In 1965, an American novelist named James Leo Herlihy wrote one of his greatest works: Midnight Cowboy. The story follows a Texan stud named Joe Buck heading to New York City and trying to make a life for himself as a male prostitute for rich women. There, he meets Rico ‘Ratso’ Rizzo, a local con man who becomes Joe’s pimp. The story charts the unlikely friendship that forms between the two and their unpredictable adventures in the big city.
In 1969, after becoming a bestselling book, Midnight Cowboy was turned into a major motion picture, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as Buck and Ratso, respectively. The film was a smash success, winning several Oscars and appearing in many lists of the greatest movies ever made. This is the full story of how it happened, complete with some fascinating behind-the-scenes facts.