Midnight Cowboy Poster

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

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1969)
Winner Best Picture
Nominated United Nations Award
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1969)
Nominated Film Editing
Winner Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1969)
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Winner Directing
Nominated Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Direction
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1969)
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Editing
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1969)