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Encyclopedia > Urban Cowboy
Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy theatrical poster
Directed by James Bridges
Produced by Irving Azoff
Robert Evans
Written by James Bridges
Aaron Latham
Starring John Travolta
Debra Winger
Scott Glenn
Barry Corbin
Madolyn Smith
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) June 6, 1980
Running time 132 min.
Country United States
Language English
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile
This article is about the 1980 film. For the Broadway musical of the same name, see Urban Cowboy.


Urban Cowboy is a 1980 American drama film about the love-hate relationship between cowboy Bud Davis (John Travolta) and cowgirl Sissy (Debra Winger). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 394 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (497 × 755 pixel, file size: 72 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. ... James Bridges (February 3, 1936 — June 6, 1993) was an American screenwriter and film director. ... Irving Azoff is a famous music industry manager of bands such as Jewel, The Eagles, Bush, REO Speedwagon, Dan Fogelberg, Seal, Journey, Christina Aguilera, Van Halen and Steely Dan. ... There have been several well-known people named Robert Evans, including: Robert Evans (author) Robert_Evans_(film_producer) Robert Evans (politician) Robert Evans is also the name of a firefighter who was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 Bob Evans This is a disambiguation... James Bridges (February 3, 1936 — June 6, 1993) was an American screenwriter and film director. ... Aaron Latham is a journalist who wrote the article that inspired the movie Urban Cowboy and co-wrote its script with director James Bridges. ... John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and singer. ... Debra Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an Academy Award- nominated American actress. ... Theodore Scott Glenn (born January 26, 1941) is an American actor known for supporting roles. ... Leonard Barrie Barry Corbin (born October 16, 1940 in Lamesa, Texas) is a U.S.-based character actor with over 100 credits in film and television and several in computer gaming. ... Madolyn Smith Osborne (born January 1, 1957, in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American actress. ... Information in this article or section has not been verified against sources and may not be reliable. ... is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Broadway poster Urban Cowboy is a musical with a book by Aaron Latham and Phillip Oesterman and a score comprised of numbers by Broadway composer-lyricists Jeff Blumenkrantz and Jason Robert Brown and a variety of country music tunesmiths, including Clint Black, Shania Twain, and Charles Daniels. ... A drama film is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... For other uses, see Cowboy (disambiguation). ... John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and singer. ... Debra Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an Academy Award- nominated American actress. ...

Contents

Storyline

The movie starts out with Bud Davis moving to Pasadena, Texas from Spur, Texas. He soon finds work at an oil refinery with his uncle Bob. Bud quickly discovers and embraces the city's nightlife, which is centered around a bar called Gilley’s (a real country bar owned by country singer Mickey Gilley). Nickname: Strawberry Capitol Location in the state of Texas. ... A refinery is composed of a group of chemical engineering unit processes and unit operations used for refining certain materials or converting raw material into products of value. ... Mickey Gilley (b. ...


Bud meets Sissy in Gilley's, and after a quick courtship, the two get married. It isn't long after the wedding that they visit the bar, and they learn that a mechanical bull has been installed recently. Bud finds himself excelling at the mechanical rodeo, but feels both protective and perhaps a bit threatened by Sissy's desire to learn to ride. Bud forbids Sissy from riding it, causing a rift in their still new relationship. A man riding a mechanical bull in Rio de Janeiro A mechanical bull is a machine-operated ride that replicates the sensation of riding a bull. ...


While Bud is working at the refinery, Sissy decides she is going to learn how to ride the mechanical bull to impress her over-protective husband. She goes back to bar and rides the bull during the day, keeping her lessons a secret from Bud.

Debra Winger and John Travolta with Gilley's real-life head bartender William (Pat) Perkins Wright III
Debra Winger and John Travolta with Gilley's real-life head bartender William (Pat) Perkins Wright III

Once Sissy has perfected her bull riding technique with the help of an ex-convict (Wes Hightower, portrayed by Scott Glenn) that has begun working a the bar, she decides to reveal her new talent to her husband. Sissy rides and the crowd marvels at how well she does. Jealous of the attention, Bud decides he is going to show her up despite the back injury he had sustained at work that day. Operating the mechanical bull is the ex-convict Wes, who has developed an attraction to Sissy during their daily lessons. Wes sees Bud's attempt to ride as an opportunity to move in on Sissy because of the obvious fight that is escalating between her and Bud at the bar. Bud is thrown from the bull, breaking his arm and further injuring his back. The two separate at the bar. Image File history File links UrbanCowboy-Bar. ... Image File history File links UrbanCowboy-Bar. ... Theodore Scott Glenn (born January 26, 1941) is an American actor known for supporting roles. ...


