Road House has got a few problems, the most superficial of which is that the movie needs you to believe that Ida Lupino is both the most beautiful woman in the world and the most compelling singer in the world. She’s neither. Lupino was a super cool lady and I’m sure she relished playing the bombshell role for a change, but I didn’t buy the movie’s wonky sales pitch that she’s supposed to be sending all these men into a tizzy like she’s Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner. She’s like a Milwaukee 8 rather than a Hollywood 10, you know? My eye kept wandering over to poor neglected Celeste Holm.
I feel bad saying this cause it’s not Lupino’s fault at all. It’s the filmmakers fault for not tailoring the role to her. I mean, the whole premise of the movie is that these are marginal people living a dead end existence in a small town. Playing into the fact that Lupino is a Milwaukee 8 would’ve actually been more appropriate to the situation.
I’d still recommend the movie. It’s one of those weird noirish 40s character dramas that feels like it snuck out while no one was looking.