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Road House (1989)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  19 May 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 39,918 users  
Reviews: 197 user | 80 critic

A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy (as Marshall Teague)
Sunshine Parker ...
Emmet (as 'Sunshine' Parker)
Pat McGurn
Travis McKenna ...
Kurt James Stefka ...


Dalton is the Cooler in bars; He backs up and directs the bouncers. He takes a job in a Road House that has gotten far too rough. His attempts to clean things up put him in conflict with Brad Wesley, the town bully and rich person. Things heat up. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dalton's the best bouncer in the business. His nights are filled with fast action, hot music and beautiful women. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 May 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El duro  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)


$30,050,028 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Star Billing: Patrick Swayze (1st), Ben Gazzara (2nd), Kelly Lynch (3rd) and Sam Elliott (4th). See more »


During the dance scene with Denise in the Double Deuce (following the fire at Red's Auto Parts store); Jeff Healey brushes off Denise's hand but the music, specifically the guitar, keeps playing. See more »


[first lines]
Bouncer Checking IDs: [to Frank Tilghman, as he enters the Bandstand] Go ahead, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While the end credits are rolling, the house band does one more number. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gunslinger (1993) See more »


On the Road Again
Written by Floyd Jones (as Floyd V. Jones) and Alan Wilson (as Alan C. Wilson)
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Performed by The Jeff Healey Band
Courtesy of Arista Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

And just think: Morgan Freeman and Miss Daisy drove away with the Oscar that year!
14 November 2004 | by (Omaha, NE USA) – See all my reviews

What brilliant trash this film is! It works absolutely every time! For all I know it was filmed either at Uncle Ron's or El Matador here in town!

Road House is the story of a bouncer hired to clean up a rough bar in a tiny town. He isn't just your ordinary illiterate muscle head, though. It's Patrick Swayze. He's got a degree in philosophy from NYU! He owns a Mercedes! Why, he's the best damn cooler in the business! And it's a good thing he is. This fictional town of Jasper, MO is dominated by a slimy Boss-Hogg type played by Ben Gazzara. He and his thugs skim money from every business in town, and the last thing they want is some stranger waltzing on to the scene to break up their control of the action.

Enough plot, though. Let's focus on the highlights.

This film has a script that should be bronzed or put on display at the Smithsonian. We get monumental lines such as:

"It's good to see you!" spoken by a blind man when he first greets Swayze.

"What do you take me for?" a bimbo asks another bar patron in an early scene. the reply- "About a hundred dollars!"

And this film also contains the greatest line ever spoken in the history of cinema. Decorum prohibits me from stating it verbatim, but you'll probably know it when you hear it. It's spoken by pro wrestler Terry Funk who plays the bouncer Swayze replaces. The line focuses on the supposed size of Swayze's package, and the size vehicle his seed could fill.

The film is filled with bar fights that eventually turn into shootouts, hot women, fast cars, monster trucks, explosions, you name it. Anything for guys who like movies is in abundance. The whole thing plays out like a typical night on the town for us yokels here in the red states.

The film comes in surprisingly long at 114 minutes, but don't worry. This is the type of film you can basically stop at any place, then push play when you and your friends get back from the bars. "It will be like you never left," as Christopher Lloyd tells Michael J. Fox at one point in Back to the Future.

The film has more than its share of logical lapses. As Roger Ebert points out in his review, there is no way anyone could get as rich as Wesley by skimming this little town. It seems to only have a bar, an auto parts store, a Ford dealership, and a cafe or two. Most of these places get wiped out as the action unfolds. It makes you wonder who would have been left for Wesley to skim from.

But criticism of a film like this is useless. When faced with such an artistic statement as Road House, one can either sit back and enjoy, or chuck the tape out the window.

10 of 10 stars.

The genius of Joel Silver my know no boundaries.

Added 9-14-2009: We'll see you on the other side, Patrick! God Bless you!

163 of 190 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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