Midnight Cowboy (1969)

midnight cowboy poster 1969 movie dustin hoffman jon voight
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great story, visuals, and amazing acting


Movie Info

Movie Name: Midnight Cowboy

Studio: United Artists

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s): May 5, 1969

MPAA Rating: R



I’m startin’ to wonder if this isn’t my best idea ever

Joe Buck (Jon Voight) leaves his home and troubled past in Texas for New York City in the hopes of becoming a big time hustler.  New York is not kind to Joe Buck however and he soon finds hustling is a lot harder than he imagined.  Now teamed with a con artist named Enrico “Ratzo” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), Joe Buck is finding hard to just survive and still hopes to reach his dreams of the good life.

Midnight Cowboy is one of my favorite movies.  The 1969 Best Picture winner also garnered award for Best Director (John Schlesinger) and Adapted Screenplay.  It goes down as the first and only X-Rated picture to win Best Picture (A Clockwork Orange was also nominated), though it was later downgraded to an R-Rating in 1971.  It is edgy, seedy, trippy, and sentimental at the same time.

The film’s trick editing still looks good today, but the acting and story really drive the movie.  Jon Voight’s Joe Buck is dense, but still is able to show cracks in his bravado when he starts to realize that hustling will mean doing things he doesn’t want to do and gained him an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor.  The flashbacks in the story and do a great job showing his past with Crazy Annie and his grandmother, and his visions shows insight into his real thoughts and dreams.


I’m Walkin’ Here!

Dustin Hoffman was up against Jon Voight in the Best Actor catagory and shows an amazing turn from the clean cut Benjamin Braddock of The Graduate.  His embodiment of the character is great and does an amazing job making his Ratzo a small huddled dirty man with heart.  Ratzo’s vision of a perfect world in Florida and his dreams of being a cook are just some of the scenes that make the movie a classic.  That and the allegedly unplanned “I’m walkin’ here!” moment.

Midnight Cowboy is full of weirdness and the “unseen” New York at the time.  From woman who hustles the hustler (Sylvia Miles…nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for her short scene), the boy that picks Joe up (a young Bob Balaban), Brenda Vaccaro (Joe’s only successful trick), and Towny (Barnard Hughes–Grandpa from Lost Boys–Joe’s last turn as a prostitute).  It also incorporated real life Andy Warhol studio groupies for the party scene in Viva and Ultra Violet.

Hey little buddy…You’re my friend to the end

Midnight Cowboy seems like the first of a new Hollywood in many ways when compaired to best pictures of the time.  It is sandwiched between Oliver! (the light hearted stage adaptation) and Patton (which feels like a throwback to epic pictures) and has its own feel.  It is a story of friendship that stands the test of time.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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