John Travolta stars as a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar.
Release Year: 1980
Rating: 5.9/10 (5,963 voted)
Stars: John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn
Bud Davis is a country boy who moves to the city to visit his uncle. He starts hanging out at Gilley's, owned by Mickey Gilley himself. He takes a job at the refinery where his uncle works. He also meets Sissy, a cowgirl, and they 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 is announced, Bud decides to sign up. Can he win the contest and save his marriage to Sissy?
Writers: Aaron Latham, James Bridges
Madolyn Smith Osborne
(as Madolyn Smith)
(as Charlie Daniels Band)
Taz Di Gregorio
(as Charlie Daniels Band)
(as Charlie Daniels Band)
Hard Hat Days And Honky-Tonk Nights.
Release Date: 6 June 1980
Filming Locations: 225 Red Bluff Rd, Pasadena, Texas, USA
Did You Know?
Michelle Pfeiffer auditioned for the role of Sissy and was producer Robert Evans' preferred choice.
Errors in geography:
The terrain of Houston/Pasadena Texas is very flat, yet as Bud and other characters are seen driving down his street in the trailer park, a significant range of hills is easily noticed in the background. (These scenes were filmed in a trailer park in a suburb of Los Angeles called Pico Rivera, California, and the hills are the San Gabriel Mountains.)
I got a thumb, I got a middle finger!
How Can You Not Like This Movie???
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.