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UA Short Film Competition

Midnight Cowboy

Directed by John Frankenheimer

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) In Korea in 1952, a US Army patrol is ambushed by Communist soldiers. A year later the squad, having escaped, returns to the US, where Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw is to receive the Medal of Honour for single-handedly saving the lives of the squad. Shaw is the son of Elanor Iselin, wife of US Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and Mrs. Iselin turns the return of Raymond into a political rally that brings out building hostility between son and mother over the ambitions of Johnny Iselin. But there is more involved, for the actions of Raymond Shaw are not what everyone believes they are, and the nightmares of a US Army officer, Bennett Marco, leads to investigation of Raymond that unlocks a stunning political conspiracy that sweeps up Johnny and Elanor Iselin, and which only Bennett Marco can possibly stop.


John Frankenheimer


Richard Condon (novel)

George Axelrod (screenplay)


Frank Sinatra-... -Maj. Bennett Marco

Laurence Harvey-... -Raymond Shaw

Janet Leigh-... -Eugenie Rose Chaney

Angela Lansbury-... -Mrs. Iselin

Henry Silva-... -Chunjin

James Gregory-... -Sen. John Yerkes Iselin

Leslie Parrish-... -Jocelyn Jordan

John McGiver-... -Sen. Thomas Jordan

Khigh Dhiegh-... -Dr. Yen Lo

James Edwards-... -Cpl. Allen Melvin

Douglas Henderson-... -Col. Milt

Albert Paulsen-... -Zilkov

Barry Kelley-... -Secretary of Defence

Lloyd Corrigan-... -Holborn Gaines

Madame Spivy-... -Female Berezovo


  • In the scene where Frank Sinatra gives the all-queens deck of cards to Laurence Harvey, Sinatra is out of focus. He had trouble recreating his performance, so director John Frankenheimer left the footage as is. Audiences weren't bothered; they interpreted it as Harvey's blurred perspective.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) Texas greenhorn Joe Buck (John Voight) arrives in New York for the first time. Preening himself as a real 'hustler', he finds that he is the one getting 'hustled' until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). The initial 'country cousin meets city cousin' relationship deepens. In their efforts to bilk a hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each has found his first real friend.


John Schlesinger


Waldo Salt (screenplay)

James Leo Herlihy (novel)


Dustin Hoffman-... Enrico Salvatore 'Ratso' Rizzo

Jon Voight-... Joe Buck

Sylvia Miles-... Cass

John McGiver-... Mr. O'Daniel

Brenda Vaccaro-... Shirley

Barnard Hughes-... Towny

Ruth White-... Sally Buck - Texas

Jennifer Salt-... Annie - Texas

Gilman Rankin-... Woodsy Niles - Texas (as Gil Rankin)

Gary Owens-... Little Joe - Texas

T. Tom Marlow-... Little Joe - Texas

George Eppersen-... Ralph - Texas

Al Scott-... Cafeteria Manager - Texas

Linda Davis-... Mother on the Bus - Texas

J.T. Masters-... Old Cow-hand - Texas


  • Bette Davis appears in this film via a clip from Dark Victory (1939) seen in a television montage sequence.