7.9/10
87,668
353 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
2,123 ( 316)

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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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

16 June 1969 (Brazil) 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

The film was rated "X" (no one under 17 admitted) upon its original release in 1969, but the unrestricted use of that rating by pornographic filmmakers caused the rating to quickly become associated with hardcore sex films. Because of the stigma that developed around the "X" rating in the ratings system's early years, many theaters refused to run X-rated films, and many newspapers would not run ads for them. The film was given a new R-rating (children under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) rating in 1971, without having anything changed or removed. It remains the only X-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture, be shown on network television (although the "R" reclassification had taken place by then), or be screened by a sitting U.S. President, Richard Nixon. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 »


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

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User Reviews

 
Love Story In The Periphery Of Hell
27 June 2017 | by alanbenfieldjrSee all my reviews

Two desperate characters meet. It's not a meet cute in the classic sense of the word but it's not far away from it either. It's also a melodrama, operatic but hidden in a reality that can't possibly be real. Dustin Hoffman is as bold as Bette Davis in a Warner Brothers melodrama. Amazing. And Jon Voight? - He wasn't the first choice, Michael Sarrazin was. Jon Voight plays his whore with a heart of gold with the decency of a Mary Astor in another melodrama from the the 40's. I've seen Midnight Cowboy 5 times, the first time in a theater, three other times in VHS or DVD - Last night I saw it in a huge screen in the house of a friend. HD I believe and, Oh my God. I wept. I was taken over completely by this two devastating, truly devastating characters. John Schlesiger the director, a genius. British by birth but he showed us an America that most people didn't know existed, not even Americans. This is a film for the ages.


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