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Urban Cowboy

By Tom Keogh

John Travolta traded in disco duds for a cowboy hat in this corny love story about a working man who breaks up with his girlfriend (Debra Winger), then plays out their relationship's turmoil inside a huge honky-tonk called Gilley's. The story essentially parallels Travolta's prior hit film, Saturday Night Fever, in its blend of ordinary life, incomplete relationships, and personal pride channeled into niche stardom at a neighborhood club. But for all its regional flavor, Urban Cowboy never enjoys the immediacy and urgency of Fever, and after awhile you can't help but feel bemused by the macho silliness of ongoing "mechanical bull" competitions (basically a faux rodeo device only brave men can master at great chiropractic risk). The Travolta-Winger relationship is pure soap, as well. But this film really is a kind of time-capsule piece on a lot of levels--notably Travolta's career and late '70s Western kitsch--and while it's silly, it's certainly not disagreeable.


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Your Memories Shared!

"I really enjoyed the move Urban Cowboy. John Travolta was pretty sexy in this movie. It's about finding your true love, then getting caught up in life (pride, friends, etc.). But, true love always comes through. - It's got a fabulous soundtrack as well."


"For those of us that grow up in that period the movie was great fun, we all went to the bars and rode the bull we tried the two step dance and we deck out in cowboy hats and boots . And as far as being corny I don't maybe it was but we had the time of our lives then.

So rent or buy this movie it was a fun time it started a cowboy crazy that I enjoyed very much."


"One of those movies that you part of you hates but you can't resist watching it. . . Especially the way Winger and Travolta pronounce each other's names - "Sissy" and "Bud". It's so corny, but it's so great at the same time. All the drinkin', fightin', lovin' and partyin'. I love the trailor in which they live, but her Mustange is the best!"


"A great movie in 1980. What made a big difference, was that I Lived in Pasadena from 1978-1992. I use to go to Gilley's. I got to see John Travolta, Debra Winger, Madolyn Smith, and Some of the other cast, while the movie was being filmed. Gilley's was a big thing especially after the movie, Gilley's Night club became even more popular."


"While nowhere as good as Saturday Night Fever (which is a classic) I still enjoyed this film being that it shared a lot similar themes that fever also explored. Being a big fan of Travolta films in general (even staying alive) I guess this one had a lot to offer. Fairly good chemistry between the leads (but nothing like fever) however, for I mostly enjoyed how the music of the film tied into the scenes especially the more serious ones. Just like fever but not as good. (I know I really love Saturday night fever) however getting back to this film I honestly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any movie lover in general and Travolta fans in particular."


"The best movie in all time! Loved the soundtrack as well as quotes, etc. from the movie! One of the best belt buckle polishin' songs of all time is STAND BY ME. The soundtrack is one that I could dance underneath the stars to all night long! Brings back good country days, when country was country! Can't say enough good things about this movie. You must own it!"




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: James Bridges

Stars: John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Barry Corbin, Brooke Alderson, Mickey Gilley, Charlie Daniels, Bonnie Raitt

Released: June 6, 1980

Availability: DVD VHS CD

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