Road House

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When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning—how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse.
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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

  • Pain don't hurt.
  • [after firing a drug-dealing waitress] Anybody else here dealing? I'm telling you straight — it's my way or the highway. So, anybody wants to walk, do it now.
  • Take the biggest guy in the world, smash his knee and he'll drop like stone.
  • If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker, I want you to be nice. 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'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal.
  • I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice.

Wade Garrett

  • [Eyeing the sign over the Double Deuce] The Double Douche.
  • [admiring Doc] That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.
  • I'll get all the sleep I need when I'm dead.


  • Frank Tilghman: [repeated line] I thought you'd be bigger.
  • Emmett: Calling me sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don't belong.
  • Steve: [having sex in a back room of the Double Deuce.] Oh, yeah! You're gonna be my regular Saturday-night thing, baby!
  • Jimmy: [to Dalton] I used to fuck guys like you in prison.


Morgan: [after being fired] What am I supposed to do?
Dalton: There's always barber college.

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: People who really want to have a good time won't come to a slaughterhouse. Now we've got entirely too many troublemakers here. Too many, uh, forty-year-old adolescents, felons, power drinkers, and trustees of modern chemistry. That's going to change.
Hank: Man, that sure sounds good. But a lot of the guys that 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 three 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 three: Be nice.
. . .
Dalton: 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.

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?

Doc: Do you always carry your medical record around with you?
Dalton: Saves time.

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.

Dalton: You got quite a little enterprise going here.
Pat: What?
Dalton: [You're] going through a bottle every 30 minutes, you're skimming the till for six shots a bottle, on drafts, one every ten.
[As Pat slams the register shut, Dalton turns to Tilghman.]
Dalton: I figure he's costing you about a hundred and fifty a night.
Pat: [grinning] So?
Dalton: So, consider it severance pay. Take the train.

Jimmy: Damn, boy. I thought you were good.
Dalton: Go fuck yourself.

Doc: [stitching up a knife wound] Do you ever win a fight?
Dalton: Nobody ever wins a fight.

Dalton: [walking in on Steve having sex with a girl in the supply closet] Yo, Steve! You're history.
Steve: But I'm on my break!
Dalton: Stay on it.
Steve: Ah, shit!

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.

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: You play pretty good for a blind boy.
Cody: And I thought you'd be bigger.

Brad Wesley: Tell me — if I owned a bar, and 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.

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.

Jimmy: Prepare to die.
Dalton: You are such an asshole.

[The chief of police arrives to find Brad Wesley dead of multiple shotgun wounds.]
Police Chief: All right. Who's gonna tell me what the hell happened here?
Emmet: I didn't see nothing. You see anything, Pete?
Pete Stroudenmire: No, I didn't see anything. You see anything, Red?
Red West: I didn't see nothing — not a thing! You see anything, Tinker?
Tinker: A polar bear fell on me.

Frank Tilghman: (showing blueprints) This... This is the new Double Deuce; I've put a lot of money and time in this, and to protect my investment I hired the best damn cooler in the business. From now on he's in charge of all bar business...what he says goes! Dalton...
(Dalton comes down smiling)
James Dalton: Morgan you're out of here
Morgan: What is that supposed to mean?
James Dalton: You don't have the right temperament for the trade
Morgan: You a**hole! What am I supposed to do?!
James Dalton: There's always Barber College!
(snickers from everyone)
Morgan: (he takes his last payment from Mr. Tilghman) To Dalton You're a dead man!
James Dalton: (Pointing to a waitress) You're out too...We're selling booze here not drugs
Waitress: (Sarcastically after taking her last payment also) Thank you.
James Dalton: Anybody else here dealing? I'm telling you straight... It's my way or the highway, so if anybody wants to walk do it now (Nobody moves) Ok; 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.
Bouncer: Yeah, that sure sound great...but a lot of the guys who come in here we can't handle one-on-one, even two-on-one.
James 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 absolutley necessary; and nice.
Fat bouncer: (Incredulously) Come on!!
James Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a c**ksucker I want you to be nice
Fat Bouncer: (With resignation) Ok
James 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.
Bouncer Steve: Being called a c**ksucker isn't personal?
James Dalton: No, it's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response
Bouncer Steve: What if somebody calls my Mama a whore?
James Dalton: Is she?
(everybody snickers)
James Dalton: I want you to be nice.. until it's not be nice
Bouncer 2: So, uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?
James 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!


  • 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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