Bud is a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar.



(story "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pam (as Madolyn Smith)
Uncle Bob
Brooke Alderson ...
Aunt Corene
Mickey Gilley ...
Johnny Lee ...
Charlie Daniels ...
Himself (as Charlie Daniels Band)
Taz Di Gregorio ...
Himself (as Charlie Daniels Band)
Charlie Hayward ...
Himself (as Charlie Daniels Band)
Bud's Mom


Bud Davis is a country boy who moves to the city to visit his uncle and his family. He starts hanging out at Gilley's, the popular nightclub owned by Mickey Gilley himself. He takes a job at the oil refinery where his uncle works, hoping to save enough money to buy some land. He also meets a cowgirl named Sissy, they dance together, fall in love and suddenly get married. And then their marriage is shattered when Bud sees Sissy allegedly seeing con man Wes, who teaches her how to ride the mechanical bull... and plans to rob Gilley's. When a bull-riding contest at Gilley's is announced, Bud decides to sign up. Can he win the contest and save his marriage to Sissy? Written by watzdabigdeal <watzdabigdeal@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights.


Drama | Romance | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Urban Cowboy  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's "Urban Cowboy" title is a real-life expression used in popular speech. The Allwords Dictionary define the term as a "person living in the city that dresses in Western-style clothes". They state that the phrase's etymology has it derived from its use in this movie. See more »


When Bud and Pam are at Uncle Bob's house, Uncle Bob says "We're goin' to Gilley's tonight...haven't been there since we first took you." Yes, they did take Bud to Gilley's when he first came into town, but then they were all back at Gilley's again later for Bud and Sissy's wedding. So Uncle Bob and Aunt Corine actually had been to Gilley's since they first took Bud. See more »


Uncle Bob: You know Bud; sometimes even a cowboy's gotta swallow his pride to hold on to somebody he loves.
Bud: What do you mean?
Uncle Bob: Hell I know, I pretty near lost Corrine and the kids a couple of times just 'cause of pride. You know you think that ol' pride's gonna choke you going down but I tell you what ain't a night goes by I don't thank the boss up there for giving me a big enough throat. 'Cause without Corrine and them kids hell I'd just be another pile of dog shit in the canteloupe patch just drawing ...
See more »


Featured in I Love the '80s: 1980 (2002) See more »


All Night Long
Written by Joe Walsh
Performed by Joe Walsh
Wow & Flutter Music (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Glory Days of The Energy City.
16 May 2003 | by (Tampa, FL) – See all my reviews

PERSONAL NOTE: I saw this movie in the Palms Theater, in Sugar Land Texas, in August 1980, with my high school girlfriend. The theater, and the girl, are both long gone.

Back to the review....

For those of you who grew up, or lived in and around Houston during the 70's, this is a delight to watch. I tend to endure Travolta, and that horrid "twang" he tries to do, but it's okay, the rest of the flick makes up for that!

-Minor Spoilers-

We start the movie w/Bud coming to town. Just watching him drive thru Houston, thru the 610 loop, and on to his Uncle's place is a treat. There is the Houston of "Big Oil and Big Space". When I was little, and went on vacations, if some one asked me where I was from, their next question was "Do you have a ranch, own an oil well, or know astronauts?" That was part of the joy of being from Houston, back in the old days.

But I'm rambling. The casting on URBAN COWBOY is great, not a dud in the bunch, even counting the Travolta factor. Only he could have pulled this movie off, at the time it was made. On a side note, it was common practice during the filming of "UC", for the local media to have a "Travolta Sighting" comment on the news, or in the newspapers. The biggest spotting occurred in mid 1979 at the sports arena, known at the time as "The Summit". Travolta appeared, in "the white suit" from Saturday Night Fever at a Bee Gee's concert, and hopped up on stage. No one recognized him at first, as he had grown a beard for the opening parts of the movie.

If you grew up around Houston during this long-past era, this is a "MUST OWN". My daughters always ask if I ever rode a mechanical bull when we watch it.

But I have always wondered about one small thing in this picture. And this is simply 'cause I am a car geek. Why, at the end of the movie when Bud and Sissy drive away from Gilley's, is there, parked amongst the F-150's, GMC's, Chevy Big 10's, and other pick-up trucks, a Volvo P1800 wagon? You can't miss it.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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