pair, helping each other but with a bit of reluctance because neither wants to quite admit they need help.

It's terrific further because of the filming, with lots of available light magic in dingy places. The cinematographer, Adam Holender, is remarkably making his first film here, though that might explain the freshness to a lot of the filming. There is in particular a lot of long lens (telephoto) shooting between more intimate scenes, showing layers of people and isolating the star in a moving world (a difficult thing to do with good focus).

It's also terrific for the writing, not just for the story but for the dialog. It strikes so subtly to some truth you don't quite expect, even though it's simple and almost obvious. The screenplay won an Oscar, as did the movie (Best Picture) and director John Schlessinger (Best Director). It's worth noting that Schlessinger is a British director with some very tightly conceived movies already under his belt (including the fabulous "Darling"), and here he seems to make New York as familiar as if he'd grown up here. Along those lines, Voight, playing the naive cowboy to a perfect pitch, is a native New Yorker. And Hoffman, though familiar with the city, is an L.A. kid.

Where does the movie run into trouble? Why isn't it in the top ten of all time? I think it might boil down to three kinds of inserts into flawless the main narrative. The first is a series of flashbacks that in various ways try to "explain" or fill in the psychological background of Voight's character. As if it needs explaining. Or if it does benefit us all to know how he got to his beautiful troubled state, maybe there is something shocking and sensational about the inserts, as effective as they are on their own nightmarish terms.

A second "insert" is a series of short sunny daydreams Hoffman's character has envisioning life in Florida in the sun. It's comic relief, and it mostly works, but there are cracks there. Finally there is a section of the actual narrative where the two men go to a party they've been invited to for spurious reasons (weird luck, mostly). It's too obviously an excuse to film a scene in a drug-addled Warhol-esque party. The hosts are effete artist types who want to film some strange New Yorkers out of context, and so we see the film film these filmmakers and so on. A great scene, but weirdly out of place.

But all of his is to be taken in stride as the meat of the story kicks back in each time. And here, with a melancholy soundtrack, you will be moved and entranced. Amazing stuff. Brave and a lesson in how a film can be adventurous and heartfelt and not painfully slick, all at once. And succeed artistically and commercially.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 366 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed