Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy

Directed by John Schlesinger • 1969 • United States
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles

One of the British New Wave’s most versatile directors, John Schlesinger came to New York in the late 1960s to make MIDNIGHT COWBOY, a picaresque story of friendship that captured a city in crisis and sparked a new era of Hollywood movies. Jon Voight delivers a career-making performance as Joe Buck, a wide-eyed hustler from Texas hoping to score big with wealthy city women; he finds a companion in Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, an ailing swindler with a bum leg and a quixotic fantasy of escaping to Florida, played by Dustin Hoffman in a radical departure from his breakthrough in THE GRADUATE. A critical and commercial success despite controversy over what the MPAA termed its “homosexual frame of reference,” MIDNIGHT COWBOY became the first X-rated film to receive the best picture Oscar, and decades on, its influence still reverberates through cinema.

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Midnight Cowboy
  • Midnight Cowboy

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1969 • United States
    Starring Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles

    One of the British New Wave’s most versatile directors, John Schlesinger came to New York in the late 1960s to make MIDNIGHT COWBOY, a picaresque story of friendship that captured a city in c...

Extras

  • MIDNIGHT COWBOY Commentary

    This commentary, recorded in 1991, features director John Schlesinger and producer Jerome Hellman.

  • The Crowd Around the Cowboy

    This 1969 short documentary, filmed on location during the production of MIDNIGHT COWBOY, was shot and directed by Finnish cinematographer Jeri Sopanen, and features rare behind-the-scenes footage of the cast and crew at work.

  • Michael Childers

    Noted photographer Michael Childers was the life partner of director John Schlesinger and served as his assistant on MIDNIGHT COWBOY. In this new program, Childers discusses a selection of photographs from the many candid images he shot during the production of the film.

  • Adam Holender

    Cinematographer Adam Holender was recorded for the Criterion Collection in February 2018. In the following video essay, he discusses his work on MIDNIGHT COWBOY.

  • After "Midnight": Reflecting on a Classic 35 Years Later

    The following two documentaries on the making and release of MIDNIGHT COWBOY were produced in 2004 for MGM's thirty-fifth-anniversary DVD release of the film. They feature interviews with producer Jerome Hellman, cinematographer Adam Holender, actors Dusting Hoffman, Sylvia Miles, Jennifer Salt, ...

  • Controversy and Acclaim

    The following two documentaries on the making and release of MIDNIGHT COWBOY were produced in 2004 for MGM's thirty-fifth-anniversary DVD release of the film. They feature interviews with producer Jerome Hellman, cinematographer Adam Holender, actors Dusting Hoffman, Sylvia Miles, Jennifer Salt, ...

  • John Schlesinger / Interview

    Director John Schlesinger sat down for a career-overview interview with Merle Goldberg for BAFTA Los Angeles in 2000. Presented here is an excerpt from the conversation, in which he discusses his approach to gay themes in his work.

  • John Schlesinger / BAFTA Tribute

    Also included are excerpts from BAFTA's tribute to Schlesinger on May 19, 2002, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, featuring producer and studio executive David Picker and actors Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight.

  • Jon Voight / David Frost Show

    In this 1970 iunterview with David Frost, Jon Voight discusses his work on MIDNIGHT COWBOY and his acting background.

  • Jon Voight / Screen Test

    Also presented are excerpts from Voight's original, improvised screen test for MIDNIGHT COWBOY, conducted by screenwriter Waldo Salt.

  • Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter’s Journey

    The following 1990 documentary by Eugene Corr and Robert Hillmann about the life and career of Waldo Salt was nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary feature.