6.5/10
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210 user 65 critic

Road House (1989)

A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.

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Writers:

(story) (as David Lee Henry), (screenplay) (as David Lee Henry) | 1 more credit »
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1,580 ( 1,180)

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5 nominations. See more awards »

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While he's deep undercover in New York, DEA agent Shane Tanner, the son of a legendary cooler named Dalton, learns that his uncle Nate Tanner got beat up by a group of men because he ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Ziehl
Stars: Johnathon Schaech, Ellen Hollman, Richard Norton
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Doc
...
...
...
Jimmy (as Marshall Teague)
...
Denise
...
Sunshine Parker ...
Emmet (as 'Sunshine' Parker)
...
Cody
...
Tilghman
...
Pat McGurn
...
Carrie
Travis McKenna ...
Jack
...
Younger
Kurt James Stefka ...
Hank
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Dalton lives like a loner, fights like a professional. And loves like there's no tomorrow. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 May 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El duro  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$30,050,028 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Particular criticism in the wake of the film's box office disappointment was directed at United Artists for marketing the film as lighter and more comedic, in order to attract female moviegoers who had enjoyed Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (1987). However, the film's long afterlife on video and cable made it a cult classic and cemented admiration for it as hyper-masculine camp. See more »

Goofs

When Red's store explodes, it is revealed as a flimsy shell with none of the shelves metal shelving we saw earlier. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Game Trailers: Bloodborne (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Tall Sally
Written by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert Blackwell), Enotris Johnson and Little Richard (as Richard Penniman)
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

 
Heel to the face,Knuckle to the nose
13 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This really is one of those guilty pleasures - a silly, inane movie, but possessed of so many elements for guys to enjoy, mainly regular bouts of ass-kicking, that a guy has to watch it about once a year to get his fix of adrenaline and a picture of how the world should work. The movie has its own rules and an internal structure mostly explained by the character of Dalton (Swayze), a supervisor of bouncers termed a Cooler. When certain entertainment establishments become too lowbrow and rowdy on a nightly basis, someone like Dalton is hired on to show all the patrons how to behave in a civilized manner. He has a degree in philosophy to help facilitate his instruction, plus some martial arts disciplines. In this world of bouncers, club owners, and alcohol dispensers, Dalton has a mighty rep - they've all heard of him, tho many thought he'd be bigger.

Also with an older rep is Wade Garrett (Elliott), an aged cooler who shows up halfway in to help his protégé kick some teeth in. It's amusing to watch the bouncers when introduced to Wade - they react like actors introduced to the Marlon Brando of the bouncer industry. The main villain is a local rich bigshot (Gazzara), usually wearing a self-satisfied evil grin and nice clothes, hiding a repugnant nature which treasures power & more power above all else. Well, actually, he doesn't hide it much as the pic progresses. This is where such villains make a foolish error: if he'd been just a little more laid-back and content with all the power he already had, things would've probably stayed the same for him. But he just can't resist having total absolute control over everything & everyone - a pure-bred fascist if ever there was - offending the zen-like sensibilities of the usually serene Dalton. Of course, having a couple of Dalton's friends killed didn't help towards a peaceful resolution.

The most entertaining portions of the pic are Dalton's methods in dealing with yahoo troublemakers; these dangerous dudes are reduced to clownish oafs by Dalton's effective tactics & knowhow. There's also a dark version of Dalton, Gazzara's main henchman, a martial arts master who seems a match for Dalton's prowess. There are frequent splashes of female nudity, including by Lynch as Dalton's new girlfriend (and doctor; Dalton isn't invulnerable - he needs a doctor about twice a week). You also seem to learn a lot about the art of being a bouncer, though some of this may be baloney. In many ways, this could be the perfect guy picture.


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