August 16, 2015

Road House & Leadership

Road House & Leadership

I don’t watch many movies multiple times. I saw Star Wars at the movie theater in 1977–78 five times. But that was a different time and I was only five or six. Some movies I’ve watched several times like the original Vacation, all of the movies in the two Batman series (well, not Batman & Robin), Lean on Me, and a few others. The one movie I always come back to, though, is Road House starring Patrick Swayze. It’s a great movie.

All Versions

I saw it more than once at the theater and have owned the VHS, DVD, and BluRay versions. It’s a classic and as I’ve aged, I watch it for different reasons. The last couple of times I’ve watched it, I notice what a leader the protagonist actually is. Dalton is cool. He also knows how to run a business.

Protagonist and Antagonist

When Dalton confronts the local bully (the movie's antagonist, Brad Wesley) he ends up in a jam because he’s basically fighting a local mafia family. It gets ugly, but Dalton believes he’s doing the right thing by helping the families and businesses that Wesley and his goons have bullied and abused for years. Dalton doesn't approve of this relationship with the townspeople.

Mentors and Leaders

Dalton’s mentor Wade Garrett (perhaps one of Sam Elliott's best roles) shows up to assist. It’s cool how Dalton and his mentor interact. The part of the movie where Garrett hangs out is awesome; it just doesn’t end on an awesome note. The mentor–mentee relationship is a highlight of the movie. Of course as a high school student, I didn't notice that interaction the first time around, I just thought both bouncers (coolers) were … cool.

Key Quotes

  • “I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead.” — Get the job done!
  • “Wade Garrett's the best.” Reply: “Wade Garrett's getting old.” — Honor your mentor.
The movie itself tells a solid story. It’s pure ‘80s overall with good guys and bad guys and some crazy driving, lots of action, and everything that made the ‘80s great. It’s one of my favorite movies and Dalton is a great character.

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