Midnight Cowboy (1969)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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:
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Dustin Hoffman
as Enrico `Ratso' Rizzo
Jon Voight
as Joe Buck
John McGiver
as Mr. O'Daniel
Brenda Vaccaro
as Shirley
Ruth White
as Sally Buck
Viva
as Gretel McAlbertson
Gil Rankin
as Woodsy Niles
Gary Owens
as Little Joe
T. Tom Marlow
as Little Joe
Al Scott
as Cafeteria Manager
Linda Davis
as Mother on Bus
J.T. Masters
as Old Cowhand
Arlene Reeder
as Old Lady
Georgann Johnson
as Rich Lady
Bob Balaban
as Young Student
Anthony Holland
as TV Bishop
Jan Tice
as Freaked-Out Lady
Paul Benjamin
as Bartender
Peter Scalia
as Vegetable Grocer
Vito Siracusa
as Vegetable Grocer
Peter Zamaglias
as Hat-Shop Owner
Arthur Anderson
as Hotel Clerk
Tina Scala
as Laundromat Lady
Alma Felix
as Laundromat Lady
Richard Clarke
as Escort Service Man
Ann Thomas
as Frantic Lady
Gastone Rossilli
as Hansel McAlbertson
Joan Murphy
as Waitress
Al Stetson
as Bus Driver
Ultra Violet
as Party Guest
Paul Jabara
as Party Guest
International Velvet
as Party Guest
William Door
as Party Guest
Cecelia Lipson
as Party Guest
Taylor Mead
as Party Guest
Paul Morrissey
as Party Guest
Paul Jasmin
as Party Guest
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Midnight Cowboy

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (12)

Some of the attitudes in Midnight Cowboy -- especially toward women -- don't wear the years well, but the performances by Hoffman and Jon Voight remain electric.

Full Review… | February 22, 2016
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 22, 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

Audience Reviews for Midnight Cowboy

½

Two losers at the very bottom rung of the American Dream have only their tenuous friendship to sustain them. Schlesinger as an Englishman and an outsider is not too impressed with America or Americans and delivers an honest and scathing denouement, but neither are we impressed with the hallucinatory flash with which he tells his tale. What remains, what sticks, is the acting of the two leads who fully invest in the characters frailties whose weaknesses amazingly leads to empathy rather than disgust.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

½

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.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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