Midnight Cowboy

Release Date: May 25th, 1969

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2001

R |1 hr 53 min

Plot Summary

Convinced of his irresistible appeal to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and heads for New York City, thinking he'll latch on to some rich dowager. New York, however, is not as hospitable as he imagined, and Joe soon finds himself living in an abandoned building with a Dickensian layabout named Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). The two form a rough alliance, and together they kick-start Joe's hustling career just as Ratso's health begins to deteriorate.

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Barnard Hughes, Ruth White, Jennifer Salt

Director: John Schlesinger

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Florin Productions, Jerome Hellman Productions

Distributors: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Criterion Pictures

Keywords: Transformation, Girlfriend, Friendship, Hotel, Mother, 1960s, New York City, Underdog

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune

    There is no question that this film is flawed by the inclusion of the party scene and Ratzo's dream, but I cannot recall a more marvelous pair of acting performances in any one film. Dustin Hoffman deserves the Oscar for a role that is prickly on the outside, but tender on the inside. show more

  • 100
    Film Threat

    To watch Midnight Cowboy is to find one of the great rewards of the movies, two of the finest performances ever seen, and a city made new every time you watch it. show more

  • 75
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    All of these criticisms exist entirely apart from the performances of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. It is a tribute to them, and to the core of honesty in the screenplay, that Ratso and Joe Buck emerge so unforgettably drawn. But the movie itself doesn't hold up. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated United Nations Award
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Winner Directing
Nominated Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Editing
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Winner Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Winner Best Picture
Winner Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Actor
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Winner Direction
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1970)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture