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Midnight Cowboy (1969)

X  |   |  Drama  |  16 June 1969 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 72,248 users  
Reviews: 328 user | 83 critic

A naive hustler goes to New York to seek personal fortune but in the process finds himself a new friend.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. O'Daniel
Sally Buck - Texas
Annie - Texas
Gilman Rankin ...
Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)
Gary Owens ...
T. Tom Marlow ...
George Eppersen ...
Ralph - Texas
Al Scott ...
Cafeteria Manager - Texas
Linda Davis ...
Mother on the Bus - Texas
J.T. Masters ...
Old Cow-Hand - Texas


Texas greenhorn Joe Buck arrives in New York for the first time. Preening himself as a real 'hustler', he finds that he is the one getting 'hustled' until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named 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


For those who have never seen it and those who have never forgotten it. (1980 re-release) See more »




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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

16 June 1969 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Perdidos en la noche  »

Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one particular scene, Ratso and Joe get into an argument over cowboys. Ratso states that "Cowboys are fags!" Joe's response is "John Wayne is a cowboy! Are you calling John Wayne a fag?" Coincidentally, Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight were nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for their roles as Ratso and Joe, respectively. They lost out - to John Wayne for his role in True Grit (1969). See more »


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 »


[first lines]
Joe Buck: Whoopee-tee-yi-yo. Get along little dogies. It's your misfortune and none of my own.
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Referenced in Dark Ride (2006) See more »


Everybody's Talkin'
Words and Music by Fred Neil
Arranged and Conducted by George Aliceson Tipton (as George Tipton)
Sung by Harry Nilsson (as Nilsson)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An all-time favorite of mine.
10 June 2002 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest movies ever made in America and it deserved every single award it won and it's place on the AFI Top 100 list (though it's shamefully too low on the IMDB Top 250 list, at only #183 as of this writing). If you enjoy acting of the highest calibre (Voight and Hoffman are a superb match), well-drawn characterizations and inventive direction, editing and cinematography, you'll love this just as much as I did. Schlesinger paints a vivid, always credible picture of the late 60s New York City scene and it's many victims struggling to overcome personal demons and survive amidst the amorality, poverty and hopelessness of 42nd Street, New York City.

The filmmaking techniques employed here brilliantly capture the feel of the underground New York film movement (and of the city) and are nothing less than dazzling. I've seen many ideas (including the rapid-fire editing, the handling of the voice-over flashbacks, the drug/trip sequences and the cartoonish face slipped in during a murder scene to convey angst and terror) stolen by other filmmakers.

The relationship between Joe and Ratso is handled in such a way as to be viewed as an unusually strong friendship OR having it's homosexual underpinnings. I think the director handled this in a subtle way not to cop out to the censorship of the times, but rather to concentrate his energies on the importance of a strong human connection in life, whether it be sexual or not.

MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a brave, moving film of magnitude, influence and importance that has lost absolutely none of it's impact over the years, so if you haven't seen it, you're really missing out on a true American classic. I recommend this film to everyone.

Score: 10 out of 10.

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