Dustin Hoffman: Ratso Rizzo vs. Michael Dorsey

Dustin Hoffman: Ratso Rizzo vs. Michael Dorsey

One actor. Two film roles. You tell us which portrayal was the best. The most memorable. Or iconic. Or simply your favorite.

But before you pass judgment, a few words defending the “character” of each…

The case for Michael Dorsey

Tootsie is a firecracker! Who could ever forget that feisty, strong-willed, outspoken woman (?) who became an ‘80s symbol for overcoming sexism in the workplace, in addition to women’s burgeoning influence/status in society as a whole? Sure, the Tootsie role (I know…couldn’t help myself) may be considered lightweight compared to Ratso Rizzo, but not only did Dustin Hoffman play Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels aka Tootsie, he even managed to poke fun at his real persona while doing so. Quite the trifecta!

The case for Ratso Rizzo

If you met someone like Ratso on the street chances are you couldn’t wait to get away from him. He doesn’t do nice things. He’s ugly. Dirty. Cretinous. In short, he’s not likeable. Dustin Hoffman’s Ratso in Midnight Cowboy is an oily, sweaty, gimpy, low life con artist foraging in the dingy areas of New York City. Basically, we’re being asked to like a rat! But Hoffman inbues the role with likeability and pathos. And by the end of the film we love the character because he’s not a rat. He’s human. His humanity and ability to love shines through.

Now that you’ve heard the arguments for both it’s time to render your verdict!