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Road House (1989)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  19 May 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 39,240 users  
Reviews: 196 user | 79 critic

A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Remake of the 1989 film 'Road House' about a bouncer at a rowdy bar.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Ronda Rousey


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Debut film as an actor for musician Jeff Healey who played Cody. The film remains Healey's first, final and only ever acting role. See more »


When the monster truck destroys the auto showroom, you can see a chain under one of the "victim" cars, securing it to the floor to limit its movement. 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 »


Spoofed in Hot Rod (2007) See more »


Fire in the Night
Written by Bob Corbin
Performed by Alabama
Courtesy of RCA 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.

35 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Does anyone know why Ben Gazzara did this movie? c_cortesi
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