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Urban Cowboy (1980)

 -  Drama | Western  -  6 June 1980 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 8,909 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 16 critic

John Travolta stars as a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Urban Cowboy (1980)

Urban Cowboy (1980) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bud
...
...
Wes
Madolyn Smith Osborne ...
Pam (as Madolyn Smith)
...
Uncle Bob
Brooke Alderson ...
Aunt Corene
...
Marshall
...
Mickey Gilley ...
Himself
Johnny Lee ...
Himself
...
Herself
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
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Storyline

Bud Davis is a country boy who moves to the city to visit his uncle. He starts hanging out at Gilley's, owned by Mickey Gilley himself. He takes a job at the refinery where his uncle works. He also meets Sissy, a cowgirl, and they 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 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

Taglines:

Hard Hat Days And Honky-Tonk Nights.

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowboy de ciudad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to place cameras in key positions under the mechanical bull to capture certain angles of the rodeo riding, the landing fall mattresses were removed, thereby reducing the safety protection of the rider. See more »

Goofs

During the first kissing scene between Wes and Sissy in Wes' trailer, the shadow of a crew person can be seen in the reflection on the kitchen cabinet. See more »

Quotes

Plant Supervisor: [Bud is interviewing for a job at the oil refinery where Uncle Bob works. His application is being reviewed] Bud Davis, huh?
Bud: [nervous] My, my full name is Buford Uon Davis, but nobody calls me Buford 'cept my Grandmother, and she's half Indian. My initials are B.U.D., it spells Bud.
Plant Supervisor: [mildly annoyed] I can spell, boy.
[looks at application more closely]
Plant Supervisor: What pipeline? There ain't no pipeline in Spur!
Bud: Yes there is. It came in last Spring. I was workin' on insulatin' it. Then Uncle Bob said you was ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Famous: John Travolta (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't It Make Ya Wanna Dance
Written by Rusty Wier
Performed by Bonnie Raitt
Prophecy Publishing Inc./Bug House (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Those Tough Trailer Park Rednecks
18 June 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

An unmarried, twenty-something hick (played by John Travolta) leaves the farm and goes to Houston, where he learns about life and love in a Texas honky-tonk. At face value, it's a modern love story ... Texas style. There's gobs of cowboy hats, pickup trucks, neon beer signs, and references to big belt-buckles and rodeos. The music, if not Texas native, is Texas adapted, courtesy of the talents of Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, and the Charlie Daniels Band. And that Texas twang ... "y'all".

The story and the characters are about as subtle as the taste of Texas five-alarm chili made with Jalapeno peppers. It's enough to make civilized viewers abort the film in favor of a genteel classic, one starring Laurence Olivier or Ingrid Bergman, maybe. "Hamlet" it's not. But "Urban Cowboy" is spicy and explicit, and I kinda like it.

Technically, the film is generally good. The dialogue, the production design, and the costumes are all realistic; the editing is skillful. And both the casting and the acting are commendable, if not Oscar worthy. I would not have cast Travolta in the role he plays, but he does a fine job ... ditto Debra Winger. Barry Corbin and Brooke Alderson, among others, are good too, in support roles. But, the cinematography seemed weak. The film copy I watched was grainy, and at times suffered from a reddish/orange tint, a visual trait I have noticed in other films from the same time period.

At first glance, the film does not seem to offer any social or political "message". But I would argue that when "Urban Cowboy" was released twenty-five years ago, it had rather prophetic implications. In 1980 the U.S. had all kinds of problems, not the least being American hostages held by Iran. In the minds of a lot of folks back then, the U.S. was being pushed around, bullied.

This film, along with others of its time, offered something that Americans wanted to see in their political leaders ... toughness. "Urban Cowboy" is a very physical film. The characters in it may not be the brightest people on Earth. But, they're tough!

Everything about "Urban Cowboy" is anti-intellectual. As a vehicle for cultural expression then, this 1980 film was one of several that augured a new get-tough era for the U.S. It started in 1980 with the election of Reagan. And that era continues to this day, with a President who probably will not be remembered for his intellect, but will be remembered for his toughness and aggression, traits that Americans seem to gravitate to as surely as Texans to five-alarm chili.


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