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Road House (1989)

A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar.


Rowdy Herrington


R. Lance Hill (story) (as David Lee Henry), R. Lance Hill (screenplay) (as David Lee Henry) | 1 more credit »
197 ( 26)

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5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Swayze ... Dalton
Kelly Lynch ... Doc
Sam Elliott ... Wade Garrett
Ben Gazzara ... Brad Wesley
Marshall R. Teague ... Jimmy (as Marshall Teague)
Julie Michaels ... Denise
Red West ... Red Webster
Sunshine Parker ... Emmet (as 'Sunshine' Parker)
Jeff Healey ... Cody
Kevin Tighe ... Tilghman
John Doe ... Pat McGurn
Kathleen Wilhoite ... Carrie
Travis McKenna Travis McKenna ... Jack
Roger Hewlett ... Younger
Kurt James Stefka Kurt James Stefka ... Hank


Serene and laconic, yet powerful and lethal, Dalton is an expert in martial arts and the best professional bouncer in the business. With such a reputation, Dalton is summoned in a small town in Missouri to clean up the sleazy bar called The Double Deuce from the troublemakers who terrorize the customers, without knowing, however, that the villainous local entrepreneur, Brad Wesley, wants things to remain unchanged. As Dalton cleans up the nightclub, and with it, the town from Wesley's hired goons, a deep wound from a knife will inspire a passionate affair with local Dr. Elizabeth "Doc" Clay. Now, the corrupt Wesley has enough reasons to take Dalton out of the way, nevertheless, the bouncer has the final say. Written by Nick Riganas

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:

View content advisory »





English | Portuguese

Release Date:

19 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El duro See more »


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It was announced in September 2015 that this film is to be remade, starring Ronda Rousey. See more »


Shadow of camera crew visible on Dalton as he is performing Tai-Chi. See more »


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

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

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was intact, although the video release was cut by 10 seconds by the BBFC to remove a knee kick, a double ear-clap and a groin punch. Dialogue about felling enemies by kicking them in the knee was also removed. The cuts were waived in 2001 for the DVD release. See more »


Referenced in Gravy (2015) See more »


Knock on Wood
Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Performed by The Jeff Healey Band and Kathleen Wilhoite
The Jeff Healey Band appears courtesy of Arista Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Patrick Swayze's best action movie he ever did my personal number 1 favorite
10 October 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Road House (1989) is my personal favorite number 1 film from Patrick Swayze. This film stands alone as Patrick Swayze's best work in my opinion. It is an action classic that I grew up with it, I am a fan of Patrick Swayze and I can say it is his best action film! I love this film I grew up watching it as a kid. It is my third favorite Patrick Swayze movie and It is a action martial arts classic childhood! I love this film to death I love it so damn much and I love Steel Dawn and Black Dog to death the same as I love Road House. Road House will always be his best film he work with it. I can say Nomad, Dalton and Jack Crews are Patrick's favorite characters of mine he ever played! My mom loved to watching him in her favorite miniseries North and South it was her favorite show that she talked about with me.

Plot: Dalton (Patrick Swayze) is the best bar bouncer in the business, but he's anything but "typical." He's a little small for his trade, has a degree in philosophy and he believes in "being nice." But when he's hired to clean up the Double Deuce in the small town of Jasper, he's pushed to his breaking point. Discovering Jasper is controlled by an evil sadist (Ben Gazzara) who doesn't want anyone meddling with "his" town. After he sends his goons to bust up the Double Deuce, all hell breaks loose. Now it's "no more nice guy" for Dalton as he starts busting heads, leading him to the all-time, no-holds-barred, butt whooping showdown of the century.

There is a lot of action in this film, a lot of kickboxing and a lot's of fights in it. Patrick Swayze does a really good fight scenes, I think Patrick Swayze does really good job with a fight scenes, he does very solid job I mean really bottom in my heart I really miss Patrick Swayze I really do, that he is no longer with us. Road House is my favorite film, it has a lot of action and kickboxing fight scenes, Patrick Swayze does a really good job playing a hero for an late 80's action flick it is pretty good and I love it. It is definitely my favorite Patrick Swayze film. Road House is a film that I will always cherish and I definitely don't agree with people who doesn't like this film.

You have an epic martial art's fight between Dalton (Swayze) and Jimmy (Marshall Teague) watch the fight carefully Dalton uses eagle claws technique when kills Jimmy. The choreography is a mix of various martial art styles evident in the variety of locks, throws, kicks and punches as used in Kickboxing, Hapkido and Jujitsu, with a particularly impressive flying kick from Swayze himself. The grueling work put in by the actors is visible in their strained expressions adding that no-holds-barred street fight feel to a fight scene packed with some excellent technical maneuvers.

I love the beautiful music score on the end of the film When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky by The Jeff Healey Band which is very beautiful song on the end of the credits. I love the final showdown between Dalton and Wesley on the end of the movie and the happy ending.

This film is directed by Rowdy Herrington who made some pretty good movies that I like, Gladiator and Striking Distance with Bruce Willis which is definitely my Bruce Willis's favorite action thriller film. The rest of the cast did also good job, Sam Elliott also did a terrific support cast, the same as actor Ben Gazzara as the villain who is sadly no longer with us anymore. Kelly Lynch was also good as Swayze's love interest. I am hearing that Nick Cassavetes is planning a remake about this film which it is unnecessary. There was a sequel about this film that I don't care for.

R.I.P. - Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009) I really miss you so much and I wish you could do more bad ass action movies, I am your biggest fan and so was my mom we all miss you and we all love you, I love you to death! Road House (why doesn't THAT film get the cult/appreciation/notice of this POS), Uncommon Valor, Steel Dawn (underrated) and Black Dog are my top 4 favorite Patrick Swayze movies he ever did!

This movie get's 10 out 10 the best action martial arts movie ever made!

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