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Midnight Cowboy Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Based on a James Leo Herlihy novel, British director [[Performer~P110215~John Schlesinger~johnschlesinger]]'s first American film dramatized the small hopes, dashed dreams, and unlikely friendship of two late '60s lost souls. Dreaming of an easy life as a fantasy cowboy stud, cheerful Texas rube Joe Buck ([[Performer~P115561~Jon Voight~jonvoight]]) heads to New York City to be a gigolo, but he quickly discovers that hustling isn't what he thought it would be after he winds up paying his first trick ([[Performer~P49125~Sylvia Miles~sylviamiles]]). He gets swindled by gimpy tubercular grifter Rico "Ratso" Rizzo ([[Performer~P94585~Dustin Hoffman~dustinhoffman]]) but, when Joe falls in the direst of straits, Ratso takes Joe into his condemned apartment so that they can help each other survive. Things start to look up when Joe finally lands his first legit female customer ([[Performer~P72539~Brenda Vaccaro~brendavaccaro]]) at a Warhol-esque party; Ratso's health, however, fails. Joe turns a final trick to get the money for one selfless goal: taking Ratso out of New York to his dream life in Miami. One of the first major studio films given the newly minted X rating for its then-frank portrayal of New York decadence, Midnight Cowboy was critically praised for Schlesinger's insight into American lives, with the intercut mosaic of Joe's memories and Ratso's dreams lending their characters and actions greater psychological complexity. While they may have been drawn by the seamy content (tame by current standards), the young late '60s audience responded to Joe's and Ratso's confusion amidst turbulent times and to the connection they make with each other despite their alienation from the surrounding culture. Midnight Cowboy became one of the major financial and artistic hits of 1969, winning Oscars for Best Picture (the first for an X-rated film), Best Director, and former blacklistee [[Performer~P151668~Waldo Salt~waldosalt]]'s screenplay. Though the one-two punch of Midnight Cowboy and [[Feature~V20431~The Graduate~thegraduate]] (1967) proved Hoffman's range and Voight's Joe Buck made him a star, both lost Best Actor to classical cowboy [[Performer~P116130~John Wayne~johnwayne]] for [[Feature~V129652~True Grit~truegrit]]. The film was later re-rated R by the MPAA. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:May 25, 1969

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jerome Hellman Best Picture 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Brenda Vaccaro Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1969 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Dustin Hoffman Best Actor 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dustin Hoffman Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dustin Hoffman Best Actor 1969 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Jon Voight Most Promising Newcomer 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jon Voight New Star of the Year - Male 1969 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Jon Voight Best Actor 1969 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Jon Voight Best Actor 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jon Voight Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jon Voight Best Actor 1969 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts John Schlesinger Best Director 1969 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts John Schlesinger Best Picture 1969 Winner
Directors Guild of America John Schlesinger Best Director 1969 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Schlesinger Best Director 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association John Schlesinger Best Director 1969 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sylvia Miles Best Supporting Actress 1969 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Waldo Salt Best Screenplay 1969 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Waldo Salt Best Adapted Screenplay 1969 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Waldo Salt Best Screenplay 1969 Nominee

Cast

Dustin Hoffman
as Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo
Jon Voight
as Joe Buck
Sylvia Miles
as Cass
John McGiver
as O'Daniel
Brenda Vaccaro
as Shirley
Barnard Hughes
as Towny
Jennifer Salt
as Annie
Gil Rankin
as Woodsy Niles
George Epperson
as Ralph
Arlene Reeder
as Old Lady
Georgann Johnson
as Rich Lady
Anthony Holland
as TV Bishop
Bob Balaban
as The Young Student
Jan Tice
as Freaked-Out Lady
Paul Benjamin
as Bartender
Peter Scalia
as Grocer
Tina Scala
as Laundromat Lady
Alma Felix
as Laundromat Ladies
Viva
as Gretel McAlbertson
Gastone Rossilli
as Hansel McAlbertson
Paul Jabara
as At the Party
Taylor Mead
as At the Party
Paul Morrissey
as At the Party
Paul Jasmin
as Party Guest
Ultra Violet
as At the Party
Gary Owens
as Young Joe

Crew

John Schlesinger
Director
Jerome Hellman
Producer
Waldo Salt
Screenwriter
Adam Holender
Cinematographer
John Barry
Composer (Music Score)
Kenneth Utt
Associate Producer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
Vic Ramos
Casting
Irving Buchman
Makeup
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