For any movie buff not familiar with the gleaming gems from Dustin Hoffman's acting treasure chest, these 5 Dustin Hoffman movies are mandatory. After being nominated for an Academy Award 5 times and winning twice, Dustin Hoffman has been a reliably solid and consistently versatile film presence since the 1960's. Whether he is transforming into a man with autism or donning a woman's wardrobe, these 5 Dustin Hoffman movies define the "show" in "show business."

"The Graduate"

Dustin Hoffman's breakthrough movie role came at age 29 in this classic coming of age comedy-drama. Hoffman brought relatable, vulnerable and organic anxiety to this risqué romance between his 21 year-old character Benjamin and the twice his age Mrs. Robinson played by Anne Bancroft.  Not only was this on-screen relationship fairly rare territory for cinema back in 1967, but also it was ironic because Hoffman was only 5 years younger than Bancroft in real life.

"Midnight Cowboy"

Just two years after "The Graduate", in 1969, Dustin Hoffman made another huge leap in his career by playing Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo–a crippled New York City hustler. Considered racy at the time of its release, Mr. Hoffman found himself in his first "X-rated" film, as well as the first X-rated movie to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It has been said that Dustin Hoffman dressed in character, wearing raggedy clothes, when he met with the movie's auditioning executive on a street corner. Hoffman was so convincing that he had to inform the individual of his true identity.

"Straw Dogs"

Under the direction of Sam Peckinpah, a director known for violent action adventures like "The Wild Bunch" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", Dustin Hoffman starred as a bullied mathematician that must physically fight for his life and his wife who had just been raped. This gritty David and Goliath-styled story was remade in 2011 under the same title, "Straw Dogs", starring James Marsden in Hoffman's role.


After winning his first Academy Award for playing an unprepared single father in "Kramer vs. Kramer," Hoffman nearly did it again when he was nominated for Best Actor for this mega-hit romantic comedy. He once again continued his reputation for being impossible to typecast by playing both sides of the same character. Hoffman portrayed a male actor who pretends to be a female actor in order to land a job on a television soap opera.


In 1988, Dustin Hoffman completed the movie role that is arguably the highlight of his career–he played the autistic Raymond Babbitt. Hoffman had to juggle a myriad of emotional situations in order to best portray this very interesting character. And to think, this performance nearly did not happen since Hoffman was originally interested in the part that would go to Tom Cruise in this film. Mr. Hoffman also tried to leave the project early on under the assumption that this would be the worst work of his acting career.