Midnight Cowboy: The Criterion Collection

Midnight Cowboy: The Criterion Collection




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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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Reasons to Buy

  1. No longer the shocking tale it was when first released, the classic slice of pop culture has evolved into a somewhat nostalgic reminder of the 60s mindset, capturing the naivete and upheaval of society in the throes of change.
  2. Jon Wright and Dustin Hoffman created a pair of legendary screen losers. The complex and tender relationship between Buck and Ratso hints at a homoeroctic attraction - and though it's never explicity developed, it was still a big deal in 1969.
  3. This exqusite new special edition from The Criterion Collection includes a new 4k digital restoration, multiple interviews and documentaries, screen tests, video essays, audio commentary and much, much more.

DVD Features

New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary from 1991 featuring director John Schlesinger and producer Jerome Hellman
New selected-scene commentary by cinematographer Adam Holender
The Crowd Around the Cowboy, a 1969 short film made on location for Midnight Cowboy
Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter’s Journey, an Academy Award nominated documentary from 1990 by Eugene Corr and Robert Hillmann
Two short 2004 documentaries on the making and release of Midnight Cowboy
Interview with actor Jon Voight on The David Frost Show from 1970
Interview from 2000 with Schlesinger for BAFTA Los Angeles
Excerpts from the 2002 BAFTA LA Tribute to Schlesinger, featuring Voight and actor Dustin Hoffman
PLUS: An essay by critic Mark Harris


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1 Review for Midnight Cowboy: The Criterion Collection

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Review by Amos Lassen

By: Amos Lassen
"Midnight Cowboy"

Everybody Was Talking

Amos Lassen
"Midnight Cowboy (1969) was the first and only "X" rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is a very dark and disturbing movie but it is also quite fasci... Read More

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