Best Movies by Farr
Midnight Cowboy Poster
Released Runtime Category
1969 113 Drama, The Essentials
Director Language
John Schlesinger English
Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, John McGiver, Sylvia Miles

Midnight Cowboy

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What's it About

Lone Star native Joe Buck (Voight), a dim but handsome rube, drops his dishwashing gig in his stifling hometown and comes to the Big Apple, convinced he can earn a living servicing wealthy New York women. But Joe's start as a hustler is a mite rockier than anticipated. Buck then meets tubercular street denizen Ratso Rizzo (Hoffman), who offers to become the aspiring gigolo's "manager," and a highly unusual friendship is born.

Why we love it

Two years after "The Graduate," Hoffmann transformed himself into an ailing derelict in director Schlesinger's dark, intense "Midnight Cowboy." A story of friendship born of desperation in Manhattan's grimy underbelly, "Cowboy" was at the vanguard of a new kind of Hollywood movie in the late '60s — gritty, complex, and un-idealized. Despite an initial "X" rating, the film won Oscars for best picture, director, and screenplay, and both Hoffman and newcomer Voight were nominated for their gutsy, raw performances. Hoffman's Rizzo is particularly astounding.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"