Road House

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Road House is a 1989 film about a tough bouncer who is hired to tame a dirty bar.

Directed by Rowdy Herrington. Written by David Lee Henry and Hilary Henkin.
The dancing's over. Now it gets dirty.taglines

James Dalton[edit]

  • Pain don't hurt.
  • Give me the biggest guy in the world; you smash his knee and he'll drop like stone.

Wade Garrett[edit]

  • [admiring Doc] That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.

Brad Wesley[edit]

  • I see you found my trophy room Dalton. The only thing that's missing... is your ass!


Emmett: It ain't the money ya understand, but if I don't charge ya somethin' the Presbyterians around here are likely to pray for my ruination. How does a hundred dollars a month strike ya?
Dalton: Fine.
Emmett: Can ya afford that much?
Dalton: If it keeps you in the good graces of the church.
Emmett: Ain't it peculiar how money seems to do that very thing?

Red: How long are you gonna be in town?
Dalton: Not very long.
Red: That's what I said 25 years ago.
Dalton: Really? What happened?
Red: I got married to an ugly woman. Don't ever do that. It just takes the energy right out of you. She left me, though. Found somebody even uglier than she was. That's life. Who can explain it?

Dalton: Steve, You're history…
Steve: But I'm on my break..
Dalton: Stay on it.

Carrie Ann: What did you do there last night?
Dalton: What do you mean?
Carrie Ann: You fired the bartender, Pat.
Dalton: He was skimming.
Carrie Ann: You should not have done that, Dalton.
Dalton: Yeah, why's that?
Carrie Ann: You just shouldn't have, that's all. [hands him food] Here you go. Breakfast.
Dalton: Oh, thank you.
Carrie Ann: [chuckling] Oh, my god…
Dalton: What is the joke?
Carrie Ann: Well, there's no joke. I just think I'm looking at a dead man, though.
Dalton: It seems everywhere I go, I hear that same joke.
Carrie Ann: Yeah, well, something tells me you bring it on yourself.

Dalton: People who want to have a good time won't come to a slaughterhouse, and we've got entirely too many troublemakers here..Too many uhh, 40 year old adolescents, felons, power drinkers, and trustees of modern chemistry...It's going to change.
Hank: Yeah, that sure sounds great...but a lot of the guys who come in here we can't handle one-on-one, even two-on-one.
Dalton: Don't worry about it; all you have to do is follow 3 simple rules: One, never underestimate your opponent..expect the unexpected; Two, take it outside, never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary; and nice.
Hank: [Incredulously] Come on!!
Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker I want you to be nice
Hank: [With resignation] Ok
Dalton: Ask him to walk, be nice. If he won't walk, walk him, but be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you and you will both be nice. I want you to remember that it's the job, it's nothing personal.
Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn't personal?
Dalton: No, it's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.
Steve: What if somebody calls my Mama a whore?
Dalton: Is she?
[everybody snickers]
Dalton: I want you to be nice... until it's time... to not be nice
Bouncer: So, uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?
Dalton: You won't. I'll let you know. You are the bouncers, I am the cooler. All you have to do is watch my back and each others... and take out the trash!

Doc: Your file says you've got a degree from NYU. What in?
Dalton: Philosophy.
Doc: Any particular discipline?
Dalton: No. Not really. Man's search for faith. That sort of shit.
Doc: Come up with any answers?
Dalton: Not too many.
Doc: How's a guy like you end up a bouncer?
Dalton: Just lucky I guess.

Wade: [on the phone] You havin' trouble?
Dalton: Oh, you know — nothing I'm not used to. But it's amazing what you can get used to, huh?
Wade: Yeah, tell me about it. This place has a sign hangin' over the urinal that says, "Don't eat the big white mint".

Dalton: Sorry, we're closed.
Ketchum: Then what are all these people doing here?
Dalton: Drinking and having a good time.
Ketchum: That's why we're here.
Dalton: You're too stupid to have a good time.

Wesley: [after seeing Pat with a broken nose] Did I explain it wrong? Is that it?
O'Connor: No, boss, you didn't.
Wesley: Pat's got a weak constitution. You boys know that. That's why he's working as a bartender. He's my only sister's son. And if he doesn't have me, who's he got? And if I'm not there, you're there. [to Jimmy] I should've let you go, Jimmy. [to Tinker and O'Connor] Well, one of you boys owes me an apology. Now I leave it up to you to decide which one of you wants to say "I'm sorry."
Tinker: [takes off his hat] I'm sorry, boss.
O'Connor: I'm sorry, boss.
Wesley: I believe you, Tinker. [walks over to O'Connor] But you, O'Connor, somehow I don't believe you. Now you better try it again. 'cause if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a man who's untruthful.
O'Connor: I'm sorry, boss.
Wesley: If there's one thing that disgusts me, it's a man who can't admit when he's wrong.
O'Connor: I swear to God, boss, I'm sorry.
Wesley: You disgust me, O'Connor. You wanna know why you disgust me?
O'Connor: No, why, boss?
Wesley: [punches him] 'Cause you're a bleeder. You bleed too much. You are a messy bleeder. [kicks him in the groin] You're weak. You got no endurance for PAIN. [karate chops him and knocks him down] Aw, come on, get up. Hey, you'll be fine. Come on. [to his men] Well, help him up! [Wesley's men stand him up] You're gonna be fine. And you know why? Because I like you. [punches and knocks him out] Get this piece-of-shit coward out of here.

Wesley: [sees Dalton looking at a man's picture] My grandfather.
Dalton: Looks like an important man.
Wesley: He was an asshole. But you, you're a smart boy, aren't you, Dalton? You're just not too realistic. Christ, I'm just like you. I came up the hard way, from the streets of Chicago. You know, when I came to this town after Korea there was nothing. I brought the mall here. I got the 7-Eleven. I got the Fotomat here. Christ, JC Penney is coming here because of me. You ask anybody, they'll tell you.
Dalton: You've gotten rich off of the people in this town.
Wesley: [laughs] You bet your ass I have. And I'm gonna get richer. I believe we all have a purpose on this earth. A destiny. I have a faith in that destiny. It tells me to gather unto me what is mine. But, Christ, you get paid for beating people up. Tell me you don't love it. Of course you do. You wouldn't be human if you didn't.

Wesley: Dalton, I have a cousin in Memphis. Tells me you killed a man down there. Tells me you said it was self-defense at the trial. But you and I know that isn't so, don't we?
[Dalton stands up and starts to get mad]
Wesley: Relax. Relax. Tell me, if I owned a bar and I wanted to clean it up, how much would it take to get you to come work for me?
Dalton: There's no amount of money.


  • The dancing's over. Now it gets dirty.
  • Dalton lives like a loner, fights like a professional. And loves like there's no tomorrow.
  • 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.


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