The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s

In 1980, country music found itself in vogue for the first time in history. The catalyst for that change was a blockbuster sensation known as Urban Cowboy. More than just a film, it became a document of the moment American culture finally tilted towards the south. The change was swift and seismic, and sent aftershocks rolling across the most unlikely corners of American society.


At the epicenter of it all was Gilley’s, quite literally the largest bar on the face of the planet. Located in the oilfields just outside of boomtown Houston, it became the real life backdrop for the hit movie it inspired. The story of that Texas-sized phenomenon, of this great big Honky Tonk – and of their boom and bust – became microcosms of the city and the music they came to represent.


From the Emmy & Peabody award winning producers and directors of ESPN 30 for 30 film PONY EXCESS, which debuted as the highest rated documentary in network history, and the Emmy nominated THE MARINOVICH PROJECT, comes a feature length documentary that will be the last word in country music’s first moment in the sun, as told by the folks who lived it, the actors who played it, and the musicians who sang it.


This is the true story that gave birth to a legend— about a blockbuster— about a bar— and about a nation that finally went country.