Sissy then tries to go to bed with Wes, but stops before doing anything. Bud, though, really goes to bed with a girl he met at Gilley's, Pam (Madolyn Smith). The next day, Sissy returns to the trailer and finds it empty. She leaves a note for Bud to meet her at Gilley's, but Pam later hides it. Madolyn Smith Osborne (born January 1, 1957, in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American actress. ...


Bud, not knowing of Sissy's note, starts to train for an upcoming bullriding contest and blows Sissy off when he sees her. Sissy, angry at Bud, starts an affair with Wes, who is also planning to take part in the bullriding contest.


Finally, the day of the contest arrives, and before it Pam tells Bud that he needs to be with Sissy, and admits to the letter she hid. The contest has Bud pitted against Wes — Bud prevails. Bud and Sissy reconcile.


Influences

The movie's screenplay was adapted by Aaron Latham and James Bridges from an article in a men's magazine on Western nightlife written by Latham. The movie was directed by Bridges. The movie spawned a hit soundtrack album featuring such songs as Johnny Lee's "Looking for Love", Mickey Gilley's "Stand by Me" "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" sung by the Charlie Daniels Band, the mega Anne Murray hit "Could I Have This Dance"(#3 A/C) and the top 5 hit "Love The World Away" by country superstar Kenny Rogers. The film is said to have started the 80's boom in country music appeal. The film grossed almost $54 million in the United States alone, more than Saturday Night Fever (plus a further $24,000,000 in video rentals) and is considered to be John Travolta's last major hit before a series of flops in the upcoming decade. Aaron Latham is a journalist who wrote the article that inspired the movie Urban Cowboy and co-wrote its script with director James Bridges. ... James Bridges (February 3, 1936 — June 6, 1993) was an American screenwriter and film director. ... Mickey Gilley (b. ... Stand By Me is the title of a song performed by Ben E. King and written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Charles Edward Daniels (born October 28, 1936) is a very popular country singer. ... Anne Murray, CC, ONS (born Morna Anne Murray June 20, 1945), is a Canadian singer born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, known for her rich alto voice and her taste in choosing songs that appeal to Pop, Country and Adult Contemporary listeners alike. ... Kenneth Donald Kenny Rogers (born August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas) is a prolific American country music singer, photographer, producer, songwriter, actor and businessman. ... Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 movie starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled Brooklyn youth whose weekend activities are dominated by visits to a Brooklyn discotheque. ...


Trivia

  • Patrick Swayze, whose family owned a dance studio in Houston, Texas, taught Travolta how to do the two-step for the movie, while his wife (Lisa Niemi) and mother (Patsy Swayze) choreographed the dance sequences.
A vintage belt buckle from Gilley's.
  • The scene where Wes chews up and swallows the worm after drinking the bottle of tequila was not scripted, but a joke done for the dailies.
  • Travolta had a mechanical bull installed in his home two months before production began and became so good that he was allowed to dismiss the stunt double and do the takes himself.
  • At the time the film was shot, Gilley's, used as the film's main nightclub location, was the largest nightclub in the world in terms of available space for the patrons, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • The film was marketed with the tagline "Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights."
  • Michelle Pfeiffer auditioned for the role of Sissy.
  • The soundtrack album has sold more than 4 million copies around the world to date.
  • The 1967 Ford Mustang that Sissy drove in this movie now resides in Evans City, PA (near Pittsburgh). It is owned by two brothers and is often seen in local car shows.

Patrick Wayne Swayze (born August 18, 1952), is an American dancer, actor, singer and songwriter. ... “Houston” redirects here. ... Lisa Anne Haapaniemi (born May 26, 1956) is an American actress and dancer. ... Image File history File links Gilleys. ... Image File history File links Gilleys. ... The Guinness Book of Records (or in recent editions Guinness World Records, and in previous US editions Guinness Book of World Records) is a book published annually, containing an internationally recognized collection of superlatives: both in terms of human achievement and the extrema of the natural world. ... Michelle Marie Pfeiffer (born April 29, 1958) is a three-time Academy Award-nominated and internationally known American actress. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Urban Cowboy Movie -The 80s Rewind « (2574 words)
The Urban Cowboy Soundtrack was the first movie soundtrack to appear at the top of both the Billboard Top 40 and Country charts at the same time.
I was an extra in Urban Cowboy for a week when I was in middle school.
The oil refinery that was used in the filming of Urban Cowboy was then the Charter International Oil Company's refinery in Pasadena, Texas.
"Urban Cowboy and "Bronco Billy " by Rachel Kranz" (2660 words)
COWBOY purports to be a serious study of the "urban cowboy" culture of Houston oil workers.
Not a hand is raised by anyone against the tycoon's daughter in URBAN COWBOY (though as an upper-class woman slumming, she can also afford to play at compliance in a way that Sissy can't).
When the high moral code of the cowboy is turned into a corny joke, when the Texas prairie is covered with dangerous oil fields and the only bronco left to bust is just another machine, women are evidently the cowboy's last frontier.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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