6.4/10
13,442
101 user 32 critic

Urban Cowboy (1980)

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

Director:

James Bridges

Writers:

Aaron Latham (story "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy"), James Bridges (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,747 ( 1,326)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and Director James Bridges said of this movie for its publicity: "The film is a real look at the lifestyle of a mechanized West and the need for fantasy by those in contemporary society who work daily in dangerous jobs. In the saloon they go to at night after work, these men create another reality for themselves, almost a small town where they live the cowboy myth." See more »

Goofs

Scene with Wes drinking tequila with Sissy - he states "la vida luna" - "the crazy life." "La vida luna" translates to: "the moon life." He should have said "la vida loca." See more »

Quotes

Bud: All cowboys ain't dumb. Some of 'em got smarts real good, like me.
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Alternate Versions

The conversation that Bud has with Uncle Bob right before Bud shaves off his beard was cut for the VHS release. See more »

Connections

References Five Easy Pieces (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Orange Blossom Special
Written by Ervin T. Rouse
Performed by The Charlie Daniels Band
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User Reviews

 
How Can You Not Like This Movie???
11 October 2005 | by rkerns6938See all my reviews

First let me say I am not from the south but I am an American. I don't love Country music but I can stomach it. I would never wear a cowboy hat but I wear hats. I don't live in a trailer but I do eat tuna salad and own a home. What does that have to do with this comment? A lot if you are one of those people who say only "country" people love this movie. This movie is loosely based on the "They loved and lost" premise. James Bridges directs an American love story as real as it gets. In an era of Jerry Springer and "Lets put it out there" mentality, this film rings truer than ever.

Bud is "coming of age" and embarks on a life of his own with a little help from his aunt and uncle so he moves to the big city with them. Bud finds himself drawn into the local honky tonk world for the only escape a blue collar man can afford. He quickly meets Sissy who is from a similar background and the two have a whirlwind romance filled with painful ups and downs.

(*This plot takes so many turns that one has to just sit for a few minutes before they get hooked. Marriage is a focus here that is often missed. Early in the film they marry and we view the transition from being single to married. The film highlights some of the modern struggles a woman has when she marries an old fashioned man. It also brings into view the male ego with women and competition.)

Bud is challenged and is excited when Micky's puts in an electronic bull. Sissy gets ideas of having fun on it too but is quickly reminded that she is married and need to start "acting like it." The emotion between the two characters is raw and expressive and the plot continues from there especially when they (NOTE THIS IS GIVING SOME OF THE STORYLINE AWAY) split and Sissy falls for an ex con with a penchant for abuse and cruelty. She soon realizes that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

How anyone can compare Bud to Vinnie Barbirino is shocking to me. John Travolta gave an exceptional performance that was worthy recognition. He was believable and real. The scene where he shaves his beard and you first see him at the bar..still gives me goosebumps. Mind you I am not a huge Travolta fan, but come on, I see why Sissy was kicking of her boots so early in the film. Deb Winger was so real that you found yourself sympathizing with her as she pens a note of emotions to Bud, after sneaking in to clean his house during their break up.

The supporting cast was incredible. Wes played by Scott Glenn gave a first rate performance that made you hate him and curse him as he abused Sissy. Madolyn Smith-Osborne, as Buds Mistress/girlfriend was so authentic that large chested girls across the U.S. prayed to wake up flat chested to wear the clothes she donned in the film. My biggest kudos's go to Barry Corbin and Brooke Anderson as Bud's aunt and uncle. They seemed like someone's aunt and uncle somewhere in Texas and however small their role, they made the film so much bigger and lifelike. Two memorable scenes were the Dolly Parton contest and the unforgettable scene where Bud and his aunt stand outside after one of the characters death. The dialog between them is touching.

If you can watch this for what it is, a true American love story. Then I recommend that you take it for what it is...a film before it's time that gave us voyeurism into a world unlike our own but real enough for our enjoyment and entertainment. If this world sounds similar to yours then you will enjoy it so much more. Lastly, the music however dated, is sure to send you back in time if you are over 30 years of age.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Urban Cowboy See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$46,918,287

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,918,287
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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