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Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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1:16 | Clip
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)
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Popularity
849 ( 667)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 25 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 ... 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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Western

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:

7 November 1969 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Midnight Cowboy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,785,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,801,177
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

It was during the making of this film that Director John Schlesinger met his long-time partner, the photographer Michael Childers, whom he hired as his assistant. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Red Oaks: After Hours (2015) 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

 
One of my all-time favorites
11 October 2015 | by BostonFlashSee all my reviews

This is one of the half-dozen films that left me shaken upon leaving the theater where I saw it in 1969 (at the age of 19). It has all the bizarreness and griminess that was New York in the late '60s, which was pretty frightening to a sheltered Brooklyn teenager. The direction and cinematography were highly unusual for that time, and the use of montages and cuts (and the trippy shots of the Warholesque party) made the film even more disorienting. The film never sags and holds your attention throughout, and the through line of the plot -- the friendship between Rizzo and Joe Buck -- has about as much emotional impact as anything else I've ever seen. Equally of interest is the psychological content of the flashbacks that show how Joe became the way he is. The star performances are outstanding -- hard to see how either of them could lose to John Wayne -- and the sheer variety of supporting actor performances is incredible. A fully realized, three-dimensional film that probably couldn't find backers today.


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