MIDNIGHT COWBOY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 3, 2013

The star of “Midnight Cowboy” maybe Jon Voight, but the one that steals the show is Dustin Hoffman as Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, who delivers one of the strongest character performances of his career. Voight is brilliant as the pie-eyed small-town cowboy moving to the big city to be a hustler, but without the rich and dark turn from Hoffman, this Oscar-winning film would be lacking. Bringing in Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 42nd Academy Awards, this became the first-ever X-Rated film to take those honors. With Hoffman and Voight losing to John Wayne’s iconic performance in “True Grit,” Hoffman’s performance had to prove a close second. With some interesting viewpoints about the late ’60s and some impressive direction, especially in bringing the city of New York to life, “Midnight Cowboy” proves why it remains on many Top 100 of all-time lists. Much darker than I would have anticipated, showing the underbelly of the city, between drugs, sickness, and sex, the film earns its rating (at least for the era) and encapsulates a generation all while entertaining.

RELEASE DATE
May 25, 1969

DIRECTOR
John Schlesinger

WRITTEN BY
Waldo Salt

BASED ON
“Midnight Cowboy”
by James Leo Herlihy

STUDIO
United Artists

R

DRAMA
113 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Adam Holender

COMPOSER
John Barry

EDITOR
Hugh A. Robertson

CAST
Dustin Hoffman
Jon Voight
Sylvia Miles
John McGiver
Brenda Vaccaro
Barnard Hughes
Ruth White
Jennifer Salt
Gilman Rankin

PRODUCED BY
Jerome Hellman

BUDGET
$3.2 million

Leave a Reply