Midnight Cowboy (1969)



Critic Consensus: John Schlesinger's gritty, unrelentingly bleak look at the seedy underbelly of urban American life is undeniably disturbing, but Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight's performances make it difficult to turn away.

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Movie Info

A con man and a Texas hustler try to survive on the tough streets of New York.

Rating: R (N/A)
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Waldo Salt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 1, 2000
United Artists - Official Site


as Enrico `Ratso' Rizzo

as Joe Buck

as Mr. O'Daniel

as Sally Buck

as Gretel McAlbertson

as Woodsy Niles

as Little Joe

as Little Joe

as Cafeteria Manager

as Mother on Bus

as Old Cowhand

as Old Lady

as Rich Lady

as Young Student

as TV Bishop

as Freaked-Out Lady

as Bartender

as Vegetable Grocer

as Vegetable Grocer

as Hat-Shop Owner

as Hotel Clerk

as Laundromat Lady

as Laundromat Lady

as Escort Service Man

as Frantic Lady

as Hansel McAlbertson

as Waitress

as Bus Driver

as Party Guest

as Party Guest

as Party Guest

as Party Guest

as Party Guest

as Party Guest

as Party Guest
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Midnight Cowboy

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (11)

Even with every foot of grim realism and some humor, Midnight Cowboy is rather a sad picture.

Full Review… | February 23, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

No amount of obfuscation can obscure the film's vaulting performances.

Full Review… | February 23, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Midnight Cowboy moves beyond realism into an archetypal tale of the Big City destroying dreamers. Joe and Ratso, like Of Mice and Men's George and Lenny, are quintessential failed, lower-class, buddy-dreamers.

Full Review… | September 2, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

I cannot recall a more marvelous pair of acting performances in any one film.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Midnight Cowboy's peep-show vision of Manhattan lowlife may no longer be shocking, but what is shocking, in 1994, is to see a major studio film linger this lovingly on characters who have nothing to offer the audience but their own lost souls.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

In this film the scenery is lovely and only the human race is vile.

Full Review… | January 30, 2008
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Midnight Cowboy

John Schlesinger's "Midnight Cowboy" is a relic from the 60s. An important film for exemplifying the collision between French and American New Wave cinema. It's also one of the most controversial and daring choices for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. With strong performances from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman and a series of obtuse and interesting flashbacks and montages, "Midnight Cowboy" is still very much worth a look, at least for it's historical context.

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer


With the historic implications, I believed this would be a film concerning sexual revolution in its purest form. Instead of romanticizing the role of prostitution, it directly shines a light on the naive nature of wandering youth, the value of education, the role of a flawed childhood on workers in the sex industry, and poverty in what was modern day New York. Complete with interspersed flashbacks to Joe's time in Texas (but leaving much to be figured out by the watcher) and scenes between johns and the women he unsuccessfully bedded, this is an art house film years before its time. The use of graphic material was essential, as it helped weave in the bold emotions of Joe Buck and his compatriot, Ratso Rizzo. The two become dependent on one another, their dreams of Miami, or of being a kept man in New York City, twined together and yet crumbling around their feet.Poignant, and painful to watch, this is more than simple exploitation. It centers on what desires people have, and how they are fulfilled.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A fantastic movie that really solidified the excellence of Dustin Hoffman. Even if you don't care for the story, Hoffman's performance alone is worth revisiting this film over and over and over again.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Midnight Cowboy Quotes

– Submitted by Christopher B (10 months ago)
– Submitted by Christopher B (10 months ago)
– Submitted by G Thomas B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Dutch E (2 years ago)

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