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Jefty, owner of a roadhouse in a backwoods town, hires sultry, tough-talking torch singer Lily Stevens against the advice of his manager Pete Morgan. Jefty is smitten with Lily, who in turn exerts her charms on the more resistant Pete. When Pete finally falls for her and she turns down Jefty's marriage proposal, they must face Jefty's murderous jealousy and his twisted plots to "punish" the two. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In a 1969 interview, director Jean Negulesco recalled that when Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck gave him the assignment to direct 'Road House', Zanuck told him, "This is a bad script. Three directors have refused it. They don't know what they're doing, because basically it's quite good. Remember those pictures we used to make at Warner Bros., with Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Cagney, in which every time the action flagged we staged a fight and every time a man passed a girl she'd adjust her stocking or something, trying to be sexy? That's the kind of picture we have to have with 'Road House.'" See more »
This was a very interesting character study of three people: "LIly Stevens" (Ida Lupino), "Jefty Robbins" (Richard Widmark) and "Pete Morgan" (Cornel Wilde).
The two guys are attracted to Lupino, who prefers good-guy Wilde. The scorned Widmark then gets his revenge. This film was a year after Widmark played sadistic killer "Tommy Udo" in "Kiss Of Death" and his character in this movie isn't too far removed from Udo. In both films, Widmark provides the spark when the story needed it.
That's not to say the rest of the cast isn't good, too, but Widmark playing these psycho villains is just fascinating and just stands out. Another fine thespian is Celeste Holm, who also is in this picture but with a role that did not stand out. I can't even remember what she did in here, although it's been awhile since I've seen this. Hopefully, this film noir will be issued on DVD some day.
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