"Jean Negulesco was an also-ran among golden-age directors, but he fired on all cylinders in this late-forties piney-woods noir. Richard Widmark is a giggling psycho who owns, what else, a Road House somewhere near the Canadian Border; Cornel Wilde is his all-American man Friday. Into the mix comes Lupino, a tough "shantoozie" who becomes the apex of a sick triangle. The talk is hard-boiled and freighted with innuendo (in the style of the times). Worth the price of admission is Lupino singing "One more for my baby (and one more for the road)" in her burnt-toast voice, while sitting at a white piano gouged with burns from her smouldering cigarettes. This movie was made for viewing on the late, late show."
The mating season
John R. Bridell | Minneapolis, MN USA | 06/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ROAD HOUSE sets a dark mood with plenty of night scenes. I'm usually turned away from a film having too many night scenes. Half the time you can't tell who's who and what's they doing. Nothing unclear in ROAD HOUSE. Director, Jean Negulesco, deserves a gold star for handling the lighting in those scenes. I give another gold star to Celeste Holm, the girl that you want for a "friend." The plot gets down to the simply fact of the mating season. I was a little concerned that Widmark's evil propensity wasn't foreshadowed during the earlier stages of the film, but it was acceptable to believe that he just flipped his cork. The best part of the movie was perky Ida Lupino's torch song singing effort beginning with "Set 'em up Joe," and "Again." The soundtrack was marvelous."
A NOIR FAN MUST-SEE!
John R. Bridell | 03/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a noir collector, I have to tell you that this one is a must. Buy it for Ida Lupino's performance alone! The star of the show for me, though, is Widmark. While his role is no Tommy Udo (Kiss of Death - 1947 - DON'T MISS IT!), he sizzles, as always. Let's face it, aside from being a great actor, when he was young, the guy was a major hotty!"
This film sizzles with emotion -- desire, jealousy, hatred..
M. C. Crammer | Decatur, GA USA | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The plot is basically a triangle -- Cornel Wilde and Richard Widmark are both in love with lounge singer Ida Lupino. Widmark's character is well-off and owns the road house that his old pal Cornel Wilde manages for him. If Widmark can't win Lupino's heart, he's going to make sure Wilde doesn't get to have her. Just to add to the complications, another road house employee yearns for Wilde, but unlike Widmark, she's basically a good person.
Somehow black and white is the right medium for this film -- I think color would have detracted from the brooding atmosphere.
All in all, this movie stands the test of time well. Widmark puts in a great performance.
"It was always Jefty...or us."
Dave | Tennessee United States | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This underated film noir classic has three great stars of the genre: Richard Widmark, famous for his psychotic laugh, Ida Lupino, who was always perfect as the sultry femme fatale, and Cornel Wilde, who despite being very talented never became the big star that he should've been. Other reviewers have already gone over the plot, so I won't bother. Along with the three stars, there's great support from Celeste Holm, who you might recognize from the classic "High Society". Ida Lupino is hotter than ever in this great tale of lust and revenge! Ever since I first saw Richard Widmark's classic and sadistic performance in "Kiss of Death" I've been a big fan, and once again he plays the villian to perfection! Cornel Wilde gives a great performance as a man torn between his love for a woman and his loyalty to his best friend. This classic was made during the "golden years" of film noir, the late 40's, and it has stood the test of time. Hopefully, we won't have to wait too much longer before Fox releases this (along with the other Richard Widmark film noirs) on dvd."