Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro
Based on a James Leo Herlihy novel, British director John Schlesinger's first American film dramatised 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 (Jon Voight) 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 (Sylvia Miles). He gets swindled by tubercular grifter Rico 'Ratso' Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) but, when Joe falls in the direst of straits, Ratso takes Joe into his condemned apartment so that they can help each other survive.
One of the first major studio films to be 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.
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