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Midnight Cowboy


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Product Details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Writers: James Leo Herlihy, Waldo Salt
  • Producers: Jerome Hellman, Kenneth Utt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792833287
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,562 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Midnight Cowboy" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 8-Page Collectible Booklet

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Daring. Provocative. Shocking. Compelling. Nearly thirty years after its original release, "Midnight Cowboy is still heartbreakingand timeless" (The New York Observer). This Academy AwardÂ(r) winner* for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay also boasts OscarÂ(r)-nominated** performances by Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, neither of whom have "ever been better on screen than they are here" (Chicago Tribune)! When Joe Buck (Voight), a good-looking,naively charming Texas "cowboy" makes his way to the Big Apple to seek his fortune, the only wealthhe finds is in the friendship of Ratso Rizzo (Hoffman), a scrounging, sleazy, small-time con man with big dreams. Living on the tattered fringe of society, these two outcasts develop an unlikely bond one that transcends their broken dreams and get-rich-quick schemes and makes Midnight Cowboy "that rarest of things: [a film] every bit as moving now as it was when it was [first] released" (Premiere). *1969 **1969: Actor

Amazon.com

The first, and only, X-rated film to win a best picture Academy Award, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy seems a lot less daring today (and has been reclassified as an R), but remains a fascinating time capsule of late-1960s sexual decadence in mainstream American cinema. In a career-making performance, Jon Voight plays Joe Buck, a naive Texas dishwasher who goes to the big city (New York) to make his fortune as a sexual hustler. Although enthusiastic about selling himself to rich ladies for stud services, he quickly finds it hard to make a living and eventually crashes in a seedy dump with a crippled petty thief named Ratzo Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman, doing one of his more effective "stupid acting tricks," with a limp and a high-pitch rasp of a voice). Schlesinger's quick-cut, semi-psychedelic style has dated severely, as has his ruthlessly cynical approach to almost everybody but the lead characters. But at its heart the movie is a sad tale of friendship between a couple of losers lost in the big city, and with an ending no studio would approve today. It's a bit like an urban Of Mice and Men, but where both guys are Lenny. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Both Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman were nominated for best actor.
bobcat931
The film is filled with what was at the time shocking sexual commentary and scenes that today are commonplace in films and even appear on television.
P Magnum
Not everyone will like this movie, granted...Film buffs love it and hopefully my review will grant you some inscentive to try and watch it.
Joshua Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
An academy award winner in 1969 in spite of having an X rating, this is one of those classic films that have aged well. British director John Schlessinger, in his first American film, captured the gritty sordidness of New York City, as it was in those days, with all its contrasts and inconsistencies. We see a man sprawled on the sidewalk in front of an upscale jewelry store being ignored by passersby.
Jon Voight is cast as Joe Buck, a young man from Texas who comes to New York with the dream of becoming a male prostitute. Dustin Hoffman is Rico Ratzo Rizzo, a the crippled street-wise hustler who first cons the young Texan and later befriends him. Together, these two outcasts form a strange bond as they struggle to survive on the streets of New York. Joe Bucks' story is told with flashbacks and surreal fantasy sequences, which seem unfocussed at times, but give us an understanding of who he is. Ratzo, however, doesn't need this kind of cinematographic background; his quirky character is all right there.
The film is full of memorable characters - Sylvia Miles as an aging Park Avenue woman with a thick New York accent who considers herself "one helluva gorgeous chick", John McGiver, the religious nutjob who Joe Buck thinks will give him connections to rich women, and Brenda Vacarro who takes Joe home with her after a psychedelic party. There's a memorable soundtrack too -- "The Echoes of My Mind". And then there's the memorable conclusion which takes place on a bus headed for Florida.
I loved this video but it's not for everybody. It's downbeat and sad and disturbing. But it says something about human nature and human connection. And it pictures a way of life that might not be pleasant but is a reality. Recommended.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By "lonesome_insomniac" on June 10, 2002
Format: DVD
I saw Midnight Cowboy for the first time last night, and I'm furious with myself for waiting so long to give it a shot. I reacted to it in a very personal way, and it's been on my mind all day. Hoffman and Voigt's performances are pitch-perfect, Schlesinger's direction is daring, snappy, unique, Waldo Salt's screenplay is full of wit and compassion, and the fabulous music really sets the tone. Unlike many others I don't feel that the movie has dated in any serious way. The much-talked-about acid-trip party sequence does look very 60s, but it isn't embarrassing or anything. Besides, the movie was made and is set in the 60s, so whaddya expect? As a previous reviewer mentioned, the director was hardly gonna make this picture with the 21st Century audience in mind. He made it as a reflection of the time and place. (This is common in Schlesinger's work -- he has a remarkable eye for detail.) Most importantly, modern audiences will still be able to relate to all the movie's main themes, like lonliness, confusion, friendship, sex and disappointment. The only real problem I have with the film is that at times it seems strongly homophobic -- the few gay characters who are developed in the movie are all presented as pathetic, sadomasochistic crazies. But then, the movie takes a harsh attitude to all the characters except the two leads, so perhaps I'm overreacting. So, anyone who considers themselves film buffs simply must watch Midnight Cowboy. Not because it's a well-known much-quoted classic of cultural significance (which it is as well) but because it'll genuinely make you laugh and cry, and later, think. Actually, whoever you are, watch it anyway. Yours truly is certain you won't be disappointed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Based on the novel by James Leo Herlihy, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, directed by John Schlesinger, seemed so on the cutting edge in 1969. Both Dustin Hoffman (Ratzo Rizzo) and John Voight (Joe Buck) were nominated for an Oscar for best actor-- as I recall, conventional wisdom was that they cancelled each other out-- but the movie received the Best Picture Award and Schlesinger walked away with the Award for Best Director.
I remember being blown away by the movie in '69. A great admirer of Schlesinger, I watched the movie again recently for the first time since its initial release. I wanted to see if it still was as powerful as I remembered. This time around parts of it seem stuck in the 60's-- the New York party that Ratzo and Joe attend, for example, and the pathetic homosexual-- nope, we can't call him gay-- who picks up Joe and feels he deserves the beating Joe gives him, after he calls his mother on the telephone. Of course, 1969 was the year that a group of despised dragqueens held police officers at bay for a couple of days in another part of New York at a bar called Stonewall. Although those of us in the provences weren't aware of it yet, the times, they were a-changing.
On the other hand, the characters of both Ratzo and Joe endure. Who will ever forgot Joe's hopelessly inept attempt at hustling Sylvia Miles or Ratzo, the real con artist, with his ever present limp. They would make any film critic's list of most memorable characters of the last half of the Twentieth Century. The movie obviously is about finding friendship in unlikely places. Everyone, from the most wealthy to the most down and out, needs love.
Finally, Ratzo and Joe's bus ride into the warm and balmy Miami to get away from the cold New York winter moved me as much today as it did when I first saw the movie. The ending made my eyes burn again almost 35 years later. This film will endure.
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