Review: ‘Urban Cowboy’

Director James Bridges has ably captured the atmosphere of one of the most famous chip-kicker hangouts of all: Gilley's Club on the outskirts of Houston.

Director James Bridges has ably captured the atmosphere of one of the most famous chip-kicker hangouts of all: Gilley’s Club on the outskirts of Houston.

Enter John Travolta, fresh from a West Texas farm and working his first job in an oil refinery, quickly learning that Gilley’s is where everybody heads after work. Try as you might, it’s hard to completely accept Travolta as a redneck and his Texas accent is not quite right.

Debra Winger is outstanding as a fetching little slut who marries Travolta only to lose him almost to Madolyn Smith.

Winger leaves Travolta to move in with Scott Glenn while Smith moves in with Travolta.

In one way or another, the quadrangle revolves around Gilley’s mechanical bucking bull, a menacing device that tests the courage of all the would-be cowboys.

Urban Cowboy

Production

Paramount. Director James Bridges; Producer Robert Evans, Irving Azoff; Screenplay James Bridges, Aaron Latham; Camera Ray Villalobos; Editor Dave Rawlins; Music Ralph Burns; Art Director Stephen Grimes

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 135 MIN.

With

John Travolta Debra Winger Scott Glenn Madolyn Smith Barry Corbin Bonnie Raitt

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