Urban Cowboy and Nostalgia

Flipping through the channels after the Bills / Chiefs game I came across Urban Cowboy.

I hadn't seen it in years but holy moly does it bring back memories and nostalgia. I was only 7 or 8 years old when the movie came out but my parents were fans and played the soundtrack over and over and over again. Its forever engrained in my memory - and the memories are not all bad considering how much I dislike country music.

The movie isn't that great at all but it certainly captures Southeast Texas and Good Ol' Boy culture really well. Really well.

Growing up in a suburb in South Texas where the largest employers are all refineries - the movie hits really close to home. Oil and gas run the town and the safety of the employees is always negligent. I can recall MULTIPLE times that my dad came home (from working at the refinery in our town) and told another story of someone dying. It was an explosion, a fall, an accident - it was not uncommon - nor were the graveyard shifts. Urban Cowboy captures this well by making Bud's refinery accident and broken arm central to the film.

The story is dumb but the movie hooks you like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Infused with Lone Star, Budweiser and a lots of Jack Daniels the main characters are stuck in their small town, blue-collar world - unable to break the cycle. The film is filmed on location at Gilly's bar and a trailer park (in Pico Rivera, CA) that brings a surprising authenticity that really makes well for the film.

Sissy, played by Debra Winger, is great but she looks incredibly young which makes it all feel a little inappropriate. At one point, when she wakes up in bed with Scott Glenn and is hugging a teddy bear - like a little girl. Very weird. Watching it this time makes me feel like the movie really pivots around her inability to break the cycle of hanging around with losers.

What really makes the movie watchable though is the soundtrack that is forever tattooed in my mind - that is always playing in the background in every scene - its PART of the movie - in many ways it IS the movie - and its in my blood in weird ways that I can't explain. Growing up in South Texas just brings the movie too close to home.

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