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Urban Cowboy (1980)

3:05 | Trailer
Bud is a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar.


James Bridges


Aaron Latham (story "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy"), James Bridges (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
3,829 ( 1,768)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Bud
Debra Winger ... Sissy
Scott Glenn ... Wes
Madolyn Smith Osborne ... Pam (as Madolyn Smith)
Barry Corbin ... Uncle Bob
Brooke Alderson Brooke Alderson ... Aunt Corene
Cooper Huckabee ... Marshall
James Gammon ... Steve Strange
Mickey Gilley ... Mickey Gilley
Johnny Lee Johnny Lee ... Johnny Lee
Bonnie Raitt ... Bonnie Raitt
The Charlie Daniels Band The Charlie Daniels Band ... The Charlie Daniels Band
Betty Murphy ... Bud's Mom
Ed Geldart Ed Geldart ... Bud's Dad
Leah Geldart Leah Geldart ... Bud's Sister


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 | Plot Synopsis


Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights.


Drama | Romance | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Product placements and promotional tie-ins included Stetson hats, Budweiser beer, Coors ale, and Lone Star beer. See more »


Bud's truck does not have a Texas Inspection Certificate sticker on its driver's side windshield - a strictly enforced requirement for all Texas-registered passenger vehicles and light trucks since 1950. See more »


Sissy: I brought ya some coffee.
Bud: Get me a beer.
Sissy: Bud, if they smell beer on your breath at work -
Sissy: Yessir.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version that NBC ran in 1983 had about 12 minutes of out-take put back, to expand the film for a three-hour time slot. See more »


Orange Blossom Special
Written by Ervin T. Rouse
Performed by The Charlie Daniels Band
See more »

User Reviews

Who's bed have your boots been under?
13 October 2017 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1980 and directed by James Bridges, "Urban Cowboy" is a drama starring John Travolta as mid-Texas young man who moves to Houston to work at the oil refineries. In his spare time he goes to the local Country bar where he meets babes (Debra Winger & Madolyn Smith) and rides the mechanical bull. Scott Glenn plays his rival while Barry Corbin & Brooke Alderson appear as his amiable uncle and aunt.

It's overlong by at least 20 minutes and the alcohol-obsession & bed-hopping shenanigans get tedious, but I like the docudrama style. The film takes its time and successfully puts you in the C&W subculture. The plot's predictable, showing the best & worst in human behavior, yet leaves you with a good feeling. There's a likable simplicity and honesty to the people, despite their less savory sides (i.e. the alcohol/cigs & bed-hopping). The movie scores well on the female front, mostly of the tight jeans & t-shirt variety (naturally), fronted by Winger with her girl-next-door cuteness and followed by Smith with her drop-dead-gorgeous ambiance. Connie Hanson appears as the striking redhead. The final act features the Charlie Daniels Band and you can't go wrong with them.

THE MOVIE RUNS 132 minutes and was shot in the Houston area of Texas (Dear Park, Pasadena & Huntsville) and Pico Rivera, California (Mobile home park). WRITERS: Bridges & Aaron Latham wrote the script based on Aaron Latham's story.

GRADE: B/B- (6.5/10)

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Urban Cowboy See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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